What were the kids trying to do in chapter 4 through 6 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?  


Harper Lee

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In these chapters which spans the summer between Scout's first and second grades at school, the children are trying to learn more about Boo Radley. In typical childhood fashion, they find Boo mysterious, fascinating, and frightening all at the same time.  One game involves imitating one of the stories they've heard about Boo cutting out items from a newspaper.  When told not to continue the game by Atticus, Scout is ready to obey because an earlier game brought her accidentally to the Radley front porch where she is sure she heard someone softly laughing.  Another game the children devise is to send Boo a message on a fishing pole.  Atticus stops this game, too.  Again Scout is somewhat reluctant because Miss Maudie has talked to her about the rights of others and about how Boo's right to privacy should be respected.  In chapter 6, the kids decide to try to peek in the Radley's window to catch a glimpse of Boo.  The plan goes awry when they are heard by Mr. Radley and he fires a gun into the air frightening the children.  Jem's pants get caught on the fence and he has to leave them there.  The summer ends with Jem and Dill feeling like they made no progress in learning more about Boo, but Scout feels she does know him better even though, like the boys, she's never met Boo nor seen him.  She has a better understanding though that he is a person who, for whatever reason, wants to be private.

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