In Chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Scout think that the world is going to end, and on what does Mr. Avery blame this weather?  

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's response to waking up in the morning after a long night's sleep and seeing strange objects falling from the sky is probably not unusual for a small child living in the Deep South. It was her first sight of snow, and she had no idea what it was.

"The world's endin', Atticus!"

It was Jem's first look at snow as well, but at least he figured out what it was. When the kids went outside to play in Miss Maudie's yard (they were trying to save the snow in their own yard), they were harassed again by Mr. Avery. He had already blamed Jem and Scout for the unusually cold recent weather, telling them that it "was written on the Rosetta Stone" that children who behaved badly caused the seasons to change. This time he blamed them on the snow as well, telling them that it was the first time it had "snowed in Maycomb since Appomattox"--the sight of General Robert E. Lee's surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in 1865.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 8, Scout thinks the world is ending because she sees snow falling outside her window and thinks it's the Apocalypse. She summons Atticus, who informs her that it's simply snowing. Jem has not seen snow either, but he knows what it is. As it is the first time that it has snowed in Maycomb since 1885, school is cancelled for the day.

Mr. Avery blames the especially cold weather on a prophecy written on the Rosetta Stone that stated that the seasons would change if children disobeyed their parents, fought with each other, and smoked cigarettes. He tells Jem and Scout that badly behaved children like them have caused it to snow. Scout is aware that Mr. Avery's "meteorological statistics," as she calls them, come directly from the Rosetta Stone (of course Mr. Avery is telling a falsehood). 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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