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Scout is growing up and coming of age. Explain her feeilings now about: Their former...

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djkiwi | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 4, 2010 at 1:26 AM via web

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Scout is growing up and coming of age. Explain her feeilings now about:

  • Their former games concerning Boo Radley
  • Her desire to see Boo in person
  • Atticus's apparent knowledge about theri previous activities

 

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 4, 2010 at 3:47 AM (Answer #1)

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It's difficult to answer this question without knowing which chapter(s) you're studying, but based on some of your words ("growing up," "coming of age," "former games," "previous activities"), I'll respond with the assumption that you're referencing Part 2 of the novel. 

As the novel's focus shifts from the children's fascination (or even obsession) with Boo Radley to the Tom Robinson trial in Part 2, Scout seems to care less and less about seeing Boo.  In chapter 15, Scout says, "Dill asked if I'd like to have a poke at Boo Radley.  I said I didn't think it'd be nice to bother him... (148)--a sign that she realizes the futility of their attempts to catch a glimpse of Boo and also the fact that Boo probably enjoys his privacy. 

More importantly, chapter 26 gives readers invaluable information into Scout's moral development.  In a passage of narration, Scout says,

The Radley Place had ceased to terrify me, but it was no less gloomy, no less chilly under its great oaks, and no less uninviting.  Mr Nathan Radley could still be seen on a clear day, walking to and from town; we knew Boo was there, for the same old reason--nobody'd seen him carried out yet.  I sometimes felt a twinge of remores, when passing by the old place, at ever having taken part in what must have been sheer torment to Arthur Radley--what reasonable recluse wants children peeping through his shutters, delivering greetings on the end of a fishing-pole, wandering in his collards at night?

A few paragraphs later, Scout voices "a stray desire just to have one good look at Boo Radley before [she] died."  In response, Atticus says,

You aren't starting that again, are you?...If you are, I'll tell you right now: stop it.  I'm too old to go chasing you off the Radley property.  Besides, it's dangerous.  You might get shot.  You know Mr. Nathan shoots at every shadow he sees, even shadows that leave size-four footprints.  You were lucky not to be killed.

This response by Atticus shocks and quiets Scout, as she was sure that Atticus believed his own report that Mr. Radley had shot at a "prowler" in the above-mentioned incident. 

As Scout notes, so much had happened regarding the Tom Robinson trial that Boo Radley was one of the last subjects on her mind.   

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 4, 2010 at 2:36 AM (Answer #2)

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It's difficult to tell from your question where in To Kill a Mockingbird you're referencing, but I'm guessing it's the end of chapter 4.  Jem got upset at Scout for contradicting him, so when they played roll the tire, he sent her flying--right into the Radley's front yard, where she bumped out of the tire and ran like crazy.  Later, after Dill arrived, they created a new game, the Boo Radley game. The three kids have been playing Boo Radley, acting out all sorts  dramatic antics based on rumors, speculation, and imagination.  When Atticus unexpectedly arrives and catches them making a mockery of the Radleys, he instructed them to stop in no uncertain terms.  Scout is more than happy to do so, for two reasons. 

Atticus's arrival was the second reason I wanted to quit the game.  The first reason happened the day I rolled into the Radley front yard.  Through all the headshaking, quelling of nausea and Jem-yelling, I had heard another sound, so low I could not have heard it from the sidewalk. Someone inside the house was laughing.

Clearly Scout is now intrigued in a way the other two are not.  She is convinced Boo Radley is actually inside the house, a concept way more interesting than any of their pretend stuff. 

 

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