What is the significance of Atticus putting Scout to bed after she falls asleep in Jem's room in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This scene in the final chapter serves as the culmination of To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout has just returned from walking Boo Radley back to his house, and she finds Atticus reading in Jem's room. He has been silently reading The Gray Ghost, the book Jem won on a bet from Dill. Scout snuggles into Atticus' lap as she has done so many times before and tries to stay awake but the warmth of the room and comfort of her father's knee soon put her to sleep. When Atticus awakes Scout, they discuss the story as he walks her to bed. Scout has discovered that it has parallels with her own experiences with Boo. It seems that Stoner's Boy had been accused of things he had not done and, in the end, "he was real nice..."--just like Boo. Her remarks lead to one last word of wisdom from her father:

"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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