Scout is an intelligent, perceptive child and her observations often contain
a sensitive awareness to the situation. This might be because she is only six
years old or it may be because she is a born lady. In every part of the novel
one would see Scouts perspective on the world. As each situation matures and
becomes more serious, Scout becomes one step closer to womanhood and maturity.
As a child, Scouts appearance seems rough and because of this some people tried
to change her, such has Aunt Alexandra and the Missionary Ladies but as the book
quotes itself Mockingbirds dont do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.
They dont eat up peoples gardens, dont nest in corncribs, they dont do
one thing but sing their hearts out for us. Thats why its a sin to kill a
mockingbird. (Lee, 90) It is also a sin to try and change a tomboy into
something she is not. Scouts experiences during the course of the novel,
directly contribute to her growth of a young lady.
Scout is six years old when the novel begins; she lives with her father,
Atticus and brother, Jem. In her house the only woman role modal that she can
look up to is Calpurnia, the Negro cook and housekeeper who has helped Atticus
raise Scout and Jem. Scout grew up with fishing, playing football and many other
not so ladylike outdoor activities. She did not grow up with the proper
values as she would if her mother was alive, who died when Scout was very
little. Scouts biggest influence in her life is her brother, Jem. The main
reason being that is because he is a conscientious older brother and tries to
protect her from the truths about the world that he thinks she is too young to
deal with. As scout sees this, she gains a great respect towards her brother.
When Scout misses her cue for the Halloween pageant she says that Jem was
becoming almost as good as Atticus at making you feel right when things went
wrong (Lee, 259). Since Jem enjoys doing manly things, Scout does them as
well for she does not know any better and she wants to gain Jems respect for
her. As time goes by, Jem starts to mature himself, from an irresponsible boy to
a sensitive, gentlemen, Mister Jem; he is always Scouts adored older brother.
As Scout gets older, her Aunt Alexandra decides to try and get Scout to act more
like the Jean Louise that she wants her be. The only time that Aunt Alexandra
was around for a long period of time was during the trial when she came to live
with the Finches when Atticus was the lawyer for Tom. Even though she disagrees
with her brother, Atticus, with his way of raising his children, especially
Scout, who should be taught to be a lady believes that in time, she will come
As Scout gets a little older, she soon realizes that she will have to start
acting like a lady. She begins to understand why Aunt Alexandra wants her to act
the way that she does. She comes to understand her Aunt and believes there is
something interesting in learning how to be a lady. She most realizes this when
Jem and Dill go swimming and she couldnt go because they are swimming nude.
Aunt Alexandra decides to invite the missionary Ladies for a tea party to
discuss the current events in the town of Maycomb (their hometown). Aunt
Alexandra dresses Scout up in a dress and Scout seems to like it. Opposed to the
first day of school, where she didnt want to leave her room. She sits with
the ladies and they have interesting conversations. Scout begins to argue with
the Ladies but then remembers her manners and decides not to challenge them.
Scout helps Calprunia bring the food out and copies the way that she opens the
door and come to the conclusion that being a lady isnt as bad as she thought
it would be. Scout also begins to believe that she wants to start acting like a
lady a little bit more because she is growing up and becoming a more mature
everyday and she should start showing it. She also learns why her father often
repeated the lesson that to understand another person, on must try to see things
in their point of view. She can see why her Aunt and the missionary ladies act
the way they do in trying to get Scout to be a proper young lady as she should
As the novel reaches its climax, Scout has to deal with very mature
situations, though she may not fully understand the situation to its full
extent, one would say she would be one step closer to womanhood. Scout always
knew that her father was a lawyer and that he defended people, no matte what
colour, nationality or race who were accused of something or charged people who
did something wrong. What Scout did not understand was, why the Tom Robinson
case was so big and why so many people started to question her father. Jem, Dill
and Scout decided to follow Atticus one night. In the novel Scout learns that
the visit was about Tom Robinson and as she quoted in the book later, she
realized it was a sickeningly comic aspect of an unfunny situation (Lee, p151)
That night she learns of the racism that sounded Maycomb. For Scout, coming to
terms with adult prejudice is like awakening to a whole new world of ugliness.
It takes some time before she regains her equanimity, but her innocence is lost
forever, for she is reveled to the real world of betrayal, racism and
backstabbing. Another example in which Scout becomes more mature due to a
situation is at the end of the novel; Bob Ewell attacked her and Boo Radley
saved her and Jem and she had to understand that Boo Radley didnt kill
Bob Ewell and that he had killed himself by falling on the knife. In other
words, she would have to understand that sometimes, things are better when they
are left unsaid.
>From the beginning to the end of the novel we see a lot of changes in
Scout as she grows up. In every situation that Scout had to deal with made her
understand that life isnt always about running past Mrs. Duboses house and
finding treasures in a knothole, but it is about dealing with racism, hatred and
a lot of tough stuff. For Scout, growing up in the town of Maycomb made her a
stronger person not only physically, but emotionally as well. She matured into a
lady and as she reflects on her life, she realizes that without the people
around her and without the events that happened. She wouldnt be the person,
or in this case the lady that she has become today.