In TKAM, how does Scout show that she has matured? How does she show that she learned to be honest, courageous, respectful, and civilized?Please include examples :)

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout grows significantly during the time that passes in To Kill a Mockingbird. Precocious at the beginning of the novel, Scout matures through contacts with neighbors; her first-hand experiences at the Tom Robinson trial; and her fortuitous meeting with Boo Radley.

BOO RADLEY.  Scout initially fears the unseen phantom of the Radley Place, but she never gives up hope of eventually meeting Boo. She came to realize that the gifts found in the knothole were from him, and understood the gesture as one of kindness. When he saves her from the murderous hands of Bob Ewell, she savors the moment; sitting next to Boo, she invites him to pat Jem's head before walking him home. When she turns and looks back at her little world from the Radley porch, she sees it in a new light and with the perception of a much wiser child.

THE TOM ROBINSON TRIAL.  Viewing nearly the entirety of a racially charged rape trial, Scout absorbs the event, taking with her many new discoveries concerning truth, injustice, and even sex. She shows her courage when she unknowingly stands up to the lynch mob who are planning to take Tom. She comes to understand the respect that others, especially Maycomb's Negroes, have for Atticus, and she follows their lead. She sees through Bob Ewell's dishonest testimony and feels genuine remorse when Tom is found guilty.

SCHOOL LIFE.  Scout finds that her teachers (Miss Caroline and Miss Gates) are far from perfect, and she tests her own temper when she promises Atticus that she will ignore taunts that cause her to use her fists. She stands up for her classmates (Walter Cunningham) and speaks her mind when necessary. She stops her fighting and "learned to hold it in." 

blacktoast94 | Student

i think most importantly it was her ability to "climb into someone's skin and walk around in it."

- this can be seen when she sympathizes with mayella and is the only one who understands her plight.

"loneliest person in the world, even lonelier than boo radley."

"took offence at routine courtesy."

"tom was probably the only one ever decent to her."

she could see mayella as an individual, not one of the ewells. "bright red geraniums cared for as tenderly as of they belonged to ms. maudie atkinson."

hence, scout can see through mayella's apparent villianous character and see that she is in fact a victim.


- at the end of the novel, she learnt that boo was not a "malevolent phantom."

"he had given us so much and we gave him nothing, and it made me sad."

she saw that he was not a monster, but weak and frail akin to a "child afrad of the dark." he had "white sickly hands that had never seen the sun."

she showed civility towards boo radley and showed what a lady she had become.

"he would be more comfortable in the dark."

"the chair is nice and cosy."

"so that when ms. stephanie looked down she would see arthur radley escorting me." (in those days it was socially unacceptable for a woman to escort a man. and it still is today anyway. she wanted to help boo retain his pride.)


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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