To Kill a Mockingbird

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Jean Louise Finch (Scout) Character Analysis

The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is Atticus's daughter, Jem's sister, Alexandra and Jack's niece, and friends with Dill. In the three years the novel covers, she grows from six-years-old to nine. Scout is intelligent and loves to read, but is also headstrong, outspoken, and a tomboy. As the novel opens, Scout is both innocent and intolerant of anything new or different. Scout's innocence falls away in part because she is growing up and in part from the trial of Tom Robinson: she discovers how cruel and violent people can be. But she also learns, through Atticus's careful teaching, that the necessary response to intolerance is to try to understand its origins, to relate to people in terms of their dignity rather than their anger, and to use that foundation as a way to try to slowly change their minds.

Jean Louise Finch (Scout) Quotes in To Kill a Mockingbird

The To Kill a Mockingbird quotes below are all either spoken by Jean Louise Finch (Scout) or refer to Jean Louise Finch (Scout). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Warner Books edition of To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960.
Chapter 1 Quotes
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. . . . There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Scout describes the setting where the rest of the novel will take place, evocatively depicting the small-town life that defined her childhood. However, in some ways this description is deceptive. It suggests that nothing ever happened in Maycomb – that, in a certain way, it was located outside history, its inhabitants leading their lives in sleepy continuity without having to face the problems or changes taking place outside the town's borders.

The rest of the novel will show this not to be the case. However, this doesn't mean that this depiction is a lie: here, Scout focuses on the way she herself experienced the town when she was a child, before she recognized that Maycomb was indeed part of history. Already, the last sentence of this passage suggests a wider context: "nothing to fear but fear itself" recalls a famous line from Franklin D. Roosevelt's inaugural presidential address in 1933 (a reference that also helps to place the novel in a specific time period). Within a broader context of the Great Depression and of the rise of Nazi Germany, the book will focus on courage in the more local milieu of Maycomb, though as the novel will show Roosevelt's suggestion will be just as relevant in Maycomb as in the rest of the world.

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Chapter 3 Quotes
"There's some folks who don't eat like us," she whispered fiercely, "but you ain't called on to contradict 'em at the table when they don't. That boy's yo' comp'ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him, you hear?"

"He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham-"

"Hush your mouth! Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty!
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Calpurnia (speaker), Walter Cunningham
Page Number: 32-33
Explanation and Analysis:

Jem has invited Walter Cunningham to their house to eat, and Scout is shocked by the way Walter pours molasses all over his food – and she says so. Here, Calpurnia gives Scout a lesson about the way she should treat other people. Scout implicitly has a sense of who counts as "company" and who doesn't – that is, who is worthy of politeness and respect (richer, more prominent members of the community) and who is not (poorer members of the community). It is this implicit belief that Calpurnia rebukes Scout for, saying that "company" is anyone who is invited home, and that Scout should be ashamed of thinking otherwise.

Indeed, Scout is meant to learn through this event that judging Walter at all, much less talking about it, is something to be ashamed of, far more than Walter should be ashamed of his eating habits. Calpurnia and Atticus are clearly on the same page regarding the way they believe one must treat other people, all people: with common dignity and without prejudice.

Chapter 9 Quotes
"If you shouldn't be defendin' him, then why are you doin' it?"

"For a number of reasons," said Atticus. "The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again."



"Atticus, are we going to win it?"

"No, honey."

"Then why-"

"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win," Atticus said.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch (speaker), Tom Robinson
Page Number: 100-101
Explanation and Analysis:

Once again, Atticus teaches Scout a difficult lesson about morality – one that goes counter to her own childhood impulses. Scout has heard other children at school criticize Atticus, and when she asks why, he tells her that he has decided to defend in court Tom Robinson, a black man accused of murder, even though he knows there's no chance of winning. Until now, Scout has considered that physically fighting and winning is what it means to be courageous. Now, her father attempts to explain to her that it can show even more courage to strive for something even when one knows that failure is inevitable.

Rather than acting because he will win, Atticus chooses to defend Tom Robinson because he knows that it is the right thing to do. Interestingly, even though many people in town are prejudiced and disagree with Atticus's choice, for Atticus it is the fact that everyone in town knows him and his own beliefs that serves as another motivation for him to act according to his beliefs. He believes that only by standing up for his ideas can he then, in turn, be seen as a representative of the community (even if the community disagrees with some of those beliefs). In order to be morally consistent, Atticus believes, he must act on behalf of human dignity – and more specifically, this man's dignity – regardless of the end result.

