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What items does Scout find in the knot-hole of the oak tree in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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chadcoutch | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM via web

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What items does Scout find in the knot-hole of the oak tree in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Scout finds gum in the Radley tree knot-hole.

Walking by the Radley House, Scout notices some tinfoil “winking at [her] in the afternoon sun”. Even though she is in the scary, forbidding Radley yard, she is tempted.

I stood on tiptoe, hastily looked around once more, reached into the hole, and withdrew two pieces of chewing gum minus their outer wrappers. (ch 4)

Scout is afraid to put the gum in her mouth, even though it’s her first reaction.  She does so anyway, and when she doesn’t die she enjoys the gum.

When Jem finds out, he is horrified and tells her to spit it out right away.  She tells him she hasn’t died yet, but agrees to spit out the gum and gargle before he tells Calpurnia.

The gum is Boo Radley’s first attempt to reach out to the children in a gesture of simple friendship.  As they find more and more gifts in the tree, including pennies, twine, a watch, and soap carvings, they get closer to Boo.  When Nathan Radley cements the hole, they are angry and sad at the loss of connection to Boo, understanding that this forces him further into isolation.

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