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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What chapter in To Kill a Mockingbird gives a physical description of Scout?

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There is a short description of Scout in Chapter 7.

Scout does not like to wear dresses.  She is a tomboy and prefers overalls.  Perhaps it is because Scout is the narrator, but she does not really describe herself.  There are a lot of descriptions of Jem, and Dill, and some information about Atticus’s appearance.  Scout doesn’t really describe herself except to say that she wears overalls.

The closest thing to description we get of Scout is when the children find the soap dolls Boo Radley left for them.  What we learn from this description is that Scout has bangs.

They were almost perfect miniatures of two children.  The boy had on shorts, and a shock of soapy hair fell to his eyebrows. I looked up at Jem. A point of straight brown hair kicked downwards from his part. I had never noticed it before. Jem looked from the girl-doll to me. The girl-doll wore bangs. So did I. (Ch. 7) 

Scout wears a dress when she has to, such as to school.  In the summer she usually wears overalls.  The overalls are a physical indication of Scout’s tomboy nature.  Her nickname is also more gender-neutral or boyish.  Scout has no mother, and she hangs out with Jem most of the time.  Her father does not mind that she acts like a boy, but it troubles Aunt Alexandra. 

I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants. (Ch. 9) 

Of course, Scout is also white.  Race is an important factor in the story.  In Maycomb, whites have privileges that blacks do not.  Scout’s father is a lawyer, and is defending a black man named Tom Robinson.  Scout is not racist.  She is in first grade when the story starts, and just trying to understand how the world works.

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