Who is the protagonist in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Protagonist" is another word for "main character" or "the good guy." To find the protagonist in any story, look to see who the story is mostly about. Who seems to be the most important character, the one whose experiences and struggles make up the bulk of the story?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the protagonist is Scout. Her full name is Jean Louise Finch, but everyone calls her by her nickname, Scout. A lot of students get confused about Scout and think that she's a boy, since her name and her behavior are very boyish. But Scout is definitely a girl.

She's the one who features all throughout the story: we follow her adventures, stay focused on her experiences, and even listen in on her thinking.

So, you can call Scout the "protagonist." You can call her the main character. You can even call her the narrator for this story, since she's the one who tells it.

Here's a fun fact and a way to remember what "protagonist" means. We got this word from Greek; it meant "first actor." ("Proto-" means "first," like in the word "prototype," and "-agonist" means "actor.") So if you were going to make a movie about your story, who would be the first actor you'd need to hire? That would be the person playing the main role, the most important one. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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