Why does the author end To Kill a Mockingbird with the line, "Most people are [nice], Scout, when you finally see them..." 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With this final passage of Chapter 31 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee concludes her novel positively with the motif of paternal love and protection while, at the same time, she underscores her themes of Prejudice and Tolerance, Guilt and Innocence.  Echoing his wise moral precept of not judging someone too readily, of realizing what he has told Scout in Chapter 3: 

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it"

Atticus then lovingly tucks the covers around his daughter and goes to sit by Jem in vigil all night.  Just as the novel, The Gray Ghost, symbolically representative of the children's superstitions and unfounded judgments against Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose, is finished, so, too, are all the conflicts and tensions resolved in the narrative:  the "ghost" of Bob Ewell's evil intentions are terminated. Throughout the novel, it has been Atticus Finch's strength, understanding, and sympathy for others of Atticus Finch that has prevailed. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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