Explain the situation from To Kill a Mockingbird in which Jem won his bet with Dill?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first chapter, Jem, Dill, and Scout are speculating about the Radleys and what Boo looks like. This begins a series of raids where the children test their boundaries to see how they can get more information about the Radleys. Boo is particularly interesting to them because not much is known about him. Dill suggests that it would be interesting to see what Boo looks like. But Jem and Scout are both too scared to approach the house, even though they walk passed the house every day. Finally, after Dill keeps on Jem's case, Dill bets Jem that he won't get any farther than the gate. The goal is to get close enough to the house to coax Boo outside. Jem eventually agrees to the bet and gets passed the gate all the way to the house. The result only increases the kids' curiosities: 

Jem threw open the gate and sped to the side of the house, slapped it with his palm and ran back past us, not waiting to see if his foray was successful. Dill and I followed on his heels. Safely on our porch, panting and out of breath, we looked back. The old house was the same, droopy and sick, but as we stared down the street we thought we saw an inside shutter move. Flick. A tiny, almost invisible movement, and the house was still.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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