Scouts Views of the World Develops
“Humankind cannot bear very much reality” (quoted by T.S. Eliot). In the book To Kill a Mockingbird Scout faces the reality of the world. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird Lee uses the n-word to demonstrate how Scout’s view of the world develops.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in the very beginning of the book the n-word is used innocently. For example, when Dill, Scout, and Jem are walking together they are talking about the hot steam. Jem tells Dill how to avoid the hot steam then Scout says, “’ Don’t [Dill] believe a word he says, Dill’ [Scout] sa[ys] ‘Calpurnia says that’s [black people] talk…. let’s [go] role [down the hill] in the tire’” (Lee 37). Scout says the n-word innocently because she is repeating the n-word from what Calpurnia says. Another example is when Jem and Scout are playing in the yard when it had just snowed in Alabama and they were making a snowman and Scout says, “’ Jem, [she hasn’t even] heard of a [black] snowman,’ [Scout] sa[ys]” (66). Scout says that she has never heard of a “black” snowman before and she says this innocently because she didn’t know the full meaning of the word. Another example of the n-word being used innocently is when Scout is talking to Atticus and asks; “’ Do[es Atticus] defend [black people] …. [that]s what everybody at school says’” (75). In this quote Scout shows she doesn’t understand the true meaning because her reason for saying the n-word is that everybody at school was saying it. Overall Scout doesn’t realize that she is saying a harsh word, but she is saying it innocently and as the story goes on she will hear it turn into a much more hateful word than she already has heard it.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird Scout hears the n-word used in a harsh way. For example when Scout and Francis were in the backyard Francis yells at Scout, “’ [Atticus is] nothing[g] but a [black person] lover!’” (83). Francis says this in a harsh way because he and...
Cited: Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Warner Brothers Inc. 1960. Print.
“Quotations About Reality.” Quotegarden.com. n.p. n.d. Web. 30 April 2012
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