In To Kill A Mockingbird Scout is a young girl and daughter of a respected lawyer named Atticus. With her older brother Jem, she enjoys participating in many activities which are mainly masculine ones. Without a mother to teach her the ways of a woman, she lives as a tomboy (much to the displeasure of her aunt). As Scout grows, she learns new things, feels new emotions, and begins to mature into bright young woman.
Scout is learning that things are not always what they seem. She and Jem always believed that their father was not like any other fathers in school. They saw him as old man who cannot do anything; however when a mad dog appears on the street, Atticus kills the dog with one shot. “Jem became vaguely articulate, you see him, Scout? You see him just stand there? All of a sudden he just relaxed all over, it looked like that gun was part of him and he did it so quick, like I hafta to aim for ten minutes fore I can hit something, “(Lee 97). That is when they realize that their father is a humble man who doesn t like to show off his talent.
Another misperception that Scout has is about Mrs. Dubose. She always thought of her as a mean old lady who had nothing better to do than to yell at children. But, they soon found out that she was in withdrawal for a very serious addiction which was why she was so angry all the time. “Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict. She took it as a pain-
killer for years”(Lee 111). After she dies Scout starts to grasp the fact that Mrs. Dubose had a very hard time being happy.
Alike many other children her age, Scout is very curious. She is very interested in the peculiar life of her neighbor, Boo Radley. She believes a rumor about him killing his father. He frightens her because she thinks he is a horrible man who does not care about anyone. When she was shivering in the cold watching Miss Maudie s house burn, he cared enough to put a blanket around her. “You were so busy looking at the fire you did not know it when he put the blanket around you”(Lee 72). When Scout heard that she became very nervous, instead of realizing what a nice gesture it was. That indicates that she still has a lot to learn.
Scout is having to learn about some very complicated issues at a young age, because of her situation. Along with these new issues come a lot of new feelings. She is beginning to realize the prejudices felt by individuals toward Negroes and the unfairness of their treatment. When she sees how Tom Robinson is treated just because he is black, she begins to understand the meaning of racism. Atticus is the only one who will help him when he is accused of raping a white woman, and even Atticus is given a hard time for it. “Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers”
(Lee 101). It is hard for Scout to interpret why people are irritated by her dad when he is only trying to help Tom.
Atticus is doing a good job raising Scout. Although he is not always nearby, he is teaching her some valuable lessons. He is a great role model for her, especially because he
believes that all men are created equal. Scout asked him, “You are not really a nigger- lover, then, are you”(Lee 108). He answered her, “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody”(Lee 108). That illustrates his character a lot because he indirectly says that he loves people in all shapes and colors. Atticus is very Christ-like. God talks about prejudice, in Ephesians 2:11-22 he talks about how no one is different because we are all citizens of Christ. “For through him we both have access to the father by one spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God s people and members of God s household “(Ephesians 2:18-20 New International Version). That is was Atticus is teaching Scout. Along with her trips to church, Scout is apparently getting a good Christian education.
Scout continues to mature by watching the events that happen around her. Scout will grow to be a wonderful young lady who is well respected by everyone around her, just like Atticus, because of the permanent values he has bestowed on her. Scout has learned to examine situations more closely and to accept people. She knows that she should treat people the way she would want to be treated and when she has completely matured, she will truly know what it feels like to walk in other people s shoes.