Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout grows up in a southern town in the 1930s. She is from a prominent but not particularly wealthy family. The story is narrated in first-person but not as the events unfold. Instead, we are presented with both the perspective of Scout as an adult reflecting on her childhood and Scout the child living her childhood. Scout comes off as very intelligent and observant. Her observations are not filtered through understanding or complexity and as result present a clearer picture of what is happening. She was raised by her father Atticus Finch, and a caretaker, Calpurnia. She grows up with her older brother, Jem.

Scout is often called a tomboy because she likes to do things boys do. But I would argue that it’s not that she is a tomboy but rather that her upbringing was not cluttered with superfluous feminizing endeavors. I don’t know how many girls would be into clothes and tea parties if they were not introduced to these things by their mothers. As a result, Scout is simply a child who happens to be a girl. I think that this is yet another example of her father’s progressive and forward thinking attitude (even though, I don’t think that this particular aspect of his parenting was necessarily conscious).

**I was also a child that would probably be described as a tomboy, even though I was raised by both my parents and my mother is actually very feminine. But when I was growing up my parents were very busy getting used to a new country and we did not spend much time pursuing frivolous feminine things like shopping for clothes. I see the way that girls are being raised by her husband’s sisters and I just think that it’s so sad that they’re obsessed with Disney and being princesses. I don’t think that being feminine has anything to do with pink or consumerism but that’s the message that they are being sent. I also think that girl children acquire more feminine characteristics during puberty but these characteristics have nothing to do with the stereotypical things that are generally associated with being feminine (clothes, jewelry, pampering, and other kinds of materialism). Perhaps the world would have more Scouts in it than Kim Kardashians if more girls weren’t taught to be girly at such an early age.

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