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In Chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Nathan Radley know about the...

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molokai1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM via web

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In Chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Nathan Radley know about the intruders in his garden, and why does Miss Stephanie refer to a Negro over whose head Radley has fired?

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 5, 2011 at 10:49 PM (Answer #1)

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When Jem and Scout made their raid on the Radley back porch in Chapter 6, they were suddenly surprised by the appearance of a shadow. It was probably Boo Radley, and the children noisily scattered through the gate and the collard patch. A shotgun blast "shattered" the silence of the neighborhood, and the children managed to escape back to the Finch house--minus Jem's pants. Mr. Radley just assumed that it was a Negro who had been prowling about (and possibly stealing collard greens); he knew it wasn't Boo, since Boo must have been present on the porch when Nathan saw the figures running away in the dark. Nathan announced to the crowd who gathered that he "shot at a Negro in his collard patch," and Miss Stephanie retorted with her bad-taste joke about the accused.

"Scared him pale. Says if anybody sees a white nigger around, that's the one."

Miss Stephanie simply--and crudely--meant that the black man who had been shot at was so scared that he turned white. 

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