Sunday, February 3, 2013

Her Name is Scout

Adam C. Zern shares a few thoughts regarding his daughter's name:

"Scout is an unorthodox name, as my wife and I have been told by many, many people.  In fact, the name Scout for a little girl has produced bright smiles of approbation as well as incredulous grunts of disapproval.  Thankfully, my wife stayed firm on the name not only because we both find it exceptionally cute and unique but also because of what the name brings to our minds.

Our newest daughter's full name is Scout Harper Zern.  Both her first name, Scout, and her middle name, Harper, were inspired by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.  Obviously, her middle name, Harper, comes from the author's first name and her first name, Scout, is the endearing nickname given to the book's narrator, Jean Louise Finch.  (For a long time I have wanted to name our boy, if Sarah and I ever have a baby boy, Atticus, but Sarah was less keen on that).  To Kill a Mockingbird is, I think it's safe to say, universally considered a classic of modern literature—not to mention adapted into an Academy Award winning film—but it's the ideas that To Kill a Mockingbird presents that inspire me to give my own child a name which is a constant reminder of the book.

Justice, mercy, integrity, family, among other eternal ideals, are presented in To Kill a Mockingbird.  It's a book that strikes a beautiful balance between presenting the injustices of reality and the prejudices of mankind but also the potential of individuals to be good and honorable.  Atticus Finch is a man our culture should uphold as being as close to the ideal of manhood as one can get.  It's fiction, of course, but all fiction is teaching something, and To Kill a Mockingbird is teaching all the right lessons.  It was common among ancient cultures for parents to give their children names that was intended to remind them of the good deeds of revered ancestors.  Scout Harper is intended to do just that."

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