The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird is an adult reflecting on the tale in hindsight. She begins the story when she is five-and-a-half years old, about to start school. Scout is the younger sibling of an older brother and daughter of a widowed lawyer who gives her a very liberal education for the 1930's. The family's Negro housekeeper performs some maternal roles. Scout's upbringing is not in the manner of that of a typical small town lifestyle in Southern America in the 1930's. With the progression of the text, Scout grows up, becomes more self-aware and in her unique environment, gains the perspective of a caring and thoughtful young person who has learnt to become very comfortable with the essence of tolerance.
During the course of the novel, Scout is privileged to experience which instill in her tolerance of difference. As Scout emerges from her sheltered early childhood, she witnesses, at times first hand, events that are affected by racial intolerance characteristic of small town America in the 1930's. This issue becomes paramount in her life when her father, who possesses fine qualities of integrity and morality, defends a Negro who is being unfairly treated. Scout is guided by her father's wisdom and manages to escape unscathed from the experience. Because she does not carry the racism and double standards that the rest of the town carries, Scout endorses the dominant discourse of Negroes in the novel. This is evident by her incessant support for Tom throughout the trial. Scout gains a different perspective on life as her character undergoes change with her emotional and social development.
Through the outcomes of events in the novel in which Scout is a participant, she develops a sense of natural justice. Scout's father, Atticus, is not only a role model for his children through his overt actions, but he verbally instructs them in the virtue of natural justice. Atticus encourages compassion for others who are different by telling Scout, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb in his skin and walk around in it.