In Chapter 4, why do the children make Boo's story into a game?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem, Scout and Dill have spent so much of their time thinking or ways to see Boo. It has become an obsession for them. By the time summer rolls around again, they are bored with the same old thing, so Jem decides to make up a story based on what they know of Boo.

Jem is still trying to prove that he is not afraid of Boo. He wants to look like he is brave. Dill looks up to Jem. Scout is getting bored with the two boys, but reluctantly gives in to them, and they start acting out the events that they have been told about Boo's life. At first, the kids seem to have fun, but Atticus catches them and tells them they are not to do this. The kids still act out the play, but their hearts in it as much.

The whole thing about Boo, for the children, is the unknown. They only hear what the towns gossips about. They are curious kids and like a mystery. They are smart and this lets them use their imaginations. Boo is one of the most important characters in the story, and Harper Lee introduces his story, right from the beginning. She grabs our attention with the mystery surrounding Boo's life. Jem, Scout and Dill, are just as curious. They think that by making a a play about his life, they might come to understand him more and maybe make him come out of his house. They have no idea just how important Boo will be in their lives.

price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is not much going on in Maycomb during the summer, and you can only go to the swimming hole or to talk to Miss Maudie in her garden so many times before you get bored.  Boo is an enigma and someone who captures the children’s imagination.  They are obsessed with what goes on in the Radley house, and the rumors have really peaked their curiosity. So, instead of replaying the “vampire” game that Dill introduces them to, they begin to make up plays about Boo. They act out Boo supposedly stabbing his father in the leg with a pair of scissors, and they even imagine Boo howling like a dog under the Radley porch.  The children’s imagination has run wild because of the unknown, unseen Boo Radley whose “story” infatuates them.

katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The children have gotten bored with acting out books and movies, so they decide to act out the story of Boo's life, complete with howling under the porch and stabbing Mr. Radley in the leg with scissors.

This shows just how much of an object of entertainment and wonder Boo has become. The kids have put him on the same level as books and movies--he's no longer (or he never was) a person with problems and feelings; he's simply two-dimensional and an object for fun.

parama9000 | Student

Children are innocent and have a wild imagination and thus they develop their imagination as there is no definite boundary as to who Boo is like.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Well, they are children. They make up the boo radley game because they are bored. Boo remains a mystery in Chapter 4. The children find him interesting because they themselves haven't seen him. They have a wild imagination! They try to act this all out stabbing Mr. Radley in the leg with scissors.

lacibabyy00 | Student

The kids got bored so they decided to make up a game of scary Boo's life.The Boo Radley game.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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