Why doesn't Scout fight Cecil in Chapter Nine of To Kill a Mockingbird?
Scout does not fight Cecil because Atticus has told her to refrain from fighting. Cecil has repeatedly tried to provoke her by taunting her about the fact that her father is defending a black man, Tom Robinson. Cecil tells Scout his father said that Tom should hang for the alleged crime. This incident is only a hint of the difficulties Scout and Jem will face as Atticus takes on this difficult case. Atticus, in fact, warns Scout of this in the chapter, urging her to keep her cool and avoid fighting whenever possible. When Scout is tempted to fight Cecil, she remembers his words, and resolves to obey him, even if it means being called a coward. She does not want to let her father down. Unfortunately, she abandons her promise to her father when her cousin Francis also mocks Atticus in the same chapter. She punches the boy in the mouth, splitting his lip.