What relationships experience great change in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most obvious answer to this question probably concerns the relationship between Boo Radley and the Finch children. Both of the kids eventually learn that the rumors spread about Boo could not have been true, since his gifts of kindness left in the knothole--as well as Jem's mended pants and the blanket placed upon Scout's shoulders--showed that he was far from the scary ghoul of neighborhood lore. Scout actually gets to see Boo for herself in the end, and she proudly accompanies Boo back to his house in the final chapter.

Other relationship changes:

  • Calpurnia and Scout.  Scout seems to despise Cal in the first chapter, but she comes to recognize that the housekeeper loves her. Scout even wants to visit Cal at her own house.
  • Dill and Scout.  Dill begins as just another interesting playmate, but he and Scout soon become engaged; they even sneak kisses when Jem is not looking.
  • Alexandra and Scout.  Neither Jem nor Scout particularly like their aunt, but by the end of the story, Alexandra has made some headway. She shows true, loving kindness following Bob Ewell's attack, repeatedly calling Scout "darling."
  • Mrs. Dubose and Jem.  The much despised old lady never wins over Jem completely, but he is truly upset upon hearing of her death. Atticus' explanation of her drug addiction helps Jem to understand her better.
  • Atticus and the Cunninghams.  The Cunninghams, leaders of the Old Sarum crowd, show up at the jail willing to kill Tom and harm Atticus if necessary. After the Finches make their stand, the lynch mob leaves out of respect for Atticus and his children. Later, Atticus identifies one of the Cunninghams as the holdout on the jury.
  • Mayella and Tom Robinson.  One moment, Mayella is kissing Tom; a short time later, she accuses him of rape.
Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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