In To Kill a Mockingbird, what was Scout's costume in the Halloween pageant?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's Halloween costume is a ham. The choice of costume is dictated by Mrs. Grace Merriweather, who has written a Halloween pageant called Maycomb County: Ad Astra Per Aspera. Mrs. Merriweather thinks it would be "adorable" if some of the schoolchildren were dressed up as county agricultural products. Scout represents pork. Another child is a cow, another a peanut, and another a butterbean.

The play's title, "ad astra per aspera," means "through hardship to the stars." Mrs. Merriweather presumably means this to show that Maycomb County has gone through hardships, presumably the Civil War and the Great Depression, but is now soaring toward a better future. 

The ham-costumed Scout, however, is about to encounter further hardship as she is attacked in her "adorable" costume. Scout's silly costume, in particular the tangle of chicken wire enmeshing her, helps save her life when Bob Ewell attacks. 

engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout is in a pageant about Maycomb County's agricultural products, and she wears a costume that resembles a ham. The costume was made originally of chicken wire covered in cloth, and it came in handy as she and Jem walked home from the evening's pageants -- they get attacked by Bob Ewell, and Jem gets his arm broken by the villain, but Scout is protected by the confines of the costume and remains safe.

There is a double entendre in the fact that Scout is dressed as a "ham:" she is both portraying a literal ham in the pageant, but figuratively, she is acting, meaning that she has to also be a "ham" in that regard as well.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout wears a ham costume in the pageant. It was made for her by Mrs. Crenshaw, a seamstress, who shaped chicken wire into the form of a cured ham, covered it with brown cloth, and then painted it to look like the real thing. Jem told Scout she looked like "a ham with legs" in her costume. The costume restricted Scout's movements and interfered with her vision, but it also saved her life when Bob Ewell attacked her (and Jem) while they were walking home after the school program.

zumba96 | Student

Scout is a ham and this costume is what actually saves her. This costume is fat and although heavy, when Scout gets attacked, the costume takes most of the hit and saves her from being killed. This costume also limited her vision and she was going to take it off, but since they had a bad feeling about what may happen they simply kept on walking. 

poopshoot | Student

scout is a ham made out of chicken wire- that saves her life :)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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