What is one major event that happened in To Kill a Mockingbird from Scout's perspective?  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One event which has a significant impact upon Scout is hers and Jem's visit to Calpurnia's church.

When the children accompany Calpurnia to the African Methodist Episcopalian Church, Scout is amazed that the black community is too poor to afford paint for the church's ceiling, a piano or organ, hymn books, programs, or even sufficient lighting. Reverend Sykes mentions Tom Robinson and "his trouble," and then he has a collection taken up for the Robinson family who apparently cannot support themselves without him because, as Scout later learns from Calpurnia, no one will give Helen Robinson a job.

In addition to this new experience of seeing how poor the black community is, the children also experience racial bias and resentment against them as Lula protests their invading her private community when she accosts Calpurnia:

"I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger church." [sic]
"They's my comp'ny," said Calupurnia. (Scout also finds her way of talking strange)
"Yeah, an' I reckon you's comp'ny at the Finch house durin' the week."

Lula points to the racial discrepancies of the two cultures in Maycomb as Scout realizes that it is not just economic conditions from which Calpurnia's community suffers and feels resentment. Thus, she begins to learn about the racial problem in Maycomb.

 

lordcou | Student

 

Throughout the course of the novel, Scout's perception of Boo Radley changes, which contributes to some of the major themes of the novel. 

In the beginning of the novel, Boo Radley's character emphasizes Scout's childlike ways and innocence - in fact, the kids describe him as a giant man who eats raw animals. As the novel progresses, however, they grow closer to Boo Radley . . . from a distance. He leaves Scout and Jem presents and even mends Jem's pants. 

At the end of the novel, however, one event solidifies Scout's perception of Boo Radley, completing her transformation from an innocent child to a young lady that understands the differences between appearance and reality. After the trial in which Tom Robinson was convicted, Bob Ewell attacked Scout and Jem while they were walking home from the Halloween pageant. While the official story was that Ewell fell on his own knife, Tate insinuated that Boo Radley stabbed Ewell in order to protect Scout and Jem. 

Due to her costume, Scout couldn't see her assailant well, but she did see that a tall, unshaven man carried Jem home. When that same man was in her living room, it took her awhile to recognize him as Boo Radley. Instead of charging Boo Radley, Tate decided to "Let the dead bury the dead" - Tom Robinson was wrongly convicted and now the man responsible for his conviction was also dead. 

After Scout walked Boo Radley home, Atticus reads Scout a story before bed. Scout describes Boo Radley as "nice," and Atticus responds by saying, "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." 

It's at this moment that she realizes that Boo Radley - who she previously viewed as evil - is actually capable of good deeds. He becomes a real person to her, which pushes her to a more adult reality. 

 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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