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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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Student Question

What quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird showcase Scout's hopes, dreams, and motivation?

Quick answer:

Scout dreams of marrying Dill, becoming a majorette, and moving away from Maycomb to live in New York City with him.

Expert Answers

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Scout reveals several dreams and goals she hopes to one day achieve. Scout never really mentions that she wants to become a writer, but she must eventually succeed with this still unexplored talent. She does expect to settle down one day with her "permanent fiance," Dill, turning her summer fun into a lifelong romance.

Summer was Dill by the fishpool smoking string, Dill's eyes alive with complicated plans to make Boo Radley emerge... the swiftness with which Dill would reach up and kiss me when Jem was not looking, the longings we sometimes felt each other feel. With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.  (Chapter 12)

One day Scout and Dill hope to have a baby together, a special baby in "his own twilight world, a world where babies slept, waiting to be gathered like morning lilies." (Chapter 14 At one point, it is an important goal for Scout to become a twirler--a majorette--but the baton that she had planned to use to perfect her art was destroyed by Jem on Mrs. Dubose's camellias instead.

It was then my burning ambition to grow up and twirl with the Maycomb County High School band... I could throw up a stick and almost catch it coming down.  (Chapter 11)

Becoming a successful twirler was a step toward becoming a lady that would have impressed Aunt Alexandra. Scout knew that her ascension into womanhood would not be an altogether happy one, but she understood it was a transformation that could not avoided.

There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water.
     But I was more at home in my father's world.  (Chapter 24)

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