In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the sympathy motif is introduced in Chapter 1 when Atticus instructs Scout
'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-....until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.'
Now, in the final chapter this motif comes to fruition as Scout, as she stands on the porch of Boo Radley and surveys the neighborhood from his point of view, arrives at an understanding of the reclusive "mockingbird" that is Boo Radley as a man like any other man:
Atticus was right. One time 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....I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle.
She also understands how much Boo has done for her and Jem and Dill, while at the same time they have not reciprocated:
We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.
This remark touches upon the mockingbird motif which acts as a device by which the two plot elements are unified. For, the first part of the novel and the Boo Radley mystery, parallels the second part which is concerned with the Tom Robinson trial. Harmless members of society, both of these characters can be viewed as a mockingbird; for, while both are innocent people, they both are persecuted by society.
And, as Scout recalls that she feels very old, and there "wasn't much else for us to learn," the novel ends with the maturation of Scout, thus defining To Kill a Mockingbird as a bildungsroman, or novel of maturation. For, Scout and Jem have come to understand why their father has taught them what he has, as well as why their father has chosen certain courses of action.
Another motif present in Chapter 31 that is tied to the first part of the novel is the recurring idea of education. In Chapters 1 and 2 the reader understands that the education that Atticus gives his children surpasses that of the rigid classroom. They learn much from Atticus--humility, fortitude, honesty, fairness; they learn that simple observation of human nature brings great knowledge.
With Scout and Jem's new knowledge comes the end of their superstitions and fears. As Scout and Jem have learned more about their world their fear of "haints" has disappeared as well as their fear of Boo Radley. (The bildingsroman theme is also here.)
Clearly, the final chapter ties together the two parts of the novel as well as underscoring certain motifs and themes.