From Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, what realization does Scout come to about the tree treasures in chapter 26?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Near the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, Boo Radley saves Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell who wanted to hurt the children. Throughout the book the kids were always wondering if they'd ever see Boo Radley and they finally did on that fateful night. By chapter 26, after he saved their lives, Scout reflects on Boo and wonders if she will ever see him again. She intelligently put pieces into place, such as Mr. Nathan Radley walking to and from town every day, so she knows there's still life in the house. Then she concludes that Boo must still be alive because "nobody'd seen him carried out yet" (242). Then she catalogues the tree treasures that she found in the knot hole:

"Two Indian-head pennies, chewing gum, soap dolls, a rusty medal, a broken watch and a chain. . . I stopped and looked at the tree one afternoon: the trunk was swelling around its cement patch. . . We had almost seen him a couple of times, a good enough score for anybody" (242).

All of the tree treasures were found during the day, but Boo was never seen during that time. One can infer that since Boo is living, but not seen during the day, he must go out at night. In fact, he must have been the one to place those treasures in the tree because the only other soul living there sealed it up with cement. Hence, Scout realizes that Boo was her friend all along because he had given the children the gifts. She also realizes how special that friendship is to both her and Jem and to Boo.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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