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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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How appropriate is the ending of To Kill a Mockingbird? Please include context and quotes!

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I think it is a beautiful ending that satisfies several of what must have been Harper Lee's intentions in completing her story. Bob Ewell's Halloween attack on the children and Boo Radley's heroic appearance to save Jem's and Scout's lives successfully ties in the two main plots of the book. Bob gets what he deserves, and Scout finally lives out her fantasy of meeting Boo. Scout sees her neighborhood from a whole new perspective as she stands on the Radley porch in Boo's shoes and sees things from his eyes. Atticus is able to teach yet another lesson at the end--that most people are nice "when you finally see them." The ending fits in with a rereading of the first page of the novel, when Scout, many years in the future, first mentions Jem's elbow injury and then explains how both she and Jem still "consulted Atticus" (who must have lived a long life) when they needed answers. The story ends with Atticus staying up all night looking over Jem, a fitting finish for the father who shows such wisdom and love for his children. Perhaps the only thing missing is that Jem never gets to thank Boo, who Scout "never saw again." But Boo has completed his mission of successfully keeping an eye on his young neighbors, and with his job done, he retreats back to his mysterious existence within the walls of the Radley house.

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