As people grow in life, they mature and change. In the novel , To Kill a Mockingbird ,by Harper Lee, Scout, the main character, matures as the book continues. Slowly but surely, Scout learns to control her explosive temper, to refrain from fistfights, and to respect Calpurnia, their maid, and to really learn her value to the family. Scout simply changes because she matures, and she also changes because Atticus, her father, asks her to.
In the early chapters of the book, Scout picks fights at the slightest provocation. One example of this is when Scout beats up Walter Cunningham, one of her classmates, for “not having his lunch”, which isn’t a very good reason at all. “Catching Walter Cunningham in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop. You’re bigger’n he is,’ he said He made me start off on the wrong foot.’ Let him go Scout. Why?’ He didn’t have any lunch,’ I said, and explained my involvement in Walter’s dietary affairs” (27). Scout is also very mischievous and has a devious mentality towards Calpurnia. She describes Calpurnia as a tyrannical presence, and she does everything she can to get her out of the house. One time Scout does this is when Walter comes over to her house to eat dinner. Scout criticizes Walter for drowning his food in molasses, and Calpurnia scolds Scout. After Walter leaves, Scout asks Atticus to fire Calpurnia, which of course he doesn’t do. “Jem said suddenly grinned at him. Come on home to dinner with us, Walter,’ he said. Walter stood where he was, biting his lip. Jem and I gave up, and we were nearly to the Radley Place when Walter called, Hey, I’m comin’!’ While Walter piled food on his plate, he and Atticus talked together like to men, to the wonderment of Jem and me. Atticus was expounding on farm problems when Walter interrupted to ask if there was any molasses in the house Walter poured syrup on his vegetables and meat with a generous hand.
He would probably have poured it into his milk glass had I not asked what the sam hill he was doing It was then that Calpurnia quested my presence in the kitchen She was furious, and when she was furious Calpurnia’s grammar became erratic “There’s some folks who don’t eat like us,” she whispered fiercely Jem and Walter returned to school ahead of me: staying behind to advise Atticus of Calpurnia’s iniquities was worth a solitary sprint past the Radley Place. She likes Jem better’n she likes me, anyway,’ I concluded, and suggested that Atticus lose no time in packing her off. .. Have you ever considered that Jem doesn’t worry her half as much?’ Atticus’s voice was flinty. I’ve no intention of getting rid of her, now or ever'” (27-30).
Later in the book, however, Scout changes. She now tries to control her temper, and is somewhat successful. One example of this is when Cecil Jacobs, another of Scout’s classmates, insults Atticus by saying that Atticus defended Niggers. Scout remembers that she shouldn’t fight, and walks away. “Cecil Jacobs made me forget. He had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers You gonna take that back boy?’ You gotta make me first!’ he yelled I drew a bead on him, remembered what Atticus had said, then dropped my fists and walked away, Scout’s a cow-ward!’ ringing in my ears” (80-81). Scout also learns to respect and value Calpurnia.