Chapter 10 Quotes
"Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
"Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch (speaker), Miss Maudie Atkinson (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Mockingbird
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

The air rifles that Atticus gives Scout and Jem for Christmas come with a warning: never to kill a mockingbird. Scout rightly notices how rare Atticus's strong language here is. Usually, when she tries to make a judgment or condemn someone or something, Atticus immediately tries to draw her back, to help her to understand where the person is coming from, and to gain a more nuanced view of the situation. 

Miss Maudie, who usually has just as subtle an understand of human actions as Atticus, is nonetheless is in agreement with him on this exception. The moral world of To Kill a Mockingbird is far from simple, but there are rare elements in it that are, in fact, purely simple. Miss Maudie is obviously describing real, physical mockingbirds in this passage, but her description also holds for human beings – people who are endlessly generous, who give rather than take, such that they deserve only appreciation and care. It will be Scout's task to attempt to apply the lesson from Miss Maudie and from Atticus to the people around her, as she develops a more advanced understanding of how good and evil interact in the world.

After my bout with Cecil Jacobs when I committed myself to a policy of cowardice, word got around that Scout Finch wouldn't fight any more, her daddy wouldn't let her.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch (speaker), Cecil Jacobs
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

Scout has long prided herself on what she has considered to be courage: refusing to back down when others insult her or her family, and fighting as strongly as she can. But she has slowly come to accept Atticus's quite different view of courage. For him, courage does not only mean striving for something when you knows that failure is inevitable; it also means having the strength of character to accept what others may say about you without physically fighting back. Instead, he teaches that keeping your head held high, confident of what the right decision really is.

Scout still uses the word "cowardice" to refer to her decision not to fight, but the word is mainly a relic of her instinctive attitude towards courage – she is slowly beginning to accept her father's alternative approach instead. 

"Atticus, you must be wrong...."

"How's that?"

"Well, most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong...."
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Tom Robinson
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:

In the small, tight-knit town of Maycomb, what "most folks seem to think" can quickly come to mean what is actually true. Such "group think" and the pressure it puts on individuals to join in it help to preserve and expand all sorts of prejudice. Here we see such logic at work, as Scout questions her father's choices based on what most people in the town think about those choices.

Scout is still struggling to reconcile these two things: it's difficult for her to see how "most folks" can be wrong, since it makes sense that what the majority thinks about something must be right – especially in a town small enough that it can seem like everyone thinks the same way about something, such as the Tom Robinson case. But the ellipses (three dots after Scout's sentences) seem to suggest that Scout is not at all confident in going against her father: she understands that there are elements at work that she may not have yet understood.

Chapter 11 Quotes
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, it is actually Atticus who is telling Scout and Jem about the courage of another person, Mrs. Dubose, who, with the help of Jem's reading lessons, was battling her morphine addiction before she died. As Atticus explains what makes such an act courageous, Scout is able to connect this story with Atticus's own courage. In school she has learned a limited definition of courage, one that is restricted to war heroes and to those who face violence and physical danger. She is still having to adjust her expectations for what counts as courage as Atticus defines it: adhering to one's ethical principles, regardless of how unpopular those principles may be.

Chapter 12 Quotes
Lula stopped, but she said, "You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here—they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?"

… When I looked down the pathway again, Lula was gone. In her place was a solid mass of colored people.

One of them stepped from the crowd. It was Zeebo, the garbage collector. "Mister Jem," he said, "we're mighty glad to have you all here. Don't pay no 'tention to Lula, she's contentious because Reverend Sykes threatened to church her. She's a troublemaker from way back, got fancy ideas an' haughty ways—we're mighty glad to have you all."
Related Characters: Lula (speaker), Jean Louise Finch (Scout), Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem), Calpurnia, Reverend Sykes
Page Number: 158-159
Explanation and Analysis:

Calpurnia has invited Jem and Scout to her all-black church while Atticus is away at the state legislature. This passage pins one woman, Lula, who is suspicious of the white children's presence, against the rest of the congregation, which welcomes them. Lula is portrayed as being just as prejudiced as the white people in town, just as susceptible to judging people on the basis of their skin color rather than of their character. In this sense, the rest of the congregation is shown to surmount this small-mindedness and embrace the inherent human dignity in welcoming guests into their home or place of worship.

