Trace the development of her strong concern for the feelings of others in Scout FinchGrowth and development of scout finch's feelings and understanding

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James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before launching into my own ideas, let me comment on the previous post. Scout's behavior in front of the county jail doesn't show courage; it shows naivete. Scout has no idea why the men have gathered, and she simply wants the father of one of the classmates to recognize her.

To me, Jem seems to more clearly show a growing awareness of the need to consider the feeling of others (by which I mean both human and non-human animals), not just oneself. He's the one who doesn't want to shoot bluejays (Scout does), who doesn't want to squash the roly-poly (Scout does), etc. Of course, Scout develops too throughout the story. One section that you may want to revisit is in the trial scene; here, Scout has some sympathy for Mayella and comes to see Tom Robinson as reasonable and as possessing "manners ... as good as Atticus's". Another section to consider, of course, is the final section of the novel; Scout shows strong sympathy for Arthur "Boo" Radley.

Having written all that, however, I want to add that I don't think the novel does a wholly convincing job of teaching people (including both Scout and us, the readers) to have complete empathy. Several characters -- esp. Bob Ewell and Lulu, the black woman at the church -- are demonized throughout the novel. My view is, no matter how much fault we can find with a person, there's always at least a shred of humanity in them. The novel doesn't show that shred in either Bob or Lulu. I'm not alone in this view. Many critics have made similar comments. See, for example, the article "The Rise and Fall of Atticus Finch." You may be able to access that article through a library computer.

mkcapen1 | Student

Scout, the daughter of Atticus in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been raised by an educated father who has read and nurtured her intellectually.  He read to the kids and played with them.Her personality was also developed with the help of housekeeper/nanny Calipurnia.

Scout lost her mother to a heart attack when Scout was only two.  She has no memory of her nor does she long for her.  Her brother Jem does and Scout witnesses his sighs and need to be alone at times.  She is introduced to his suffering and loss.  Scout's friend Dill convinces her to help make the town recluse, Boo Radley, expose himself to them.  As Scout begins to find things in the tree hole she begins to see a kindness in Bo.

Scout tells her teacher about her peer not having lunch and money and is scolded.  In her home she makes fun of the boy because he puts syrup on his meal.  She is redirected by Calpurnia.  Calpurnia helps teach her that not all people are the same and to accept them as they are. 

Atticus spends considerable time talking with his children about right and wrong.  He teaches them by setting a good example.  When he takes the Case of Tom Robinson, a colored man accused of raping a white, girl he explains to the children that "It is the right thing to do." 

When the townspeople gather at the jail as a mob.  Scout demonstrates her own courage by talking with them and gtting them to disburse.

Scout grows up in the book through several stages in her life.  She discovers that people are often good but one would never know without getting to know the person. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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