Chapter 31 Notes from To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 31

Scout took Boo's hand and led him back into the house to go check on Jem again. As Boo and Scout stood at Jem's bedside, he reached out to touch Jem's head, but hesitated. Scout explained that he could pet him, but only because he was asleep because when he was awake he'd never allow anyone to do it. Boo gently touched Jem's head. Then Scout led him downstairs and to the steps of their front porch when Boo asked her in a childlike voice if she would take him home. Rather than lead him home like a child, she made him crook his arm and she slipped her hand into it. Anyone who saw them wouldn't see her leading him home, but rather Mr. Arthur Radley escorting her down the sidewalk as a gentleman. When they got to his house, she walked him up onto the porch and he went inside. Standing on the porch she remembered all the things he had given them in the tree on top of saving their lives and how they had given him nothing, and it made her sad. She walked to the edge of the porch and she looked at the neighborhood and imagined all the things Boo must have seen from that end of the street. She remembered the events of the past few years and imagined how they must have looked from that spot realizing that Boo had been watching the whole time. She never saw Boo again.

On her way home Scout thought that she and Jem would grow up, but there didn't seem much else for them to learn now beyond algebra. She had gone into the house and up to Jem's room to check on him. She had so much to tell him about what had happened while he was asleep. She had found Atticus sitting in Jem's room reading The Gray Ghost, and he read to her until she had fallen asleep at his feet. He carried her into her room and put her into her pajamas as she had muttered that she'd heard every word and began repeating the story she knew so well. But as she told the story, she made a transition from the plot of The Gray Ghost to her own ghost story about Boo Radley, about how they had chased the ghost because they wanted to know what he looked like. And when they finally saw him, they realized that he hadn't done any of the terrible things they'd thought he had. He was really a nice person, and Atticus answered that "'[m]ost people are, Scout, when you finally see them.'" Chapter 31, Pg. 284

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