In Chapter 6 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem gets his pants caught in a fence while snooping around the Radley property, but then sneaks back to retrieve them. What does Jem tell Scout...

In Chapter 6 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem gets his pants caught in a fence while snooping around the Radley property, but then sneaks back to retrieve them. What does Jem tell Scout when he talks about the incident in Chapter 7?

Expert Answers
iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After the incident at Boo Radley's house in Chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem stays "moody and silent for a week" (62). However, once he finally talks to Scout about what happened when he retrieved his pants from the fence, Jem says that, not only were his pants "'folded across the fence... like they were expecting me'" (63), but they had also "been sewed up" (63). 

This detail is the first indication that Boo Radley is not the monster the children assume him to be. While Scout, Jem, and Dill generally envision the reclusive neighbor to be a murderous psychopath bent on exterminating small children, the incident with Jem's pants, especially the apparently careful and considerate way in which the pants were cared for in Jem's absence, suggests otherwise. Indeed, this episode suggests that Boo is actually a considerate and misunderstood individual, rather than a nightmarish villain. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question