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In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, who dies during the winter in Chapter Eight?

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rajdarshani | Student, Grade 11 | Salutatorian

Posted May 16, 2011 at 4:33 PM via web

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In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, who dies during the winter in Chapter Eight?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 17, 2011 at 1:20 AM (Answer #1)

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In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the day before the snow falls (which so frightens Scout), Mrs. Radley dies. Not someone seen very often, Scout notes (as an adult) that it caused very little commotion in town.

Old Mrs. Radley died that winter, but her death caused hardly a ripple—the neighborhood seldom saw her, except when she watered her cannas.

In that the Radleys hold a strong fascination for the Finch children, this is something of note in that Mrs. Radley's "appeal" is because she is a part of Boo's household. The children speculate as to the cause of her death.

Jem and I decided that Boo had got her at last, but when Atticus returned from the Radley house he said she died of natural causes, to our disappointment.

The children have a question and quibble over who will ask Atticus about what is foremost on their minds—Scout "loses." She wonders if Atticus saw Boo Radley while visiting the house. Atticus' reaction is hardly a surprise in light of all the "shenanigans" the children have been involved in regarding Boo while Dill was in town over the summer.

Atticus looked sternly around his newspaper at me: "I did not."

Atticus' response ended their discussion with him. Jem told Scout not to ask any more questions because he believed Atticus was still "touchous" about the children's interest in the Radleys, so she says nothing else. It is all quickly forgotten when it snows the following day.

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