Nonetheless, another way to interpret this passage would involve making a distinction between the kind of "prejudice" Lula shows and the kind shown by the white members of the town. The black people in Maycomb are discriminated against and restricted in almost every facet of their lives – their church is among the only places where they can feel secure and at home. It is understandable, therefore, for Lula to express suspicion at white children interrupting this small sanctuary in a town that seems to have little room or desire for people like her. As children, of course, Jem and Scout haven't played any kind of active role in creating this double standard, but Lula's reaction only underlines how deep and structural are the inequalities that persist in the town. The novel itself does not seem to recognize this latter view of Lula's position, but that might be taken as a criticism of the novel rather than a defense of it.

Chapter 13 Quotes
Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Aunt Alexandra
Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:

Aunt Alexandra has moved into the Finch home because she believes that Scout needs more of a "feminine" influence. In addition, she begins to try to inculcate Scout with some of her own social values, values that stress class and family history over character and behavior. The Finches have, indeed, lived in Maycomb for a long time, and Alexandra believes that this means they are inherently superior to other people who have not been around for so long in the town. The way Scout describes this belief – "squatting on one patch of land" – makes clear through its tone just how skeptical she is of Alexandra's ideas. 

In other situations, Scout's childhood innocence is shown to revert back to easy prejudice, such that her father must teach her a better, more nuanced, and less prejudiced way of thinking. Here, however, her innocence makes her see more clearly, making it obvious to the reader as well just how silly the idea of moral superiority based on land ownership or family history really is. 

Chapter 14 Quotes
Dill's eyes flickered at Jem, and Jem looked at the floor. Then he rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood. He went out of the room and down the hall. "Atticus," his voice was distant, "can you come here a minute, sir?"

Beneath its sweat-streaked dirt Dill's face went white. I felt sick.



Jem was standing in a corner of the room, looking like the traitor he was. "Dill, I had to tell him," he said. "You can't run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin'."

We left him without a word.
Related Characters: Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem) (speaker), Jean Louise Finch (Scout), Atticus Finch, Charles Baker Harris (Dill)
Page Number: 187-188
Explanation and Analysis:

Dill has run away from his own house in a town that is quite some distance away, and has snuck into the Finch's home, where Jem has found him hiding under the bed. As Scout watches, Jem calls to their father in order to tell him that Dill is here. Immediately, a line is drawn between Jem, on the one hand, and Scout and Dill, on the other.

Scout takes it for granted that one must never tell on another child – that there are secrets that can't be shared with adults. Jem, however, no longer adheres to this assumption: instead, he acts based on the knowledge that Dill's parents will be worried about him, and that it's the right thing to do to tell Atticus that Dill is here. From Scout's perspective, Jem is a traitor, but this is because she is still a child, while he has begun to grow up. The book doesn't necessarily paint adulthood as always better and more advanced than childhood, but it does suggest that moving into adulthood is an important step, one that Scout isn't yet ready to take.

Chapter 16 Quotes
"Well how do you know we ain't Negroes?"

"Uncle Jack Finch says we really don't know. He says as far as he can trace back the Finches we ain't, but for all he knows we mighta come straight out of Ethiopia durin' the Old Testament."

"Well if we came out durin' the Old Testament it's too long ago to matter."

"That's what I thought," said Jem, "but around here once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black."
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem)
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:

Amid the excitement around the trial that's about to start, Jem and Scout talk about their own family history. In Scout's childhood innocence, once again, it becomes clear just how silly it is to seek to draw hard-and-fast borders between races, and to proclaim moral differences based on something so fragile. After all, every human being, ultimately, originated from Africa, and not only can one can never with any certitude trace one's own family history back in order to prove racial "purity" – the very idea of racial purity, as this passage shows, is simply absurd. 

Jem, slightly older than Scout, is aware both of how senseless the idea of racial purity is, as well as how entrenched an idea it is in this small town anyway. The idea that even one small "drop" of blackness makes you black – that is, according to the town's logic, morally inferior – gives the townspeople a black-and-white way to look at racial relations, and a pseudo-scientific definition to bolster their own prejudice. 

