Why We Love Scout Finch

I watched those Miss America pageants growing up and imagined by some blind stroke of magic that I’d be crowned if I ever chose to run, but in the deep pockets of my heart I knew it would never happen. There was more cowboy than princess in me.

I thought Scout Finch, the young girl in To Kill A Mockingbird, was my isolated hero. No one but me would admire gal in overalls who used her knuckles to defend her honor.  But when I did the Kick-Butt Women of Literature post, I discovered lots of others love Scout and thought it deserved some brain time.

1)     Perhaps it’s because she’s intelligent in a way that comes from reading only the good parts of people. I tend to meet someone and read their bad side first. Oh sure, they have a good side, but like Jason Bourne, I like to know who I’m dealing with.

2)     She certainly knew that a dress and maryjanes would keep a gal from climbing trees, crawling under forbidden fences, and taking her rightful place in exploring the world. Note to self: Dress more often for adventure and I’ll surely find it.

3)     While it’s true, she has a combative streak, it comes from courage. We cheer and root for those energetic souls who get off their honyocks to follow their passion rather than slug a thumpty-slump through life without confrontation.

4)     Most of all, like bedrock, she has a core faith in the goodness of the people around her. By the end of the book she changes.

But even the change is something to admire. She can appreciate human goodness without ignoring human evil.

The character inspires us to become what Mother Theresa advised:

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

Honestly, there’s some people I don’t want to love.

Keep shining your example Scout Finch.  I’m working on it.

Not all change is bad.

Who’s your hero of change?

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About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Change, Humor, Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Why We Love Scout Finch

  1. Barb … I also admire Scout Finch because I was a tomboy. I admire her honesty and willingness to battle for what she believed in. That’s also why I like Tom Joad (played by Henry Fond) in “The Grapes of Wrath.”
    My former Metro Editor wrote a mock farewell page to me – when I was transferring to a sister paper – paraphrasing Joad’s lines as ones I”d said: “I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry poeple can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there.” That tickled me.

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  2. ansuyo says:

    Love this! Books change lives! Too bad so many now a days miss out on these wonderful characters. Angie

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  3. mj monaghan says:

    I loved Scout. What a great character.

    This might be a bit off topic, but I love complex characters on tv. Gibbs from NCIS is one of my favorites. He’s such a contradiction in so many ways. When you think he’s gonna take the hard line he veers back with compassion.

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  4. Red says:

    While literature offers much, for me, none compare to Lucille Ball. http://helium.com/items/749779 You can probably tell from there just a few reasons why.

    Red.

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    • Barb says:

      Very interesting article, Red. And yep. I considered Lucille Ball. She was an astounding business woman/actress for her time. I can’t think of anyone like her today. Maybe Tina Fey, but, there’s something in panache missing there. Thanks for sharing the link.

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  5. Al says:

    That was truly a great character in a great movie. I got curious about the gilr her played her (Mary Badham) as a result of this blog. I googled it and found that she only did another handful of movies around then and then went 40 years before she appeared again ( a movie called “Our Very Own” which came out in 2005.)

    Enjoyed the post.

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    • Barb says:

      I’m sooo glad you looked her up. I watched a documentary on To Kill A Mockingbird. It’s so amazing to me that Harper Lee never published another thing.
      Mary Badham told a story in which the boys playiing Dil and her brother got her back for her hours of harassing them. In the movie, when she gets in the tire, they rolled it around for about 15 minutes without letting her out. She was as cross-eyed as a goose when they finally let her free. Thanks for the extra info.
      And I hope folks go over to your site to check out your secret rock.

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  6. Arindam says:

    My hero is Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam ( I hope you heard about him). He not only inspires me, but I believe many of the young people of my country, who born and brought up in poor and middle class families of small towns and villages. Because his journey from a small town to be the president of my country is really inspirational. He is one of the most honest man, our country has ever produced.

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    • Barb says:

      No I haven’t heard of Mr. Kalam. But I can correct that quickly by reading about him. Thanks for the heads up. I’m always looking for inspirational people who can help me nudge my sorry attitude into action.

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  7. Nisha says:

    Scout truly speaks to that little girl in all of us. The one who asks questions that others are afraid to ask, sees things from a different perspective and is not afraid to confront the truth. What a gal! Great tribute, Barb!
    “Dress more often for adventure and I’ll surely find it.” – Love this quote! 🙂

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    • Barb says:

      Yeah, that’s why I’ve got my pajamas on right now, along with tennis shoes. If Jason Bourne breaks through the door while I’m sleeping, I’m ready to outrun him.

