Like most children, Scout matures as she grows older. In the early chapters, she fights with her schoolmates; she taunts Jem; she wants to quit school after one day; and she ridicules Walter Cunningham Jr. after inviting him to lunch. She believes all the stories about Boo Radley: that he eats raw squirrels, drools, and has a huge scar across his face. She believes nearly everything that Jem tells her and she repeats the neighborhood gossip as if it was factual.
As she grows older, she begins to see Maycomb life in a new light. Boo's gifts and good deeds changes her mind about him, and even before he comes to their rescue on the night of the Bob Ewell attack, she comes to the realization that he must be a good but lonely soul. She sees on her own that Bob Ewell may well have attacked his own daughter after hearing all the evidence at the trial. She sees good in Aunt Alexandra during the Missionary Circle tea when she had never recognized any before. She understands the incongruity of Miss Gates' statements concerning Hitler, the Jews and the Negroes living in Maycomb. At the end of the novel, while standing on Boo's porch, she looks out over the neighborhood and sees it in a new light. The attack, Jem's injury, and meeting Boo at last were Scout's first big steps towards maturity.