What can you tell me about Scout's character in the first 2 chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Being the narrator, Scout tells us much about everyone else, so we have to read in between the lines a little bit to uncover her character. She tells the story as a 6 year old with great curiosity about the world around her and she is telling us some very specific details so we can tell she is pretty smart. Here are some quotes to get you going:

Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absence. (6)

We lived in the main residential street in town— Atticus, Jem and I, plus Calpurnia our cook. (6)

She was always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn’t behave as well as Jem when she knew he was older, and calling me home when I wasn’t ready to come. (6)

When I was almost six and Jem was nearly ten, our summertime boundaries (within calling distance of Calpurnia) were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose’s house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the south. (6)

Before the first morning was over, Miss Caroline Fisher, our teacher, hauled me up to the front of the room and patted the palm of my hand with a ruler, then made me stand in the corner until noon. (16)

Scout obviously gets in a little bit of trouble every here and there. But that trouble is often because she is so smart. If you are to do a character sketch on this gal, it seems that we learn early on that she is a tomboy, so include some overalls. Note too that she hangs out with a couple of boys and that the removal of her mother might be contributing to her actions.

I hope these help.

 

 

 

gabbym's profile pic

gabbym | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Scout tells this story from the perspective of a 6 year old. Her description of the town and the people who live there is honest and literal. In the first chapter, she introduces some of the main characters in the town; her neighbor's nephew, Dill and her other neighbor Boo Radley. She tells us about her family history. The second chapter really begins to develop the character of Scout. Scout attends school for the first time and gets into a tense situation with her teacher for two reasons. Scout gets into trouble with her teacher because she can read. While Scout doesn't realize it, she embarrasses her teacher. She has a second misunderstanding with her teacher and Scout leaves feeling rotten about her first day at school. She teaches us a lot about Macomb society through these two incidences and her reaction to them.

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