What realization does Scout have about other people at the end of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Scout becomes enlightened in several ways during the final chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird. After she escorts Boo Radley back to his house--never to see him again--she looks out over the neighborhood, viewing it in a new perspective as Boo would have seen it.

     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.

When she returns home, she coaxes Atticus into reading to her. The story is from Jem's copy of The Gray Ghost, in which one of the characters, Stoner's Boy, is always being accused of things for which he is innocent. The story parallels the children's own involvement with Boo, and when Scout innocently speaks of Stoner's Boy, it may as well have been Boo of whom she is talking.

     "An' they chased him 'n' could never catch him 'cause they didn't know what he looked like, an' Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things... Atticus, he was real nice..."
     "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

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