To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jem and Dill start excluding Scout, who begins to spend more time with Miss Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor who grew up with Atticus. One evening, Scout asks Miss Maudie why Boo Radley never comes out. Miss Maudie says it's because Boo doesn't want to. She says Boo was always polite as a boy, and that Boo's father was a Baptist so religious he thought all pleasure was a sin.
Miss Maudie, like Atticus, helps teach the children to question prejudice and treat people with respect. Here she provides details that start to transform Boo from a one-dimensional monster to a human being damaged by his father's intolerance and lack of love and joy.
Themes
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
The next day, Dill and Jem get Scout to help them try to slip a note through a window of the Radley house with a fishing rod. Atticus catches them and tells them to stop bothering Boo Radley just because he seems peculiar.
Atticus warns the children not to mistreat people because they're different. Instead, he implies, respect them.
Themes
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon