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Trying to Make Boo Come Out. The children make many attempts to catch a glimpe of Boo, but their most dangerous adventure comes when they try to peak in through a window on the Radley's back porch. When a shadow suddenly appears--probably that of Boo--the children run for their lives; a shotgun blast follows, and Jem loses his pants on the Radley fence. It is their last attempt at making contact with Boo, because when Jem returns later that night for the pants, he finds them mended and waiting for him on the fence, compliments of Boo. Jem sees once and for all that Boo is not an unseen monster, but a friendly neighbor trying in his own way to be friends with the children.
The Mad Dog. Believing Atticus is feeble and boring, Jem and Scout soon discover that their father has at least one special hidden talent. When the rabid dog, Tim Robinson, threatens the street on which the Finches live, Atticus is called into action. The children are stunned when Sheriff Tate hands the rifle to Atticus, and they are even more amazed when he puts a bullet between the dog's eyes. Formerly the finest marksman in the county, Atticus has never told his children about his skill with the gun, one of which he is not proud. When Miss Maudie explains that "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents," the children learn a lesson in humility, and Jem proudly announces that he wants to be just like Atticus--"... a gentleman, just like me."
The Trial of Tom Robinson. The primary plot of the second half of the novel, Tom is convicted by an all-white jury despite his obvious innocence. It teaches the children about racial prejudice and the injustice that lies "in the secret courts of men's hearts." They also learn about the evil that lies within Bob Ewell, who is unsatisfied with seeing Tom pay for his own misdeeds with his life; he also wants to see Scout and Jem dead, too.
The Missionary Circle Tea. Scout learns about religious hypocrisy from the good ladies of the Missionary Circle, but she also takes a giant step toward becoming a lady when she decides to emulate the actions of Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie instead of the self-righteous "ladies" like Mrs. Merriweather and Mrs. Farrow. Scout decides "... if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I."
Boo Comes to the Rescue. Scout has just about given up on her fantasy of ever meeting Boo Radley face to face, but after the children are rescued from the murderous hands of Bob Ewell on Halloween, she finds herself bursting into tears and telling him hello. Boo turns from ghoul to hero over the couse of the story, and Scout proudly escorts him home, never to see him again. She then stands on Boo's porch, looking out over the neighborhood as if standing in Boo's shoes and seeing things through Boo's eyes.
Atticus was right. One day he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough. (Chapter 31)
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