Scout Finch: Boyish Girl Growing Up Essay

1371 WordsNov 8, 20126 Pages
Scout Finch: Boyish Girl Growing Up Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, “People grow through experiences, if they meet life honestly and courageously.” In Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the character of Jean Louis Finch provides an example of how experiences shape one’s personality. She is Atticus’s daughter, Jem’s younger sister, and Boo Radley’s neighbor. People call her “Scout” because of her outspoken, headstrong, and boyish characteristics. As the novel progresses, she grows from age 6 to age 9, experiences turmoil in her small hometown, and transforms from an innocent girl to a thoughtful person. A tomboy, a curious child, and a maturing girl, Scout proves to be the most dynamic character in the novel. Set in the fictional Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of the Finch family during the Great Depression. Scout, the protagonist, lives with her widowed father, Atticus; her elder brother, Jem; and the family’s black cook, Calpurnia. Jem and Scout are friends with Dill, who spends each summer with his aunt in the town. The children soon become obsessed with their mysterious, reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley. While they unsuccessfully try to get Boo out of his house, Boo has a series of anonymous encounters with Jem and Scout. Meanwhile, Atticus, a distinguished lawyer, agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. This decision turns his children into targets of abuse from their friends and relatives. Despite Atticus’s powerful arguments for Tom’s innocence, the all-white jury convicts the black man. The verdict adversely affects the Finches, especially Jem. When Tom is killed trying to escape from prison, Jem’s struggle with injustice comes to its culmination. Humiliated by the trial, Bob Ewell, Mayella’s father, continually threatens Atticus,

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