What does the comment below suggest about Scout and about the community in To Kill a Mockingbird?After Dill had explained that he had felt "sick" at the way Mr. Gilmer treated Tom Robinson on the...
What does the comment below suggest about Scout and about the community in To Kill a Mockingbird?
After Dill had explained that he had felt "sick" at the way Mr. Gilmer treated Tom Robinson on the witness stand, Scout made the comment: "Well, Dill, after all he's just a Negro."*
This is an interesting comment, coming from the daughter of the liberal-minded Atticus Finch. She certainly hasn't gotten that attitude from Atticus, who is color-blind when it comes to the races. Remember, Scout is very young and immature, and she has picked up many of these ideas from the gossip she has heard (from Miss Stephanie, particularly) and from her classmates at school. She has used the "N" word throughout much of the story until Atticus warns her about its usage among "common" people. Calpurnia also throws the "N" word about, so Scout doesn't seem to understand its derogatory sense. Although Jem believes there are various social levels in Maycomb--the Finches and their neighbors, the Cunninghams, the Ewells, and, lastly, Negroes--Scout disagrees with him, believing that
"... there's just one kind of folks. Folks."
Scout obviously loves Calpurnia, who the Finches consider a member of the family; and she enjoys the time spent with Reverend Sykes at his church and in the courtroom. I don't believe Scout meant her comment to be a condemnation of all Negroes, and it wasn't said in a sarcastic manner, which would better explain her comment. I believe Scout understands that Negroes will continue to be outcasts among the white population of Maycomb, even though she treats the black people she knows without true racist intent.