To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What quotes from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird show that Scout is a tomboy?

Expert Answers info

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,749 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

The term "tomboy" is beginning to fall out of favor with evolving attitudes about behaviors being associated with gender, but historically, a tomboy was a girl who acted in ways that were deemed unfeminine.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the nickname Scout is perhaps the first clue that Jean Louise Finch isn't a girly-girl. She prefers the company of her brother, Jem, and Dill, their neighbor, over the company of the girls in Maycomb.

At the beginning of chapter three, Scout asserts, "Catching Walter Cunningham in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop." Typically, it is not a feminine behavior to physically bully another child. Girls have long been socially conditioned to avoid physical domination of others, and so Scout's behavior in this scene could be called that of a tomboy.

Girls are generally considered to be more fastidious than boys in their approach to hygiene. At the beginning of chapter four, Scout finds two...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 962 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write3,286 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,300 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial