In Chapter Six of To Kill a Mockingbird, what reasons do Jem and Dill give for trying to peek into the Radley window?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 6, Dill suggests that they should "go for a walk," which sounds suspicious to Scout. Shortly after, Jem tells Scout to go home and explains to her that they plan on peeping into the Radley window with the loose shutter to see if they can get a look at Boo. When Scout asks why the "sam holy hill" they plan on looking into the window at night, she is provided with several explanations:

Because nobody could see them at night, because Atticus would be so deep in a book he wouldn’t hear the Kingdom coming, because if Boo Radley killed them they’d miss school instead of vacation, and because it was easier to see inside a dark house in the dark than in the daytime . . .  (Lee, 52)

Scout then reluctantly agrees to follow Jem and Dill on their raid of the Radley house. Unfortunately, the children do not see Boo Radley through the window and narrowly avoid being shot by Nathan Radley. The children escape by running through the backyard and Jem is forced to leave his pants behind after getting them stuck in the surrounding fence.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If we look at Chapter Six, we can see that Jim and Dill are doing this to find something to do that will be scary and will show their courage to each other. As curious boys, they are attracted to the whole myth surrounding Boo Radley and the mystery that his name and the apparently isolated house conjures up. Therefore it is entirely fitting that they decide to try and penetrate that mystery by peeking into his window and seeing if they can see the infamous Boo Radley. The reasons they have for doing it now are stated in this chapter:

Because nobody could see them at night, because Atticus would be so deep in a book he wouldn't hear the Kingdom coming, because if Boo Radley killed them they'd miss school instead of vacation, and because it was easier to see inside a dark house in the dark than in the daytime, did I understand?

No reason is directly given for why the boys want to do this, but we can infer that Boo Radley's house would be a temptation that few boys of Jem and Dill's age could resist.

illmeetuincali | Student

Well the reasons they chose that specific time and evening to peek into the Radley window is laid out in paragraph 22: "Because nobody could see them at night, because Atticus would be so deep in a book he wouldn't hear the Kingdom coming, because if Boo Radley killed them they'd miss school instead of vacation, and because it was easier to see inside a dark house in the dark than in the daytime . . ." (Lee 58). The boys had provided much thought to their plan to catch a glimpse of Boo Radley, whether or not Scout tagged along.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Harper Perennial

Modern Classics, 2006. Print.

 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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