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The Analysis of Scout Finch: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

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Harper Lee uses many great writing techniques to create vivid characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. One of the most defined characters as well as interesting is Scout Finch, the young daughter of Atticus and loving sister to Jem. Scout is a girl full of many qualities. Three of Scout’s salient characteristics, which contribute to her charm but also keep her in trouble, are her feistiness, intelligence, and curiosity.

Scout Finch is a girl who stands up for her family heritage, whether it is by punching another kid in the face or using her intelligence to verbally hold her stand. When Francis, Scout’s cousin, is criticizing Atticus, Scout cannot hold back and she “[split her] knuckle to the bone on his front teeth” (84). Furthermore, when Atticus is about to be attacked by a mob, Scout stands up and practically saves her father by being verbally aggressive towards the mob. She may get in trouble quite often but deep down, within her heart, she understands that it is the only way to uphold her family’s reputation. Scout is also very feisty when it comes to her personal interests. When Scout wants to read and Miss Caroline won’t let her, Scout gets frustrated and begs Atticus, “Please don’t send me back, please sir” (29). She also talks back to Miss Caroline, which entitles her to time in the corner. Scout is a charismatic character who is very strong when it comes to her family and their background and reputation.

Scout is one who contains a lot of information within her tiny self and she uses this information for both pros and cons. With the help of her father and the knowledge of her brother, Scout Finch is able to gain a wider intelligence than anyone else her age. Her father, Atticus, reads to her every night teaching her a wide vocabulary. In addition to the reading, he also speaks to Jem and Scout with a “last-will-and-testament diction”(31). Jem, on the other hand, shows her how to handle herself in more mature situations. One situation is when Jem figures out that Maycomb isn’t an innocent town as he always thought. He brings this up to Scout, which helps Scout realize that there is more to peace then what she thought. In many societies, being extremely intelligent and ahead of everyone else is beneficial, but in Maycomb County, it is considered ill raising by some. When Scout shows Miss Caroline the level of her intelligence by reading My First Reader and stock-market quotations from The Mobile Register, Miss Caroline replies, “You weren’t born reading The Mobile Register.” (17). Scout is criticized for being intelligent and is told not to be taught by her father any longer. However, Atticus and Scout make a deal which helps keep Scout aware of the world around her. Scout’s intelligence also comes from her curiosity.

Scout, Jem, and Dill all wonder about Boo Radley and other things going on around Maycomb. Wondering about Boo Radley gets the kids into a lot of trouble but also helps the three children grasp a different characteristic of life. Scout is a very curious girl and gets into many situations she prefers not to be in. Situations such as when Scout is curious about what Jem and Dill are up to and end up going to the Radley place. Scout ends up running for her life after the “roar of a shotgun shattered the neighborhood”(53). Moreover, by being in a situation like this, Scout is able to clutch the concept of fear and overcome it at her young age. Scout’s curiosity comes from her observations. Scout observes the entire town of Maycomb and all the citizens. While Scout observes Mrs. Dubose, she is curious about life. Scout soon finds out the hidden, dark truth of Mrs. Dubose and her addiction through the death of Mrs. Dubose and Atticus telling her. Being exposed to such a dark secret, Scout is able to understand things that most kids her age would never be able to understand.

With Scout’s family, neighborhood, and situations, she is able to gain a sense of maturity and intelligence, which is very rare for a child her age. She is a young girl who wants to know the world and understand everything that is going on around her. She is a well-defined character who is full of feistiness, intelligence, and curiosity. All three characteristics aid in proving the fact that she is a charming young girl, yet she can easily get into trouble by using these characteristics aggressively.

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