At the beginning of the novel, Scout is an innocent, good-hearted
five-year-old child who has no experience with the evils of the world.
As the novel progresses, Scout has her first contact with evil in the
form of racial prejudice, and the basic development of her character
is governed by the question of whether she will emerge from that
contact with her conscience and optimism intact or whether she will be
bruised, hurt, or destroyed like Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Thanks
to Atticus's wisdom, Scout learns that though humanity has a great
capacity for evil, it also has a great capacity for good, and that the
evil can often be mitigated if one approaches others with an outlook
of sympathy and understanding.
When he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man charged with raping
a white woman, he exposes himself and his family to the anger of the
Arthur "Boo" Radley - A recluse who never sets foot outside his house,
Boo dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill. He is a
powerful symbol of good...
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...oin the novel's parade of innocent victims-she, too, is a kind
of mockingbird, injured beyond repair by the forces of ugliness,
poverty, and hatred that surround her. Lee's presentation of Mayella
emphasizes her role as victim-her father beats her and possibly
molests her, while she takes care of the children.
Pity must be reserved for Tom Robinson, whose honesty and goodness
render him supremely moral. Unlike the Ewells, Tom is hardworking,
honest, and has enough compassion to make the fatal mistake of feeling
sorry for Mayella Ewell