What has Scout learned in Chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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cldbentley's profile pic

cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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I believe that Scout also learns a valuable lesson about responsibility in Chapter 6.  Jem takes responsibility for his actions by insisting on returning for his pants himself; the crime is his, so the risk is his. After returning from the Radley place, Jem informs Scout that they should not have trespassed onto the Radley place that night.  It seems that, in some way, he is trying to right the wrong, or at least accept ownership for it, by placing himself in the position of (assumed) risk, rather than someone else.

dymatsuoka's profile pic

dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Scout learns that there are things in life that motivate people  beyond what she can understand.

Scout, Jem, and Dill trespass on the Radley property in hopes of catching a glimpse of the mysterious Boo.  They are seen, a shotgun is fired, and Jem loses his pants in the children's precipitous escape.  Afterwards, Jem returns in the dead of night to try to retrieve his pants.  He goes, even though he is afraid, and even though there is real danger of getting hurt should he be caught, because he knows that what the children did in trespassing was wrong, and he does not want to lose Atticus' respect.  In his developing value system, his father's opinion of him is more important than getting hurt. Scout is desperately afraid of Jem going back, and, because she is not as mature as her brother, cannot understand why he feels he has to go.  She says, "It was then, I suppose, that Jem and I first began to part company...this was beyond me" (Chapter 6).

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