To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis
Scout (Jean Louise Finch) is a young, tough girl from Maycomb County. She enjoys going on adventures with her brother and her friend Dill, as well as going on adventures of her own. Scout is a good-hearted character. She starts the book out as an innocent girl, and throughout the whole span of the book, she ends as the same good-hearted person. She learned many hard lessons such as racism and discrimination, and through it all managed to keep her innocence. Her good-heartedness can be seen through the quote "Soon's school starts I'm gonna ask Walter home to dinner. He can stay over sometimes after school, too," (Lee 225). Even though Scout used to beat up Walter, and even though she knows that he is poor and dirty, she still has the kindness in her heart to want to help him out and bring him home.
Jem is a growing boy who usually enjoys playing with his sister and Dill, as well as engaging in more mature activities such as football. Jem is a loving character. He loves his little sister, Scout, deeply, even though she annoys him most of the time. He looks after her and protects her as much as he can. He also loves his father very much. He models himself after him, and even wants to be like him when he grows up. Jem does anything he can to protect the ones he loves, which can be seen in the quote, "When Jem came home he asked me where I got such a wad. I told him I found it. "Don't eat things you find, Scout." "This wasn't on the ground, it was in a tree." "Spit it out right now!" Jem stamped his foot. "Don't you know you're not supposed to even touch the tree over there? You'll get killed if you do! You go gargle- right now,"" (Lee 33-34). Although Jem says this quote with anger, he is only mad because he is scared for Scout. He wants what is best for her and tries to keep her as safe as possible. He loves her, along with the rest of his family, very much.
Atticus Finch is the single father of Scout and Jem. He is the attourney of Maycomb County, and generally is a very respected man. Atticus is an all-around great guy. He has every good characteristic a character could have. He is loving, kind, calm, friendly, and truthful. He does everything with good intentions. He treats his children, as well as the town with upmost respect and always tell the truth. He fights for social justice, no matter the consequences he may face. These perfect characteristics can be seen in the quote "If this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him," (Lee 273). Before this quote was said, Heck Tate just told Atticus that Mr. Ewell died by his own hand. Atticus, believing it was Jem who killed him, and being the truthful man he is, tried to do what he thought was right and say that it was Jem who did it. Even though Ewell attacked his kids, and even though Jem is his own kid, he was trying to do the right thing and turn in Jem. Atticus is the ideal father and human being. He does everything with kindness, truthfullness, and justice.
Dill Harris is a kid originally from Mississippi who befriends Scout and Jem when he comes to Maycomb County. He is older than Scout but younger than Jem. He is an adventurous kid who is always looking for fun. He is very interested in the Boo Radley legend, and joins Scout and Jem on most of their missions to see Boo. His eagerness for adventure can be seen in the quote, ""Let's try to make [Boo] come out," said Dill. "I'd like to see what he looks like." Out first raid came to pass only because Dill bet Jem The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that Jem wouldn't get any farther than the Radley gate. In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare," (Lee 13). This shows that Dill is always looking for adventure. Even after being told that the Radley house was dangerous and was a death wish, Dill still dared Jem because he wanted some fun. He was always looking for entertainment in his life.
Boo Radley is a mysterious character who is infamous in Maycomb County. He has not been seen by anyone for several years, and has attracted the attention of the Finch kids and Dill. He remains a mystery through most of the book, but by the end, the reader learns that he is a kind character who is always looking out for the Finches. He watches over the children, and even saved them from possible death when Mr. Ewell attacked. Aside from being a protective, mysterious man, he also has a soft side to him. This can be seen in the quote "I led him to the front porch, where his uneasy steps halted. He was still holding my hand and he gave no sign of letting go. "Will you take me home?" He almost whispered it, in the voice of a child afraid of the dark," (Lee 278). Boo Radley is a misunderstood man. In the eyes of Maycomb County, he is a ruthless, crazed monster, but in all actuality, he is a sweet, protective, vulnerable man.
Calpurnia is the African American worker for the Finch's. She can be described a motherly character. She has basically taken the place of the Finch's late mother. She teaches the kids many things, including teaching Scout how to read, while also keeping the kids in line. Without Calpurnia, the Finch family would not be able to function. Cal's strict, motherly ways can be seen in the quote "There's some folks who don't eat like us," she whispered fiercely, "but you ain't called on to contradict 'em at the table when they don't. That boy's yo' comp'ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him, you hear?" "He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham-""Hush your mouth! Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo' folks might be better'n the Cunninghams but it don't count for nothin' the way you're disgracin' 'em—if you can't act fit to eat at the table you can just set here and eat in the kitchen!" (Lee 24-25). Calpurnia, although agressive at times, is a kind, motherly figure in the Finch children's lives.
Tom Robinson is a crippled African American man who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Tom Robinson can be described as a giving character. Every day on his way to and from work, he had to pass the Ewell house. Most days, Mayella would ask him for his help with something. He never said no to her. Even though he had a family or job to get to, he would help her out because he was such a giving man. His kindness can be seen in the quote "You're a might good fellow, it seems- did all this for not one penny?" "Yes, suh. I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em-" (Lee 197). Tom Robinson was a kind, giving man. He helped everyone as much as he could. He help Mayella Ewell almost everyday for nothing in return, showing just how generous of a man he is.
Aunt Alexandra is the brother of Atticus and the aunt of Scout and Jem. She has come to stay with the Finch's for a while, and while she was there, she can be described as controlling. She was constantly bossing the children around and ridiculing Atticus for not raising the children the right way. During her stay, she tried to turn Scout from a tomboy to a lady. In doing that, she told her what to wear, how to act, what and what not to do, and even who to associate with. When Scout offered to occasionally invite Walter Cunningham over after school for dinner and to stay over, Aunt Alexandra forbade her from doing so because he was trash, and a lady would not hang out with such a person. This controlling attitude can be seen in the quote, ""Soon's school starts I'm gonna ask Walter home to dinner." "We'll see about that," Aunt Alexandra said. "I still say that Jean Louise will not invite Walter Cunningham to this house.If he were her double first cousin once removed he would still not be received in this house unless he comes to see Atticus on business. Now that is that." "Why can't I?" "Because-he-is-trash. I'll not have you around him," (Lee 223-225). This shows that Aunt Alexandra is a controlling, strict person who tries to dictate things such as who the family can and cannot hang around.
Miss Maudie Atkinson is a neighbor of the Finch's, and a friend of them. She is especially friendly to the children, and treats them as young adults. Unlike most adult women in Maycomb, Miss Maudie does not talk down to Scout and Jem. She tells them how it is, and they appreciate her company for that. Miss Maudie can be described as insightful. She teaches the children many important lessons throughout the story, from telling them how killing a mockingbird is a sin, that their father is cooler than they think, and that lessons about racism and discrimination. One important thing that she tells the children is "There are just some kind of men who—who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results." (Lee 55). Miss Maudie said this about Nathan Radley, and in it was teaching the children to seize the day and live in the now. Miss Maudie was a very insightful woman and an important character in Jem and Scout's lives.

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