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To Kill a Mockingbird

By winterguard Dec 01, 2011 1243 Words
Scout Finch: A Complex Character in To Kill a Mockingbird

Lisa Tran
ENG1D1d
Mr. Huggett
Monday. November. 30/2009 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee contains many interesting characters. One of these is Scout Finch. She is aggressive but also sympathetic and courageous. Scout is quite aggressive. During Christmas time, Uncle Jack Finch, Aunt

Alexandra and Francis Hancock visited Scout and her family. After they ate their Christmas dinner, Scout and Francis started talking to each other. Scout defends Atticus when Francis calls him a n_ _ _ _ _ - lover. She becomes angry and goes after him. Scout says, “This time, I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.” (Pg. 84) Even though Francis should not have called Atticus mean names, Scout had no right to attack him for what he said. Besides, Francis was her guest, so Scout should have been nice to him or treated him nicely. Another scene in the novel in which Miss Finch appears combative is at her school. When Scout enters the first grade, her teacher is Miss Caroline Fisher. When it was close to lunchtime, everyone got out their lunch and placed it on their desk. Miss Caroline asked why Walter Cunningham Jr. did not have his lunch on his desk, so then she offered him a quarter to buy himself some lunch, but he would have to pay her back the next day. Walter could not accept her quarter and when Miss Caroline asked him why, Scout answers for him. She says Walter was poor and had no money. The Cunningham’s paid off whatever they owe, with whatever they had. Such as potatoes or nuts. Miss Caroline gets mad at Miss Finch for talking back at her, so she disciplines Scout by whipping her hand with a ruler. Walter Cunningham made Scout begin things incorrectly with Miss Caroline, so she goes after him. Scout says, “Catching Walter Cunningham in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop.” (Pg. 22) Walter never asked Scout to defend him, so Scout had no reason to help him out by answering for him. Scout got herself in trouble, but she blames Walter for it. Scout gets angry with people humiliating her and her family. Her reaction is to be aggressive and fight. That is why she is hostile at times like these. Although Scout could at times be violent to others, she could also be sympathetic

to others. When it was the day of the trial of Tom Robinson, Jem, Miss Finch and Dill decide to sneak into the courthouse to see the trial and sit in the balcony with Maycomb's black population. Scout shows sympathy and pity towards Mayella Ewell, during when Tom Robinson gave his testimony. While Atticus was questioning Tom. Scout says, “As Tom Robinson gave his testimony, it came to me that Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world.” (Pg. 191) Tom Robinson says to Mr. Gilmer, a lawyer from Abbottsville representing prosecution against Tom Robinson, “I felt right sorry for her.” (Pg. 197) Miss Finch and Tom felt sorry for Mayella because folks in Maycomb feared her. Mayella had no friends and her father, Bob Ewell, would beat her up. Scout shows she is also compassionate by helping out Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose is a mean, grumpy, old lady. She is mean to Jem and Scout. She told Jem and Scout that their father, Atticus, “laws for n_ _ _ _ _ _.” (Pg. 101) Jem gets angry and decides to defend Atticus. He crushes Mrs. Dubose’s camellias. Atticus told him to apologize to her. Jem comes home and tells Atticus that Mrs. Dubose wants him to read to her after school for a bit for a month. Soon, Mrs. Dubose becomes ill and Jem invites Scout over to read to her. (Pg. 106) Miss Finch says, “I wondered if Jem’s activities had put her there, and for a moment I felt sorry for her. She was lying under a pile of quilts and looked almost friendly.” In the moment Scout saw Mrs. Dubose looking ill, she felt bad for what mean things she had done to her before she became ill and she felt sorry for her. Miss Finch never quite understood why she felt sorry for Mayella and Mrs. Dubose when they were cruel to others as well. Mayella was cruel to Tom Robinson and Mrs. Dubose was cruel to Jem and Scout. It was in between brief moments, that Scout came to realize that they were suffering inside, and hardly anyone noticed that. Scout shows that she can show sensitivity to others even though they were also cruel to others. In addition to being considerate, Scout shows she is also courageous. When Scout, Jem and Dill see Atticus going off in the middle of the night, they decide to follow him. After, they see Atticus in front of the jail, guarding Tom Robinson. Soon, a mob of angry men shows up and confronts Atticus. They ask Atticus to move, or they will kill him and Tom Robinson. Miss Finch runs to Atticus. Atticus tells Jem to take Dill and Scout home but Jem refused. Then, Scout recognizes Mr. Cunningham from the mob. She asks him to say “hey” to his son for her. (Pg. 153) Scout talks to Mr. Cunningham, “I go to school with Walter,” I began again. “He’s your boy, ain’t he? Ain’t he, sir?” Scout shows she is brave by stopping the mob attack by talking with Mr. Cunningham. As a result, the men retreat and Mr. Cunningham said he would say “hey” to Walter for her. Miss Finch can also show she is heroic by being willing to talk with Boo Radley. After Scout’s school play ended, Jem and Miss Finch waited for everyone to leave first before they walk home together. They started walking home in the dark, when Bob Ewell attacked them. Scout and Jem are separated when they are attacked. Jem fought against Bob Ewell in the dark. Boo Radley saved Jem and Scout from Bob’s attack. He stabbed Bob with a kitchen knife, and Bob ended up dead. Boo Radley quickly brought Jem home as Scout heads home by herself. As everyone is settling in, Scout begins telling everyone what happened. She then pointed to the person who saved her and Jem’s life. Scout talks to Boo Radley, “Hey Boo,” I said. (Pg. 270) Scout has the boldness to speak with Boo Radley, when folks shunned him and spread awful rumours about him that were believed to be true. Miss Finch shows she can be fearless by standing up to what she believes in. She wanted to meet Boo Radley for a long time and she believed he was not the person, folks claim him to be. By her standing up for what she believes in, she stops a mob attack and meets Boo Radley for the first time. Scout Finch was at times rough but also affectionate and she has gumption. As a result, her complicated personality made her difficult to understand throughout the novel. Clearly, Scout is not a perfect child but she does things that a normal child could not do.

Work Cited
Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1960.

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