To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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How did Scout's opinion of Boo Radley change during To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Scout's opinion of Arthur Radley moves from believing that he is a malicious ghost to finding him to be a hero, a kind man, and a friend.

As narrator, Scout introduces the reader to the neighborhood and describes the Radley house as being "inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end." She adds that inside the house there lives "a malevolent phantom." Supposedly he sneaks around at night when there is no moon and peeps into windows. He has not been out of the house for fifteen years since he got into trouble, and his father did not want his son to go to the state industrial school—instead, he imprisoned Boo in their own home.

Despite all the frightening details about Boo Radley, Jem and Scout, accompanied by Charles Baker Harris, who is known as Dill, make several efforts to see this ghost who haunts a dilapidated house. One day the boys try to lure Boo out by tapping on the house, but they see only the slightest stirring. With...

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msmegan | Student

At the beginning of the book, it is clear Scout is fearful of Boo Radley.  She and her friends participate in games tormenting Boo.  She even tries to prove her bravery by trying to touch his house. 

Eventually, however, her fear begins to fade.  As she grows up and becomes more mature, she notes that Boo Radley is just another person, just like her.  This is proven when she says, "The Radley Place had ceased to terrify me."  Eventually, Scout even starts calling him by his real name, Arthur. 

When she witnesses Boo sasve the children's lives the night they were attacked by Bob Ewell is symbolic of her entrance to maturity: she has finally let go of her childhood fears because she has finally seen the truth of this neighborhood legend.