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  8. dan says:

    I’m at conniptionfitsrus.blogspot.com anger management just had another surgery, sorry I haven’t been aroung.

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    • Barb says:

      As Julia Child says, Dan. “Never explain. Never apologize.” I’m glad to hear from you. I’ll be over to see you. Hope you’re healing well and watching reruns of To Kill a Mocking bird.

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  9. Silva Gang says:

    Hilarious, Barb! Bless Scout Finch, but I agree that there are some people I don’t want to love either! 😉

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    • Barb says:

      Hey, I’ve been missing you. Good to see you. I guess we’ve gotta work on that seeing-the-good-in-everyone thing.

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      • Silva Gang says:

        Yes, I was missing you too! You didn’t have a post for a while there, so I thought you were on hiatus! I’m glad you got back on the wagon again… I’ve been missing me some good ol’ tales from Two Pan! 😉

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  10. What a wonderful time to wonder over to your blog, Barb. I must go back now and re-read To Kill A Mockingbird. I love anyone who disregards convention, primarily because I’m odd-ish and it makes me feel comfortable. It’s hard to find female role models with these traits: I warm to the eccentrics. But I do like Jane Austen. She saw the good in people, but had the kick-ass side as well.

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    • Barb says:

      Aren’t oddish folks the best? We’re wonderfully weird. I’m guessing Jane Austen was considered weird in her day, too. Rock on, Oddballs.

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  11. My heroes are my daughters who deal with what life hands them. They are braver than me.
    I love Mother Theresa’s quote! So true.
    Who can’t love, just absolutely love Scout? Shoot…I bought Osh kosh overalls for my daughters just like I am buying them for grandson #2 who is coming soon.
    I also dreamed of winning Miss America, however I’m sure the judges would pass on someone who doesn’t wear lipstick. I had no patience with folks telling me “btw You have lipstick on your teeth.” So now in conversation I hear more interesting stuff coming out of someone’s mouth and not that distracting comment.

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    • Barb says:

      Lipstick? What’s that? Ha! I know just what you mean, Georgette, and I’m so glad to hear you say it. I don’t know why my lipstick jumps all over my teeth. I knew a woman who had her lips tattooed red. YEOW!! You and I can be like Scout: beautiful on the inside. Those daughters and granddaughters are lucky to have a female mentor in you.

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  12. Scout is an excellent choice. For me, heroes of change are all those people who not only recognize and bellyache about the problems in the world, but who actually take action and lead in the efforts to fix them. (Like Mother Teresa.)

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    • Barb says:

      Ain’t it the truth, Susan. Of course, now that you point that out, I need to get off my duff and go out and fix some stuff. I often think I need to fix me first, but I guess we’re all a work in progress. It’s good to hear from you.

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  13. moma escriva says:

    I admire those people who are true to themselves. You, my friend are one of them.

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  14. My first vote would have to go to Scout. In literature, my second would go to Lori Lansens conjoined twins, Rose and Ruby Darlen in The Girls. Never have two characters had a more intimate connection, nor a different perspective on the world as they navigate that world intertwined.

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  15. dorannrule says:

    My hero is still my husband – corny as that may be – for many of the same reasons. 🙂

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  16. Scout makes the perfect hero. I am glad you reminded me!

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    • Barb says:

      It’s summer time, and my thoughts turn to people and summers of the past. Scout gives us something to strive toward in the future. Thanks for reading.

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  17. Roxie Matthews says:

    Hero of change? My friend who married a dashing, charming, brilliant man she met in college. He had a motorcycle accident and suffered brain injury. He’s no longer dashing and brilliant. She stayed with him through all the changes that accident brought to their life, and loved him steadfastly. Still does.

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  18. Scout was my hero, too.

    My heroes now are my kids. My son has this unwavering ability to always remain positive…he’s always grinning and being kind to every single person he meets. He gives them the benefit of the doubt and still has that pure heart that believes in the good in people. He treats everyone with respect and I think that’s sorely lacking in our culture today.

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    • Barb says:

      How cool is that? Isn’t it amazing to look your your kids and wonder how such a fine example of a human being came to be? It gives me comfort in the legacy we’re leaving. Thanks for doing such a great job of Momming.

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  19. Elyse says:

    Oh, I love Scout too.

    My hero is Massachusets Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren. Brilliant with a heart and soul and most unusually today, a conscience.

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