In chapters twenty-eight and twenty-nine, what details add to the mounting tension before Jem and Scout are attacked?

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

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In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, the author creates the mood for chapters twenty-eight and twenty-nine by providing these details:

The wind was growing stronger, and Jem said it might be raining before we got home. There was no moon.

Walking past the Radley place, the kids talk about Boo, and how it's a scary place. They speak of ghosts (haints). As they pass through the school yard, it is pitch black. Cecil Jacobs jumps out at them, scaring Jem and Scout.

After the pageant, the children begin the walk home. It is black outside. Scout struggles to keep her balance, still dressed as a ham. The wind has died down, but the stillness in the air promises a thunderstorm.

Jem is hesitant, listening, though at first he says nothing. Then he draws Scout's attention to the sound he hears: there are footsteps following them: what is worse is that the steps stop when they stop. Besides the sound of the wind, they kids can hear the rubbing of cotton on cotton as someone's pants rub together in time to the footsteps.

All of a sudden...

He was running, running toward us with no child's steps...

and Jem screams for Scout to run.

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