What contributes to a change in the way Jem perceives Boo Radley from the initial impression in Chapter 1 to the end of Part One in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem is two years older by the end of Part One, and his maturity is one contributing factor to his different attitude towards Boo. But Jem has also seen a change in Boo's behavior, even if he has never caught a glimpse of the man. Jem has come to realize that most of Miss Stephanie's gossip about Boo has no basis in fact, thanks to the contact (albeit limited) that he has had with Boo. The gifts left for the children in the secret knothole of the Radley oak tree were the first signs that Boo wanted to be their friend, and Jem is anguished when Boo's brother, Nathan, cements their only means of contact. When Jem's raid on the Radley porch is interrupted by a shadow passing by, the children can only assume it is Boo's. In their hasty retreat, Jem loses his pants in the Radley fence; when he returns for them, they are crudely stitched. They could have only been mended by Boo. Jem becomes convinced that Boo is only kind and caring when he leaves a blanket on Scout's shoulders on the night of Miss Maudie's house fire. Jem finally decides to heed Atticus's warning to "stop tormenting that man," promising his father

"I ain't gonna do anything to him," but I watched the spark of fresh adventure leave his eyes. "Just think, Scout," he said, "if you'd just turned around, you'da seen him."

etotheeyepi | Student

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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