Scout is known to question authority throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Is Scout's attitude shaken when she faces the lynch mob outside of the Maycomb jailhouse?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout is known to express her opinions, regardless of circumstances, and often challenges authority at various times throughout the novel. In Chapter 15, Scout follows her brother Jem on his search to check up on Atticus. They find Atticus sitting outside of Tom Robinson's jail cell reading the newspaper. Scout, Jem, and Dill watch as several vehicles arrive, and the men inside the vehicles get out. The men surround Atticus and begin having a discussion. Scout overhears Atticus say, "Do you really think so?" (Lee 202). Scout is curious as to what is happening and runs out from behind Tyndal's Hardware Store into the center of the circle. Initially, Scout is embarrassed because she doesn't recognize any of the men surrounding Atticus, and Atticus is shocked that his children are present. Atticus tells Jem to take Scout and Dill home, but Jem refuses. When a member of the mob grabs Jem by his shirt collar, Scout yells, "Don't you touch him!" and attempts to kick him in the shin (Lee 204). Scout aims "too high" and kicks him in his crotch. When Atticus tells her not to kick folks, Scout responds by saying, "Ain't nobody gonna do Jem that way" (Lee 204). Scout's actions prove that she is not "shaken" when she faces the lynch mob. She not only stands up for her brother by kicking a member of the mob in his crotch but also argues with Atticus as to why her actions were justified.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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