What is one weakness and one strength of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?  

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I find Scout's intelligence for someone so young to be her most endearing trait in To Kill a Mockingbird. Upon entering her first day in school, she is already advanced scholastically beyond all her other classmates: She reads several grades above her level, and she already knows how to write cursive (though these facts do not impress her teacher, Miss Caroline). Despite her youth, she understands most of what is said by adults and comprehends some of the more detailed aspects of life in Maycomb. Although some of the testimony in the trial of Tom Robinson is above her head, she is able to perceive the important facts and decide for herself about Tom's innocence. By the end of the story, she is even able to put several of Atticus' favorite sayings to good use, understanding how charging Boo with Bob's death would be like "killing a mockingbird"; and how important it is to step inside someone else's shoes before judging them.

Scout's hot temper is undoubtedly her greatest weakness, and she has to fight the urge to use her fists in order to solve her differences. Atticus' warnings manage to curb this problem, and her fights grow less frequent as the novel continues. According to others, her unladylike ways are also a detriment, but Scout isn't old enough to realize this yet. She sees that some of the other "ladies" of Maycomb, particularly those at the missionary circle tea, are hardly worth emulating.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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