Why Does Harper Lee Choose to Tell the Story from Scout’s Point of View?

Topics: Narrator, To Kill a Mockingbird, Narrative Pages: 1 (273 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Why does Harper Lee choose to tell the story from Scout’s point of view?

- What Scout learns from her experiences and how she changes during the novel? - What effect Scout’s version of events has on the reader?

Scout's narration serves as a convenient mechanism for readers to be innocent and detached from the racial conflict. Scout's voice "functions as the not-me which allows the rest of us—black and white, male and female—to find our relative position in society".

To Kill A Mockingbird was told through the eyes of an older Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, describing her past and how she viewed things as a naïve and idealistic young girl. At the beginning of the book, being only six, we learn that Scout was quite immature and has yet to develop as a person, being easily confused with new terms, not knowing how to handle situations unknown to her and tries to resolve her problems using her fists and talking to Atticus about what transpired to her throughout the day. As the novel progresses and she gradually grows up to an eight-year-old, she begins to understand and realizes Maycomb’s true colours, accepts that racism and prejudice exists, and the world isn’t as nice and sunny as she thought it would be.

Harper Lee chooses Scout to narrate the story because we, the readers, get to see Scout grow and mature, developing as a narrator and a person. With a child narrating, the story is told with an honest and open view, filled with innocence and wonder. Not being a prejudiced view, the reader can relate easily to Scout.
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