Chapter 25 Quotes
Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell
Page Number: 323
Explanation and Analysis:

As Scout reads Mr. Underwood's editorial, which compares Tom Robinson to a mockingbird, she thinks about how prejudiced and wrong the blasé attitude of the rest of Maycomb is. Maycomb residents think Mr. Underwood is just trying to be "poetic," but here Scout summarizes what she really believes to be the lesson of the piece. Atticus's battle against prejudice had lost, not because he wasn't a good enough lawyer, and not because he didn't provide sufficient evidence to make the case for Tom's innocence, but because prejudice was so ingrained in the hearts of Maycomb people that they would never be able to be convinced that Tom wasn't guilty. In this context, any time black people are accused of anything, guilt will be the presumption – a danger that Scout is only beginning, soberly, to recognize.

[Jem] was certainly never cruel to animals, but I had never known his charity to embrace the insect world.

"Why couldn't I mash him?" I asked.

"Because they don't bother you," Jem answered in the darkness. He had turned out his reading light.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem) (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Mockingbird
Page Number: 320
Explanation and Analysis:

Scout has been poking at a roly-poly bug, preparing to smash it, but Jem has stopped her. She pays attention to him because he's her older brother, but she's also confused as to why he has forbidden her this game. However, by the end of the passage Scout (as well as we readers) should recognize the parallel that Jem is making. He is expanding the definition of "mockingbird" to include any living creature that cannot defend itself, that should be protected rather than destroyed. By only applying the lesson of the mockingbird to some things – people rather than animals, for instance – the significance and power of this attitude is lost.

Once again, as Jem and Scout both grow up over the course of the story, in some ways Jem leads Scout. Several years older than her, he must grapple with the lessons about good, evil, and how to treat other people on his own, even as his sister slowly comes to understand what he does as well.

Chapter 31 Quotes
A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishing pole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention. It was fall, and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose's. . . . Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day's woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive. Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog. Summer, and he watched his children's heart break. Autumn again, and Boo's children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem), Atticus Finch, Arthur Radley (Boo), Charles Baker Harris (Dill), Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
Page Number: 374
Explanation and Analysis:

After Bob Ewell's attack on the Scout and Jem was thwarted by Boo Radley, Scout accompanies Boo Radley back to his house. She pauses on the Radley porch and looks out at the street. Briefly, we relive the entire trajectory of the novel, from the most significant highlights to the descriptions of everyday life in Maycomb, but through Boo Radley's eyes from within his house. Atticus's lesson, which Scout has remembered from long ago, was that you shouldn't judge someone based on first impressions: instead, you should try to see things from his or her perspective, try to really understand the person behind the appearance. Now she tries to do so, seeing herself and Jem as if they were someone else's children, viewed by a sympathetic stranger.

Of course, Scout has not really pierced Boo Radley's character – she hasn't really gotten to know him – merely by standing on his porch. But her revision of the events of the last year or so are a child's earnest attempt to try. She sees how Boo Radley could have developed a close emotional connection to her and her family even without ever speaking with them. The goodness and empathy that he shows is not on the surface, in the way he talks or looks, but in fact is far more profound.

When they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things . . . Atticus, he was real nice. . . ." His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me. "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.
Related Characters: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) (speaker), Atticus Finch (speaker), Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem), Arthur Radley (Boo)
Page Number: 376
Explanation and Analysis:

Back at the family home, Scout tries to explain to Atticus what she has realized about Boo Radley: that all the suspicious rumors and prejudice against him actually have no basis in fact. Atticus is not shocked by this revelation. Indeed, he has told the children not to judge people before they stand in their shoes not so that they wait to judge until they understand better, but rather so that they learn that they have little right to judge at all. Atticus believes deeply that most people are good at heart, but are led astray by prejudice and by temptation. He is not naive – he does recognize the existence of evil in the world that must be fought against – but for him this evil is not located permanently in specific people but rather moves around, always able to insert itself in a given situation, but always able to be challenged as well.

Scout and Jem have, through the events of the novel. learned to take such a subtle approach to good and evil as well. They have lost much of their childhood innocence as a result. Still, having gained these difficult lessons, they are still in a transition period between childhood and adulthood. Atticus's great gift to them is to accompany them through this transition, watching over them as they make it.

