What are three symbols of Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and why are they symbolic?

1 Answer

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

Posted on

OVERALLS.  Scout's ever-present symbol of her tomboyish ways, her overalls (or coveralls) are her favorite item of clothing. Atticus rarely if ever complains about them, however, so Scout continues to wear them as a way of fighting back against others' attempts to make a lady out of her. Scout wins a small victory at the end of the story when

... in her distraction, Aunty brought me my overalls. "Put these on, darling," she said, handing me the garments she most despised.  (Chapter 28)

FISTS.  Scout's flying fists serve to show her pugilistic skills, her hot temper, and her reluctance to settle down into young ladyhood. She promises Atticus that she will stop using them, since he knows that her anger will be tested when the trial of Tom Robinson begins. She slips up a few times, using them to "split my knuckle to the bone" on Cousin Francis's teeth, and in occasional sibling combat with Jem.

THE PORCH SWING.  Scout does some her best thinking on the front porch swing. She joins her father there every night where they read together, and she curls up with him there when she has questions that need answering. On hot summer evenings, she joins Miss Maudie on her own porch, where they "sit silently... watching the sky go from yellow to pink..." Her fantasies about Boo focus on the Radley porch, where she "imagined how... he'd just be sitting in the swing when I came along." When she finally does meet Boo, she takes him to sit on their front porch; since Atticus is already sitting in the swing, she leads him to a rocking chair, where she happily sits next to her new hero.