What comparison does Scout make between Boo and a mockingbird?Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the final chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout walks Boo Radley home after he has rescued Jem and her from the harm that Bob Ewell attempted.  As she stands on the porch of the Radley's, Scout surveys her neighborhood from a new point of view, that of Boo Radley:

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.

For Scout, the realization comes that Boo has, indeed, been a mockingbird--one who has never caused anyone harm, but also one who has been judged by the "songs of others."  That is, she realizes that others in town had put "songs" into Boo's mouth that were imitations of their judgments rather than what Boo had actually done.  When she returns home, Scout tells her father,"Atticus, he was real nice...."  Atticus comments, "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

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