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Jean Louise Finch (Scout) Character Timeline in To Kill a Mockingbird

The timeline below shows where the character Jean Louise Finch (Scout) appears in To Kill a Mockingbird. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
The narrator, Jean Louise Finch, who goes by the nickname Scout, begins to tell the story of how her brother Jem broke his arm. She starts... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...Calpurnia cooks and helps Atticus with the children during the day. Atticus's wife died when Scout was two. (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
One year when Scout is six and Jem is nine, a small and imaginative seven-year-old named Charles "Dill" Baker... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
...he'll give Jem a Gray Ghost comic book touches the Radley house. Jem does it. Scout thinks she sees someone watching them from behind a curtain inside the house. (full context)
Chapter 2
Growing Up Theme Icon
When summer ends, Dill returns to Mississippi. Scout starts her first year of school. She hates it from the first day. Her teacher,... (full context)
Prejudice Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...go home to eat. Miss Caroline offers to lend Walter a quarter, but he refuses. Scout tries to explain that the Cunningham's are so poor they couldn't pay Miss Caroline back,... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Outside, Scout beats Walter up because helping him got her into trouble. Jem stops her, and invites... (full context)
Prejudice Theme Icon
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As he eats, Walter pours molasses all over his food. Scout is disgusted and says so. Calpurnia pulls her from the table and scolds her, saying... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
That night, when Scout says that Miss Caroline wants her to stop reading at home, Atticus counsels that instead... (full context)
Chapter 4
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One day, while running past the Radley house on her way home from school, Scout notices some gum in the knothole of a tree overhanging the Radley's fence. And on... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Dill arrives for the summer. After an accident rolling a tire that leaves Scout lying on the pavement right next to the Radley's house, Jem comes up with a... (full context)
Chapter 5
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Jem and Dill start excluding Scout, who begins to spend more time with Miss Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor who grew up... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
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The next day, Dill and Jem get Scout to help them try to slip a note through a window of the Radley house... (full context)
Chapter 6
Growing Up Theme Icon
...Dill's last night in Maycomb, he and Jem decide to peek into the Radley house. Scout, terrified, tags along. They sneak behind the Radley house, but see the shape of a... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Scout starts second grade, which is as bad as first grade. One day as they walk... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Scout and Jem continue to find things in the knothole of the tree: twine, soap carved... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
...Atticus tells Jem it wasn't. Jem stares at the Radley house for a long time. Scout thinks he might be crying, but can't understand why. (full context)
Chapter 8
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
That winter it snows in Maycomb for the first time since 1885. Scout and Jem use dirt covered with snow to make a snowman that looks remarkably like... (full context)
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Scout and Jem watch the fire from in front of the Radley house down the street.... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Students at school start saying that Atticus "defends niggers." When Scout asks why, Atticus says he's defending a black man named Tom Robinson. Atticus says he... (full context)
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Growing Up Theme Icon
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...from Boston and all the Finch's gather at Finch's landing to spend the holidays with Scout's dreaded Aunt Alexandra and her awful grandson Francis. At Finch's landing, Francis calls Atticus a... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Back in Maycomb, Scout tells Uncle Jack why she hit Francis, but makes him promise not to say anything... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
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...black person comes up. He says the trial will be particularly tough on Jem and Scout. (full context)
Chapter 10
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Atticus is older than other kids' parents, and Scout and Jem are sometimes embarrassed by their father's bookishness. When he gave Jem and Scout... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
...to hit the dog from such a distance. Atticus kills the dog in one shot. Scout and Jem, astonished, learn that when Atticus was young he was the best shot in... (full context)
Chapter 11
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One day, Mrs. Dubose, an old woman who harasses Scout and Jem whenever they walk past her house, condemns Atticus for defending Tom Robinson. Jem,... (full context)
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As punishment, Atticus makes Jem go and read to Mrs. Dubose each afternoon. Scout goes with him. At first, each reading session is cut short by Mrs. Dubose's strange... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Summer finally comes, but Scout is crushed when Dill doesn't arrive because his mother got remarried. To makes matters worse,... (full context)
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Calpurnia, who's in charge when Atticus is away, invites Scout and Jem to attend her church that Sunday. The all-black congregation gladly welcomes the Finch... (full context)
