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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what might be the cause of the laughter from inside the house?

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delite09 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 13, 2009 at 12:49 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what might be the cause of the laughter from inside the house?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 13, 2009 at 2:13 AM (Answer #1)

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At the end of chapter 4, Scout admits in her narration both of the reasons why she wanted to quit playing the Radley game.  The first was because Atticus showed up and they didn't want to get into trouble.  Her second reason refers back to the day when Jem pushed her in the tire.  He was angry with her for contradicting him on "hot steams."  He pushed her a little too hard and she ended up on Radley's front porch. 

"Through all the head-shaking, 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."

Although Scout may think of the laughter as spooky, Arthur was most likely inside watching their every move.  How entertaining it must have been to watch Jem push Scout (a little too hard) down the road and watch her pop out of that tire all confused and disoriented.  Most likely his laughter was pure amusement in a normally boring town. 

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