To Kill a Mockingbird

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In this essay I will be exploring Scout’s character, and how her opinions and herself have changed throughout chapter 10. At the beginning of chapter 10, Scout is disillusioned about her father. She believes that Atticus is very boring and old, unlike other children’s fathers. ‘Atticus was feeble, he was nearly fifty’. Scout obviously is longing for her father to act as other fathers did. ‘Our father did not do anything. He worked in an office, not a drugstore..’ Scouts opinion of Atticus here is very low, she is young so doesn’t realise he is a lawyer, she just thinks that he works in an office doing nothing, when in fact his job is quite the contrary. When Miss. Maudie attempts to reassure Scout that her father isn’t useless, her statement backfires; ‘ “Did you know he can play a Jews Harp?’’ This modest accomplishment served to make me even more ashamed of him’. Most of the beginning of chapter 10 establishes that Scout does not find her father exciting or admirable, but later, when the mad dog arrives at the scene, Scouts opinion changes.

Atticus comes rushing home with the town sheriff, carrying a gun. Atticus shoots the dog, much to his children’s surprise. Atticus is very modest about his achievement, but Jem is clearly proud of them. ‘I hafta aim for ten minutes ‘fore I can hit somethin’…’ admiring his fathers work, Jem adds, ‘d’you see him Scout? D’you see him just standin’ there?’ Scout is now no longer ashamed of her father, and is eager to talk about the event in school. Both Jem and Scout’s opinion of their father changed after the shooting. Also it appears that Scout won’t be quick to judge people again.
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