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Character Analysis of Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird

The characterization of Scout in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is seen from the progression of a child’s eyes; the many experiences and lessons learned, dealing with prejudice, are carried through to her adulthood. Lee uses this method of characterization to show that he many experiences and lessons learned as a child can create and effect the person that you grow up to be. In this case, Scout has many experiences with the prejudices dealing with race, which will be carried with her through her later life.

Lee introduces Scout to be a young girl living throughout the Great Depression in the early 1930’s. She lives with her father, Atticus and older brother, Jem. Jem and Scout are basically raised by Caplurnia, a black “maid”, who comes and watches after them and takes care of the house while Atticus is at work. Because Scout lives with just her father and brother, and is raised mainly by a black woman she has many encounters with different types of racism.

Throughout the novel, it is made clear that the Finch’s always go to church, but when Atticus leaves for a business trip, Calpurnia is left to watch after the children. On this Sunday in which Atticus is not home, Calpurnia decides to take Scout and Jem to her church. In this adventure to a “black church” for the first time Scout, Jem and Calpurnia are confronted by Lula; a big black woman who is offended when Calpurnia brings the two white children to their black church.

“‘You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillum here-they got their church, e got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?’ Calpurnia said, ‘It’s the same God, ain’t it?’…”

(Mockingbird, pg. 119)

This quote, between Calpurnia and Lula, shows that there is much tension when two white children are brought into a black church. The children do not feel wanted and would have rather gone home until they are welcomed by the reverend. Later during this experience, Scout realizes that many things done at a “black church” are the same as a “white church”. “Revernd Sykes then called on the Lord to bless the sick and the suffering, a procedure no different from our church practice….” (Mockingbird, pg. 121) Scout is starting to learn that blacks are no different from whites, but because...

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Category:   To Kill a Mockingbird

Length:   6 pages (1,303 words)

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