In Chapter 7 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is Mr. Avery's belief about why it has snowed?

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jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

Mr. Avery probably does not truly believe this, but his claim in Chapter 7 is that disobedient children are the cause of odd weather phemonena.  Here is the quote:

Mr. Avery said it was written on the Rosetta Stone that when children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war on each other, the seasons would change: Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves.

Avery's intimidation adds to the list of lies adults tell and serves to further distance Jem and Scout's upstanding, moral, truthful father as unique among the inhabitants of Maycomb. 

sullymonster's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

Mr. Avery's comments about the snowfall are used as just one way to demonstrate the belief structure and the superstitions in the Maycomb community.  As is true of all human nature, the members of Maycomb seek for explanations to the events that occur around them.  Avery says that the snow is a consequence of the bad behavior of children.  When children disobey their parents and act badly, he says, then they cause the seasons to change.  Besides the superstition, this comment shows that Avery is prejudice against children, just as so many in the town are prejudice against African-Americans.

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