What are some quotes from Scout Finch that illustrate her character and personality in To Kill a Mockingbird? What quotes really show what sort of person she is: curious, boyish, a fighting bully,...

What are some quotes from Scout Finch that illustrate her character and personality in To Kill a Mockingbird?

What quotes really show what sort of person she is: curious, boyish, a fighting bully, lacking in understanding, etc.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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SCOUT THE TOMBOY.  After deciding to get even with her cousin Francis for calling Atticus a "nigger-lover,"

... I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth. My left impaired, I sailed in with my right.

SCOUT THE LADY.  At the missionary circle tea in Chapter 24, Scout isn't impressed with the manners of many of the supposed ladies in attendance. But when she sees Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra recover from learning of Tom's death and go about serving the others, Scout is impressed.

After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.

SCOUT THE LOVER.  Dill was Scout's first love, and she misses him during the three seasons he spends in Meridian, Mississippi.

... summer was the swiftness with which Dill would reach up and kiss me when Jem was not looking, the longings we sometimes felt for each other.

SCOUT THE PHILOSOPHER.  Scout understood that the jurors had already made up their mind about convicting Tom Robinson before the trial even began.

Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts, Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed. 

SCOUT THE CLUELESS.  Scout often repeats things she doesn't understand, such as when she calls cousin Francis an "invective" usually meant for women.

"Uncle Jack... what's a whore-lady?"

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Beyond the above, Scout's lack of understanding is characterized in her naive prejudices, prejudices that she lets go of as she grows more mature.

Scout's naive prejudices are first characterized in her views of Arthur (Boo) Radley. Like the other neighborhood kids, she has misjudged him to be a mysterious, frightening monster:

Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down and peeped in windows. When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. (Ch. 1)

However, by the end of the story, Scout has witnessed Arthur perform many kindnesses in his quiet, secret way. She has even witnessed him save her and Jem's life. These acts of kindness and bravery change her naive, prejudiced perception of Arthur, so that, by the end of the story, her perception reflects her more open-minded personality, a trait she has gained from her father. Scout's open-minded perspective and personality are reflected in the final chapter as she stands on the Radleys' porch, after having escorted Arthur home, and looks out at the neighborhood from Arthur's perspective. As she does this, she uses multiple paragraphs to describe Boo observing Jem and herself, two children he is very fond of, as we see in the final paragraph of the passage:

Summer, and he watched his children's heart break. Autumn again, and Boo's children needed him. (Ch. 31)

Instead of thinking of Arthur as someone evil who commits mysterious crimes, she now sees him as someone who is aware of human suffering and as able to offer help, which shows us just how open-minded she as become throughout the book.


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