Thursday, April 2, 2015

Letters to Literary Heroes #2 - Scout Finch

What are these letters, do you ask? To put it simply, on the first Thursday of every month I'm writing a letter to some of my favorite book characters, from old to new and new to old. What do I have to say to these characters? Stick around and find out; I have something that I owe to many of them.


Dear Jean Louise ("Scout") Finch,

I think it's appropriate that I think of you, given all of the media attention concerning your author's latest manuscript being found (coincidentally, also narrated by you). Given that I haven't read this manuscript, I'm thus forced and amazingly content at keeping this letter concerning your roll in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (disregarding this first paragraph, of course).

You stood out in your novel, and not only because you were the one narrating it. As a young girl growing up in an extremely prejudiced community, it was your outlook that amazed me: you saw a general goodness to the people you met (and, yes, I'm talking about Arthur ("Boo") Radley). You saw the good in Arthur where others only saw the rumors and his reclusive nature. Your attitude toward him is the what I remember most about your tale: you believed in the goodness of others when nobody else did, and while you recognized that there was bad in the world you didn't let it shroud the fact that popular opinion is sometimes wrong, and that we all have to make choices for ourselves about whether we want to ignore or cherish the opposing sides of nature.

I try to emulate that outlook, myself, and I honestly can't say whether it's because of you, or whether you were simply one of many inspirations. With the current state of the world being content to focus on so much bad, the good gets swept under the rug, which is a shame because there are some marvelously kind and generous people out there that I would consider it an honor to meet.

One of my favorite things to explore in my own writing, as well, is the relationship of good and bad, and the influences that good and bad can have on characters, and how their upbringing in these kinds of environments can affect their development and their choices.

So many opinions are formed without knowing the full story. We judge without knowing a person's history, or by assuming superiority/inferiority based on the social constructs in place at the time of judgement. You challenge that notion, and, to me, that makes you pretty darn amazing.

So keep being inquisitive, and thoughtful, and good.




Have you read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? What were your thoughts? What was the most memorable moment, and what kind of impact (if any) has it had on you as a reader, or as a writer?

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Dear "Scout" Finch. See what blogger @Rae_Slater has to say about how the young heroine continues to inspire (Click to Tweet)

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