Why does Scout think the world is ending?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "To Kill a Mockingbird," Scout thinks the world is ending because she witnesses snow falling in Maycomb, Alabama. She is used to the hot, humid climate and cannot understand how something so unusual could happen. Scout believes that "the world's ending" because everything is changing and nothing seems to make sense anymore.
Detailed answer:

Scout's belief that the world is ending in "To Kill a Mockingbird" is linked to her coming-of-age experiences and the realization that the world is not as simple as she once thought it was. As the trial of Tom Robinson unfolds, Scout sees the ugly side of her community and is forced to confront the harsh reality of racism and injustice.

One key moment that contributes to Scout's sense of impending doom is when she sees the segregated balcony at the courthouse, reserved for black spectators. She notes that "it seemed as though the town was flying into a great unrest," as tensions rise between the black and white communities.

Another significant moment occurs when Jem tells Scout that he no longer believes in the justice system. "I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world," he says. "But...I'm beginning to understand a lot of things. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this's because he wants to stay inside." This realization shakes Scout to her core and marks a turning point in her own understanding of the world.

Overall, Scout's belief that the world is ending reflects her loss of innocence and the harsh reality of the society she lives in. As she grapples with these new truths, she begins to understand the importance of empathy and compassion in a world that can often be cruel and unjust.

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