Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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Please give a few quotes showing Scout's innocence in To Kill A Mockingbird.

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In chapter 8, Maycomb experiences extremely cold weather, and Scout wakes up to see snow falling from the sky. Scout displays her childhood innocence by saying, "The world’s endin‘, Atticus! Please do something—!" (Lee 66). Scout has never seen snow before and is terrified to the point that she actually believes that the world is ending.

In chapter 9, Scout attends her family gathering at Finch's Landing, where she interacts with her racist, arrogant cousin, Francis Hancock. Francis Hancock ends up offending Scout by calling her father a "nigger-lover," and Scout ends up punching him in the face despite the fact that she does not know the definition of the racial slur. Later on, Scout illustrates her childhood innocence by explaining to her uncle why she punched Francis. Scout says,

A nigger-lover. I ain’t very sure what it means, but the way Francis said it—tell you one thing right now, Uncle Jack, I’ll be—I swear before God if I’ll sit there and let him say somethin‘ about Atticus (Lee 89).

In chapter 14, Dill runs away from home and hides underneath Scout's bed. Atticus allows Dill to spend the night, and Scout and Dill then have a conversation before they go to bed regarding why he ran away. The conversation ends with the two children talking about the possibility of having a baby. Scout once again illustrates her innocence by attempting to explain to Dill where babies come from. Scout tells Dill,

Aunty said God drops ‘em down the chimney. At least that’s what I think she said (Lee 145).

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There are many places in the novel that show that Scout is young and innocent. Let me give you three quotes.

First, as we begin the novel, we see that Scout and Jem are both young and innocent. In a short passage Scout talks about her boundaries. She was allowed to go around their neighborhood and no further. This shows that they have a small world, which underlines their innocence.

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. We were never tempted to break them.

Second, when the trial is about to start, there is talk about Tom Robinson and his accused crime of rape. Scout has little understanding of what the crime of rape is. At one point, she asks Calpurnia about rape.

“Well, if everybody in Maycomb knows what kind of folks the Ewells are they’d be glad to hire Helen... what’s rape, Cal?”

One the best passages that underlines Scout’s innocence is her interaction with Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham and a few other men come to harm Tom Robinson, and they are even willing to harm Atticus. When Scout sees this, she has no clue what is happening and she engages Mr. Cunningham in a conversation. She talk about school and other mundane things....

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In fact, her innocence is what defused the potential violence.

 Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You brought us some hickory nuts one time, remember?” I began to sense the futility one feels when unacknowledged by a chance acquaintance.

“I go to school with Walter,” I began again. “He’s your boy, ain’t he? Ain’t he, sir?”

Mr. Cunningham was moved to a faint nod. He did know me, after all.

“He’s in my grade,” I said, “and he does right well. He’s a good boy,” I added, “a real nice boy. We brought him home for dinner one time. Maybe he told you about me, I beat him up one time but he was real nice about it. Tell him hey for me, won’t you?”

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