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Boo Radley unknowingly gives Scout quite an education during To Kill a Mockingbird. She at first believes all of the wild rumors about Boo, and the mere thought of seeing him is horrifying to her. But she slowly comes to understand that not only are the rumors untrue, he is actually a kind if unseen man. Beginning with the quiet laughter heard from within the Radley house, to the gifts left in the knothole, to the mending of Jem's pants, and ending with the warming blanket left around her shoulders on the night of Miss Maudie's house fire, Scout comes to see that Boo is a man to be pitied and not feared.
The Radley place had ceased to terrify me... I sometimes felt a twinge of remorse... at ever having taken part in what must have been sheer torment to Arthur Radley... Boo was the least of our fears.
Scout not only felt guilt, but she had finally learned to refer to him in a more respectful manner--calling him Arthur and not Boo. She now desired to get one good look at him because he was a kindly neighbor, not because he was a horrible ghoul.
Yet on Halloween, of all nights, Scout finally saw her "fantasy" come true. Boo came to her, saved her life and Jem's, and she saw that he was not only a neighbor, but her savior--a hero.
He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.
... Atticus was right. One time he said you never really knew a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.
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