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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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Many readers see To Kill a Mockingbird as having two parts, one centering on Boo Radley and the other on the trial of Tom Robinson. How were the two stories brought together at the end of the novel?

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Near the end of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Boo Radley steps in during the chaotic aftermath of Tom Robinson’s trial. Scout and Jem are walking home from the Halloween pageant in the dark, and Mr. Ewell tries to attack them. Ewell is furious because Atticus humiliated him at Tom’s trial, and he intends to get back at him by hurting his children. During this chaotic encounter, Boo Radley shows up and stabs Ewell, saving the children. He carries Jem home and makes sure everyone is safe.

This heroic act shows that Boo is not the scary person that many Maycomb residents believe, but is actually a caring, protective person. In the end, Scout tells Atticus that Boo is "real nice." This conversation shows how she has learned not to judge people without really understanding their experiences. She also learned this lesson by witnessing the racial injustice at Tom Robinson's trial.

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