To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mocking bird

Why does Scout forget what Atticus told her about fighting?

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A boy at school, Cecil Jacobs, teases Scout, saying that her father "defends niggers". Scout will not accept insults about her father and fights Cecil. Later in the chapter after dinner, Francis and Scout are outside in the backyard. Francis says that Atticus is a "nigger-lover," and that now Atticus will be the ruination of the family, who won't even be able to walk the streets of Maycomb. Scout patiently awaits her chance, and then punches him squarely in the mouth. Francis screams and everyone comes outside. Francis says Scout called him a "whore-lady" and jumped on him, which Scout does not deny. Scout is having trouble dealing with the ugly prejudice reared against her father because of the trial.