Masters Thesis

Jean Louise Finch: a hero and heroine’s journey

This thesis examines the archetypal heroic journey of Harper Lee’s protagonist Jean Louise “Scout” Finch from childhood to her adult years through two of the author’s works. The study is presented with chapters focusing on three main categories of Campbell’s and Murdock’s works on heroic journeys: the separation, the initiation, and the return. Each chapter presents an analysis of the characters, the author, and the social and familial constraints that illustrate and impact the protagonist’s journey. In comparing two fictional stories dramatizing the heroic coming-of-age quest of a female character, it can be argued that women may travel different paths as they age on their solitary journeys toward self-awareness. As a child, a girl like Scout may travel the path of Campbell’s hero. As she matures and encounters challenges from social and familial constraints and expectations, she begins to travel the path of Murdock’s heroine.