To in it”. By the end of

To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the eyes of a six year old girl named Jean Louise Finch or “Scout”and tells a story about a child’s view of racism. Throughout the novel, Scout narrates to the readers and fights anybody who she disagrees with. She often is naive enough to believe her brother Jem’s tales of the terrifying next door neighbor, Boo Radley, and develops a fear of the boy without ever meeting him. When Scout’s father, Atticus, defends a black man accused of rape, Scout is mocked by kids who call Atticus a “nigger-lover”. Atticus teaches her to accept the criticism and to “climb into their skin and walk around in it”. By the end of the book, Scout learns to acknowledge other people’s views instead of being stubborn and narrow-minded. Along the way, she also learns that when you are kind to people and listen, they change and become kinder to you.
At the beginning of the novel, Harper Lee writes Scout as a temperamental child who becomes frustrated by other people’s views. During school, she meets an incredibly strict teacher, Miss Caroline. Scout tells Atticus,”-and she said you taught me all wrong, so we can’t ever read any more, ever…” And decides to not go back to school. Atticus explains tells Scout that if she “had put herself in Miss Caroline’s shoes she’d have seent it was an honest mistake on her part.” Scout doesn’t want to accept Miss Caroline’s opinions. It takes her father to rationalize Miss Caroline’s views to Scout before she decides to go back to school. Scout also becomes extremely touchy whenever someone makes a comment about her father and his court case. When her cousin mocks about her father’s views about African Americans, Scout fights him. The text narrates,”Francis looked at me carefully… and crooned softly, ‘Nigger-lover…’ This time, I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.” Scout’s narrow-mindedness prevents her from understanding Francis’ opinion, even if it upsets her. Francis, Miss Caroline and Scout’s contrasting opinions showcase how Scout is close-minded and has a tempermental personality at the beginning of the book.
Closer to the end of the book, Scout is more empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of others. When Boo finally emerges from his house, Scout approaches him with confidence and compassion instead of badgering him with questions. She writes, “Feeling slightly unreal, I lead him to the chair farthest from Atticus and Mr. Tate. It was in deep shadow. Boo would feel more comfortable in the dark.” Scout finally becomes more understanding of other people’s situations. Knowing he has spent most of his life in the dark, Scout tries to recreate that for him at her house. When Scout brings Boo back to his house she writes, “I turned to go home. Street lights winked down the street all the way to town. I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle… Atticus was right. One time he had 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.” Scout began to understand what life was like for Boo when she stood on his porch and saw what he saw every day. She “stood in his shoes”.She ended up showing immense compassion for Boo and maybe for others as well.
Harper Lee uses Scout’s development to cement the novel’s theme of how being empathetic or understanding of others will often change their attitude as well. Scout goes from fighting people who have differing opinions from hers to attempting to make Boo comfortable in a strange environment.


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