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Character of Scout Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird

Scout Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird


To Kill a Mocking Bird is hailed as one of the best coming of age novels. The novel by Harper Lee was published in the year 1960. Its story is related to life in the South during the 1930s. Spanning a period of three years, the novel deals with the changing social environment of the time and records some significant changes that its primary characters undergo. The narrator of the novel, Scout Finch is a young Tomboy with tough attitude. Her attitude frequently gets her into trouble as she has to try her best to restrain herself from fighting others. She is young at the time the events in the novel take place but her style of narration shows that she has grown up by the time she relates the tale of that small town called Maycomb. Scout has inherited the strong moral character of her father. Mocking Bird is a powerful symbol employed by the author which is also a part of the novel’s title. The symbol implies evil creeping into innocent souls. The core issue raised in the novel is that of racism and racial discrimination. 1930s were a burning era when racial prejudice was very high. Particularly, in the South racism was at an all-time high during this period. The issue was made complex by the weakened economic circumstances after the crash of 1929.


Scout’s father is a man of moral fiber who stands up to support a black man he believes has been falsely accused of having raped a white woman. He is certain of the black man’s innocence. However, the hell breaks loose against him and his family when he decides to support the black accused Tom Robinson. The entire white community stands up against them and Scout’s family is heavily ostracized. Scout had not expected this kind of ostracism of her own society. She gets to see lots of prejudice and hatred that makes her mature.  Her faith in the society is put to test as she sees some critical events unfold. However, that does not shatter her faith in the underlying human goodness. Scout’s perspective starts to mature with the events and in her, readers also get to see some appreciable tolerance and intelligence. Another important thing is that Harper Lee has also explored the gender issues of the era through the character of Scout. Her moral courage is exemplary which is demonstrated after the fury of the white community gets targeted at her family during the trial of Tom Robinson.