Character Portrait – Scout Jean Louise Finch, also known as Scout, is one of the main characters in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, this story is seen through her perspective. Scout is an innocent, ignorant, young girl who lives with her father, Tactics and brother Gem in Alabama, Macomb County. Scout is quite special amongst her town; from her personal qualities; tomboyish behavior due to the parenting style of Tactics, and her social position from her being the daughter of a respected lawyer and that her family’s living standards are better off than many in the town.
Scout is an intelligent girl who as learnt to read and write before she even started going to school, she was protected from hypocrisy and social pressure due to the nurturing of her father. Due to her innocence and ignorance to the racism and hatred in her community to black people, her first contact to racial prejudice was confronting and led her to question her understanding of her own conscience, learning that human has capacity to hold evil, but an even greater capacity for good and when Judging others with sympathy and understanding evil mitigates. Scout is an innocent five year old girl who is shielded from the malicious world.
Through the nurturing of Tactics Finch, Scout has her mind, conscience and individuality molded without the influence of hypocrisy and racism in their community. Living in a racially prejudice society, Macomb, where black people are considered worthless and dangerous, Attic’s protection and teachings has provided minimal exposure to the evils of the world. Scout’s first interaction with the evils of their world in the form of racism causes her to grow and understand more about the moral nature of humans. In the first 11 chapters of the novel (Part One), the Finch family lives an ordinary life where they lives happily as a family.
This is shown through the play times between Scout, Gem and Dill and the holiday with the Finch family has to their cousin’s house. However, there are still notions of racism and prejudice even due to school and the rumors in the neighborhood, like the prejudice play the children made up about Boo Raddled the man that they feared most. But it was when Tactics chose to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white women, which disrupted the happy innocent world of the Finch family. The townspeople were enraged that Tactics would willing help a black man, and they didn’t restrain these feeling to Just Tactics but to Gem and
Scout too. Inform father’s no better than the naggers and trash he works for! ” (Chapter 11, peg. 113). This quote is said by Mrs.. Dubos to Gem and Scout, this curse is an example of the attacks that Scout received during that time which caused her to fight with other kids at school because of their comments about her father. Because of Scout’s tomboyish behavior she isn’t afraid of fighting even boys, leading to Tactics forbidding her to fight other people because of their comments about him. Through the gradual understandings of Attic’s lessons of moral conscience and sympathy,
Scout builds the ability to view the world from others perspective and sympathize them. “There wasn’t much else left for us to learn, except possibly algebra” (Chapter she has learnt and she acknowledges that she has learnt something. Ignorance and prejudice can develop to sympathy. The Judgment of Boo Raddled by Scout has been prejudiced by the rumors in her neighborhood, causing her to image him as being a mysterious monster. Scout is an intelligent girl who learnt to read before she started school, however, she is ignorant to the racism that exists in her community.
Scout has faith in the goodness of her community, but, it is tested with the hatred and prejudice progresses with the trial of Tom Robinson. Even with the whole community acting out prejudice, Scout herself has her own prejudice ethics, her fear of Boo Raddled. Her fear of Boo Raddled combined with the horrible rumors about him causes Scout to image Boo as a dangerous monster who hides in his house only to creep around the streets peeking into others houses. This fear caused Scout, Gem and Dill to make a play about Boo Raddled, parodying him based on prejudice and rumors.
Thanks to Attic’s wisdom, Scout learns that humanity has a great aptitude for evil, but it also has a great aptitude for good, and that evil can be mitigated when she approaches others with sympathy and compassion. Scout’s develops into a person capable of understanding this outlook indicates that, whatever evil she encounters, she has the ability to retain her conscience and appreciate the good qualities in people while accepting the bad qualities. One the important lessons that Tactics wanted Gem and Scout to remember was sympathies and empathic others. Mimi never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Chapter 31, peg. 308). Attic’s teaching of standing in the shoes of others and walking around in them is telling his children to look at someone from their perspective. Understanding what it is like to be that person and to feel and experience what their frame of mind would be, while retaining your moral conscience without becoming cynical. At the beginning of the novel Scout struggles to apply Attic’s lessons into her life, but she demonstrates her development through the many incidents she has endured, she succeeds to comprehend in Boo Raddled perspective. “l turned to go home. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town.
I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle. There were Miss Media’s, Miss Stephanie – there was our house. I could see the porch swing – Miss Earache’s house was beyond us, visible, I could even see Mrs.. Double’s. ” (Chapter 31, peg. 307) The quote above, proves that Scout has finally put Attic’s lessons into practice, to live with sympathy and understanding towards others. Through this act, Scout’s perception on Boo Raddled changed completely, she sees Boo Raddled as a human being and realizes that Boo sees whatever she sees. Her newfound ability to observe the world from different perspectives has ensured that she will not be Jaded.