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28 May 2020 In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Scout Finch and Nick Carraway respond similarly in adverse situations and because of their naivety, they both try to find positivity in every situation.

Scout Finch is an innocent naive child, and as she is talking to her older brother Jem, she is faced with racism and notices major divisions between people of different classes. This adversity causes Scout to wonder why people treat everybody differently, and she realizes that it is wrong to classify people by their social, economic, or ethnic status. Scout and Jem are found discussing how people who are different from the Finchs do not have the privilege or opportunity to get educated or to learn to read and write. Scout says a little confused, “No, everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowin’. […] Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks” (Lee 303). Scout puts her innocence and naiveness on display when she says that “there’s just one kind of folks,” because she would not say something like this if she was awakened to the cold reality of the broken world. Scout responds to this issue much differently than her older brother Jem, as he believes that they live in a world full of negativity and unacceptance, Scout still believes that everyone is the same and should be treated the same regardless of their background. Scout relates to Nick Carraway because they both show their innocence when facing adversity and show how they are both naive when engaging in everyday situations. On the other hand, Nick Carraway showcases his innocent and naive traits when he states that he has only been drunk twice, but he makes the best out of the situation. When Nick is drinking with Tom and Tom’s mistress Myrtle, he looks at it from a new perspective the next day and makes the best out of the scenario. Nick says “‘I have been drunk just twice in my life, and the second time was that afternoon; so everything that happened has a dim, hazy, cast over it, although until after eight o’clock, the apartment was full of the cheerful sun’” (Fitzgerald 11). At this time, Nick finds himself drunk for the second time in his life, which displays the childlike persona of his character. Nick Carraway displays his purity when he states that the next morning, “‘The apartment was full of cheerful sun.’” Although he can not recall much of the night, he takes the situation with a grain of salt and is joyed by the beautiful sunlight, although he knows the reality. This relates to Scout because she feels racism is silly, although she sees it happening in her everyday life, just as Nick knows that although he got drunk with Tom and Myrtle, something good can come out of the situation anyway.

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In addition, Scout also finds herself questioning the ways of racism while with Jem and her friend Dill. Scout asks how they know that they aren’t negroes themselves. Jem replies that they don’t and that for all they know, they could come from Ethiopia in the Old Testament, implying they could have possibly been black in the past. Scout says very confidently “Well, if we came out durin’ the Old Testament, it’s too long ago to matter” (Lee 216). Scout Finch once again demonstrates her immaturity and childishness when she explains how history shouldn’t affect the way people treat others. Scout is fortunately too young, naive, and innocent to understand the cruelties of the real world. Scout says “It’s too long ago to matter.” Along with Scout, Nick shows his childlike personality and puts his honesty on display when he realizes the amount of dishonest people in the world. Nick is very passionate when explaining that “‘Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known’” (23 Fitzgerald). Nick Carraway exemplifies his honesty when he says that he is one of “the few honest people [he has] ever known.” Nick is blunt and truth-telling because he feels the world needs honest opinions and people who are willing to share them. This demonstrates the similarity between Scout because she states her opinion that racism is dumb, Nick states that he is one of the few honest people left in the world. Children like Scout are honest and blunt, as she is honest because she has seen so much, and been around so many terrible things that she feels her opinion must be heard.

Overall, Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird reacts to adversity quite similarly to those the ways that Nick Carraway responds to catastrophes or hardships in The Great Gatsby, as they each look at every situation with a positive perspective, and they state their own innocent opinions on situations. Scout and Nick are both naive and display their feelings of purity during horrible hardships. Scout Finch and Nick Carraway react very closely to each other in a positive, naive, innocent manner when faced with adversity.

Works Cited

    1. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Grand Central Publishing, 1960.
    2. Fitzgerald, Scott F. The Great Gatsby. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.

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