In Chapter 6 before they go to into Radley's yard, what do Dill and Jem see in the moon?  In Chapter 6 after they go to into Radley's yard, what lie does Dill tell about how Jem lost his pants?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Jem and Scout spent lots of time daydreaming and fantasizing in the Harper Lee novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." On this evening, they had decided to join Dill at Miss Rachel's fishpool. As Dill, rolled a cigarette, he asked

"Cross in it tonight?"
"No, just the lady. Don't light that thing, Dill, you'll stink up this whole end of town."
There was a lady in the moon in Maycomb. She sat at a dresser combing her hair.

So, it was a lady sitting at a dresser that the children imagined seeing in the moon that night.

Later that evening, the threesome decided to visit the Radley yard, but first a shadow and then gunfire caused them to change their minds. When Atticus and a group of neighbors came outside to investigate, Atticus saw that Jem was not wearing any pants. No one else had noticed that he had lost them on the fence, and Jem was stuck for an answer, but Dill came to the rescue with one of his classic whoppers.

"Ah--I won 'em from him," he said vaguely.
"Won them? How?"
Dill's hand sought the back of his head. He brought it forward and across his forehead. "We were playin' strip poker..."

 

 

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Dill and Jem see "the lady" in the moon that rises above Maycomb that night. As they sneak out, Jem notices:

He pointed to the east. A gigantic moon was rising behind Miss Maudie's pecan trees. "That makes it seem hotter," he said.

"Cross in it tonight?" asked Dill, not looking up. He was constructing a cigarette from newspaper and string.

"No, just the lady. Don't light that thing, Dill, you'll stink up this whole end of town." There was a lady in the moon in Maycomb. She sat at a dresser combing her hair.

Similar to the idea of the "man in the moon" or, more sinister, "the Reaper", there is "a lady" evident in the moon on certain nights in Maycomb. Often, people would consider different images in the moon as signs of different kinds of luck, good or bad.

Later, as they escape the Radley house, Jem gets his pants caught on the fence and is forced to leave them if he wants to get away without getting caught. Yet the gunshot that Mr. Radley fires awakens the neighborhood, & Jem's lack of pants is soon discovered. Dill quickly works up a fib on the spot:

"Ah - I won 'em from him," he said vaguely.

"Won them? How?"

Dill's hand sought the back of his head. He brought it forward and across his forehead. "We were playin' strip poker up yonder by the fishpool," he said.

Jem and I relaxed. The neighbors seemed satisfied: they all stiffened. But what was strip poker?

So Dill "confesses" that he won Jem's pants in a game of strip poker. the fact that Scout has no understanding of the game reveals her immaturity at this point in the story. Dill however sees an opportunity to swap a small transgression for a big one, & he figures it's better to get in trouble for strip poker than sneaking into someone's yard & nearly getting killed.

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