Hello Mrs. Stevenson, its nice of you to answer our questions. I was wondering if you could happen to answer mine? This has been on my mind for a few days, and it really gets to me. You see, I have a problem identifying Scout's gender. I was so sure that Scout was a female, based upon what Jem said on page 8, in the first chapter. That page says, "...jerking his thumb at me. "Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born, and she ain't even started to school yet." In this, it says she, and Scout's real name is quite feminine, as revealed in the second chapter. On page 17, Scout also says that "Jem had his little sister to think about." Most of the time this character is called Scout, so I was confused in the fourth chapter, when on pages 50 and 54, Jem tells Scout that "he" is acting like a girl. Then on page 50, Scout thinks, "There was more to it than he knew, but I decided not to tell him." Then, again on page 52, Scout describes the trio as, "the three of us were the boys who got into trouble..." So, I started to get confused, for I answered the questions and have been reading the book thinking that Scout was a young girl.
I have one more question that just needs reassurance. I am fairly certain that Scout and her father and brother are people of no color, but I was not sure. So, if you could help me, that would be fantastic. I am not very far, so you could just sit back and wait for me to figure it out on my own, but it would make things a lot less confusing for me if you didn't. Thank you.
Mrs. Stevenson( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Scout is a girl! But a TOTAL tom boy! I think that Jem, her brother, forgets that she is a girl. Scout is also the narrator for this novel. She and her family are white. But her stand-in mom/housekeeper, Calpurnia, is black. So that is why she can't see a difference between black and white. She loves Cal.
Their names---lots of symbolism. Scout--1. Noun: a soldier or other person sent out ahead of a main force so as to gather information about the enemy's position, strength, or movements. Verb: 2. make a search for someone or something in various places. 3.explore or examine (a place or area of business) so as to gather information about it. 4. reject (a proposal or idea) with scorn.
So Scout goes through the book "gathering information" about negative ideas about racism and prejudice. She is "searching" for the truth. She "examines" the truth. She "rejects" other's ideas of what the truth is. She decides that the color of a person's skin does not make a person.
Jem--or "Gem". Think about the connotation of this word. A gem is a precious jewel. How can you see Jem or his ideas as precious?
And since we are talking about symbols--mockingbirds represent innocence. Hmmmmm...this could be people, ideas, relationships, childhood, ??? Think about this as you read also.
See you soon!! : )