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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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How does Scout Finch, from To Kill A Mockingbird, view herself? More specifically, how does she view herself as a child? And also as an adult and narrator of the novel? And how does her father, Atticus, view her?

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Since Scout narrates To Kill a Mockingbird from a retrospective adult perspective, she gives us a good idea of how she sees herself during her younger years. She recognizes that she is a bit of a tomboy: She avoids all efforts for others to make her more lady-like, and she tries to do everything her big brother, Jem, does. Her favorite clothes are a pair of old overalls. She has virtually no female friends her own age; in fact, summer visitor Dill (who becomes her youthful fiance) seems to be the only close childhood friend she has outside of Jem. Scout is curious, quick-tempered (she loves to fight boys) and very insightful for a child her age. She acknowledges the differences between right and wrong, and she attempts to follow her father's advice concerning social responsibilities.

She gives us less perspective concerning her adult views, but we know she tries to follow Atticus' advice to view others by standing in their shoes. She recognized her youthful naivete when she tells the reader that it "was not until many years later" that she realized why Atticus wanted her to hear every word of his little speech to brother Jack in Chapter 9. And we know that Scout and Jem were argumentative even as adults. On the very first page of the book, the two argue about the causes behind Jem's broken arm; when they both realized they were too old to settle the argument with a fistfight, "we consulted Atticus."

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