What are two instances where Scout displays her maturity in Chapters 29-31 in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of Chapter 30, Sheriff Tate explains to Atticus, without mentioning his name explicitly, that Boo Radley was responsible for killing Bob Ewell. Sheriff Tate goes on to say that he refuses to tell the town that Boo Radley saved Jem and Scout because that would bring unwanted attention on Boo, who is extremely shy. Tate says that it would be a sin to force Boo into the limelight by exposing the truth. Scout tells Atticus that she understands and says that Mr. Tate was right for what he did. Atticus then asks Scout, "What do you mean?" (Lee 370). Scout says, "Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?" (Lee 370). Scout's response displays her maturity because she fully understands the concept of protecting innocent beings. She comprehends the lesson of never killing a mockingbird to metaphorically represent that it is considered a sin to harm an innocent being. Boo Radley is a symbolic mockingbird, and Scout understands Sheriff Tate's motivation not to expose Boo into the town's limelight because it would be harmful to Boo.

Another scene that portrays Scout's maturity takes place in Chapter 31 after she walks Boo Radley home. Scout stands on Boo's porch and looks out at the town. She begins to view Maycomb like she never has before. Scout reminiscences and thinks of the various seasons that Boo Radley watched them grow up from inside his house. Scout says,

"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" (Lee 374).

Scout has developed the ability to perceive situations from other people's point of view. Scout no longer views Boo Radley as the "malevolent phantom," but rather a sympathetic, caring individual who just happens to be extremely shy.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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