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During the service, the congregation gathers money to support Helen, Tom Robinson's wife. Scout realizes Tom Robinson is the man Atticus is defending, and asks what he did. Calpurnia... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Scout, Jem, and Calpurnia return from church to discover that Aunt Alexandra has moved into the... (full context)
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...of the Finch family's social status in Maycomb, and immediately begins to socialize in Maycomb. Scout thinks good people are defined by doing the best they can with what they have,... (full context)
Chapter 14
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As the summer progresses, Scout and Jem notice grownups in Maycomb talking about them. Scout hears the word "rape" again,... (full context)
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Scout's question leads to the story of going to Calpurnia's church. Aunt Alexandra is horrified. She... (full context)
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That night, Jem tells Scout not to antagonize Aunt Alexandra, but Scout objects to him telling her what to do.... (full context)
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...Miss Rachel Haverford where Dill is, but lets Dill spend the night. Dill sleeps in Scout's room, and tells her he ran away from home because his recently married parents aren't... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...someone might try to hurt Atticus. When Atticus drives into town the next night, Jem, Scout, and Dill sneak out after him. They finally spot Atticus sitting alone, reading, outside the... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...never liked black people, which makes his behavior of the previous night seem odd to Scout. (full context)
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Though Atticus tells Jem, Scout, and Dill that they shouldn't attend the trial, they sneak in. They arrive late, and... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Dill starts to cry and Scout takes him outside. Dill says he can't stand the way Gilmer was talking to Tom. (full context)
Chapter 20
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...drunk and lives with a black woman and has fathered interracial children. But Dill and Scout learn that Raymond isn't actually a drunk: he only drinks Coca-cola. Mr. Raymond explains that... (full context)
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Atticus is making his closing remarks when Dill and Scout get back to their seats. Atticus notes the prosecution's lack of evidence, then says the... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Calpurnia enters the courtroom. She tells Atticus that Jem, Scout, and Dill are missing. Mr. Underwood says they're sitting in the balcony. Atticus tells them... (full context)
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An hour later, Scout, Jem, and Dill get back to the silent, tense courtroom. The jury is still deliberating.... (full context)
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...calls the court to order. The jury comes back and does not look at Tom. Scout knows this means the verdict is guilty. It is. (full context)
Chapter 23
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Jem and Scout are terrified Ewell will attack Atticus. Atticus, thinks Ewell has already gotten the need for... (full context)
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...that one man on the jury, a Cunningham, almost voted for acquittal. This news inspires Scout to declare she's going to invite Walter Cunningham to dinner, but Aunt Alexandra forbids it.... (full context)
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Later that night, Scout and Jem try to figure out why people are prejudiced. They come up with all... (full context)
Chapter 24
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One Saturday, Aunt Alexandra invites company, and tells Scout to help Calpurnia serve. At the event, Mrs. Grace Merriweather talks about helping the poor... (full context)
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Just then, Atticus comes home and tells Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie, and Scout that Tom tried to escape from prison and was killed. Calpurnia leaves with him. Aunt... (full context)
Chapter 25
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A few nights later, Scout spots a roly-poly bug. Jem won't let her squash it because it didn't do anything... (full context)
Chapter 26
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School starts. As a third grader, Scout is no longer frightened of Boo Radley. She is confused, however, when the town, which... (full context)
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In school, Scout's class discusses Nazi Germany. Scout asks Jem why her teacher, Miss Gates, would say persecuting... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...will calm down when the weather cools. For Halloween that year, there's a pageant at Scout's school. Scout is to be a giant ham—her costume is made of wire and cloth.... (full context)
Chapter 28
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...On the way to the pageant Cecil Jacobs jumps from behind a bush and scares Scout and Jem. Then Scout falls asleep and misses her cue to go onstage and is... (full context)
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As Jem and Scout walk home alone (Scout still in her costume) they hear a noise, and then are... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Scout tells Heck Tate everything that happened, and as she does realizes that the pale man... (full context)
Chapter 30
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...decides that Boo was saving other people's lives and doesn't need more attention. Atticus asks Scout if she understands. Scout says she does: bringing attention to Boo would be like shooting... (full context)
Chapter 31
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A little later, Scout escorts Boo back to the Radley House. After Boo has gone inside, she looks out... (full context)
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When she gets back, Atticus is reading in Jem's room. Scout asks Atticus to read to her and rests her head against his knee. He picks... (full context)