What does Scout mean when she says “I would lead him through the house, but I would never lead him home" in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Scout does not want Boo to be talked about in the neighborhood if anyone sees her holding his hand and leading him like a child.

Scout has been used to thinking of Boo as a monster, and then a phantom. When she finally meets him, she sees how timid and fragile he is. She knows that communicating with her is difficult, and she refers to him as childlike and pale.

Scout is unsure about how to deal with Boo Radley. She has never felt comfortable going near his house, and taking him home is a surreal experience for her. Yet it is important to Scout to maintain his dignity. She does not want anyone to see her leading him around like a child. So she comes up with a solution.

He had to stoop a little to accommodate me, but if Miss Stephanie

Crawford was watching from her upstairs window, she would see Arthur Radley escorting me down the sidewalk, as any gentleman would do. (ch 31)

Scout makes it look like he is leading her, rather than she is leading him. That way if anyone happens to see them, Boo Radley will not seem vulnerable and it will not be obvious she is taking the shy man home.

This demonstrates Scout's maturity and ability to empathize.  Difficult as it was for her in the beginning, Scout has learned how to walk inside another's skin.


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