Character Analysis on Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird”: Scout’s Journey

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Updated: Aug 23, 2023
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As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “No man is above the law, and no man is below it.” Harper Lee has made it evident that equality is worth fighting for because, throughout the novel, Atticus is seen as a disgrace for supporting a black man, Tom Robinson. The town of Maycomb depicts him as an outcast solely because of his beliefs. However, he continues to advocate for the issue and does not succumb to the pressure of his townspeople.

Atticus Finch: Championing Equality at a Cost

When you fight for what you believe in, some people may dislike you because of your perspective, but that does not mean you should give up.

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Similar to Atticus, Scout is bashed by Aunt Alexandra because she does not dress like a girl. Although Scout wants to satisfy her family members, she stands up for herself and still wears the clothes she likes. Equality is worth fighting for because regardless of race, gender, or class, one should still be viewed equally.

Atticus prioritizes equality over his reputation because he believes no person should be inferior to another. Solely because of his belief, Atticus is viewed differently. Atticus could have chosen to ignore the issue because he was not affected by it; however, he wants to ADD ON. He chose to advocate for Tom Robinson’s case, and he understood that one of the consequences was the disapproval of his town. According to Cecil, his father told him Atticus was a “disgrace” because he was defending a black person. By being a disgrace, one is seen as shameful or disrespected. Mrs. Dubose also thinks that Scout’s father is “no better than the n** and trash he works for”. It is very apparent that Mrs. Dubose sees Black people as inferior, and because Atticus associates himself with them, he is also seen as “trash.” Regardless of the townspeople’s views, Atticus remains persistent and puts his reputation at risk.

Scout’s Journey to Self-Expression

Whenever she acts “like a girl,” Scout is viewed as a weak and inferior person. Jem told Scout that she was “Being a girl… that’s why other people hated them… and if I started behaving like one, I could just go off and find some to play with”. Jem sees Scout as weak when she wants to play more and thinks she is less capable when she thinks like a girl. It is apparent that the culture does not view women as equal to men. Another character in the novel who also tries to change Scout is Aunt Alexandra. She told Scout she could only behave “like a sunbeam” for Atticus if she wore a nice dress. However, Scout suggested she could be sunshine in breeches.

Aunt Alexandra: Traditions and Gender Roles

Aunt Alexandra brings up the topic of Scout’s clothing because she believes that it is a woman’s job to make a man happy. Aunt Alexandra discourages Scout from wearing any “masculine” clothes. As Scout argued that she couldn’t do anything in a dress, Aunt Alexandra responded, “[she] wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants”. This highlights how traditions don’t support women doing any work other than looking after men, cooking, and taking care of children. Scout knew she was not supposed to talk back to Aunt Alexandra, but she was willing to endure the consequences because she had to advocate for herself.

Aunt Alexandra thinks that the Finch family is far superior to the Cunningham family because of their social status. She is blinded by old traditions and thinks the family should not associate with “trash”. When calling a person trash, it appears as if they are worthless and need to be tossed to the side to be thrown away. Trash has no existence. It has no reason to live and has no purpose.


  • Lee, H. (1960). To Kill a Mockingbird. J. B. Lippincott & Co.
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Character Analysis on Scout From "To Kill a Mockingbird": Scout's Journey. (2023, Jun 18). Retrieved from