April 23, 2010
English Period 3
To Kill A Mockingbird- Socialization of Scout
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the narrator of To Kill A Mockingbird, is a very different six-year-old girl, in both her personality traits and in her social position. She can read before she enters school, she is unusually thoughtful, and she acts like a tomboy in her prim and proper Southern Maycomb. In To Kill A Mockingbird, various characters such as Alexandra, Atticus, and many others contribute to the socialization of Scout. Scout learns to act lady-like, how to be respectful and be guided by her morals, and to look at situations and intentions from another perspective.
Scout faces many issues in the novel, but one of the most lingering problems for her is what it means to be a lady. While most girls in Maycomb wear dresses and learn lady-like manners, Scout wears overalls and plays with Jem and Dill. Sometimes Jem criticizes Scout for acting like a girl, and other times he complains that she isn’t girly enough. “ ‘You know she’s [Alexandra] not used to girls,’ said Jem, ‘leastways, not girls like you. She’s trying to make you a lady. Can’t you take up sewin’ or somethin’?’ “ (Lee, pg. 302). Scout’s tomboyish-ness drives Aunt Alexandra to try and change her. She moves in with the Finches to provide Scout with some feminine influence. Alexandra feels that she can positively influence Scout by advising her before she becomes interested in clothes and boys. As Scout participates in Alexandra’s missionary circle, she realizes that womanhood is much more than socializing with neighbors; it is acting with dignity and pride. When she sees Aunt Alexandra thank Miss Maudie with only body language and no words, Scout realizes the complexity of this social order. "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," (Lee, pg. 313). Scout...