How did Mrs. Radley die, and why are the kids disappointed? 

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mrwickline | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

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In the beginning of Chapter 8, Mrs. Radley dies. Her death is not a big deal, and does not even cause “a ripple” throughout the town. The Radleys have never been conventional Maycomb community members, preferring to keep to themselves, rather than socialize with the town members. After Atticus tells Scout and Jem that Mrs. Radley died from natural causes, they are disappointed at her uneventful death. The grotesque, phantom monster version of Boo Radley that they concocted in their imaginations was not responsible for the death of his mother. In the minds of Jem and Scout, any six-and-a-half foot tall creature with yellow jagged teeth that dines on raw squirrels and cats would more than likely commit homicide.

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