How does Scout step into Walter Cunningham's and Mayella Ewell's shoes in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout never specifically tells the reader that she steps into the shoes (or climbs into the skin) of Walter or Mayella as she does with Boo Radley at the end of the novel, but she does try to look at things from their points of view. Scout has made up with Walter after their fight at school, and she is "glad" that she defended him to Miss Caroline. She sees the Cunninghams in a new light since discovering that one of the family was the lone holdout on the jury, and Scout has determined that "They're good folks... not trash... like the Ewells." As for Mayella, Scout sympathizes with her initially, and during Tom's testimony,

... it came to me that Mayella Ewell must be the loneliest person in the world... She was as sad, I thought, as a mixed child...  (Chapter 19)

Scout "wondered" if anybody had been kind to Mayella before, whether anyone had previously addressed her as "ma'am" or "Miss Mayella" before.

What on earth was her life like? I soon found out.  (Chapter 18)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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