How does Maudie's house fire symbolize the closeness and courage of the community in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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In Chapter 8, Atticus wakes up Jem and Scout in the middle of the night because Miss Maudie's house is on fire. Jem and Scout stand in the Radley yard and watch as their neighbors attempt to save Maudie's furniture from the flames. Scout watches as Mr. Avery gets...

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In Chapter 8, Atticus wakes up Jem and Scout in the middle of the night because Miss Maudie's house is on fire. Jem and Scout stand in the Radley yard and watch as their neighbors attempt to save Maudie's furniture from the flames. Scout watches as Mr. Avery gets stuck in the window as he is attempting to escape Maudie's house. Mr. Avery barely makes it out alive before the house collapses. Harper Lee uses Maudie's house fire to symbolize the unity of the community throughout the novel. Maudie's neighbors fearlessly risk their lives to rescue her possessions from the flames. Scout and Jem watch their neighbors display courage by entering the burning house. They work in unison by carrying her furniture and other possessions out of the house, while they attempt to quell the flames. Despite the togetherness and courage displayed by Maycomb's community members, they hold prejudiced views towards African Americans. Later on in the novel, Jem and Scout learn an important lesson in the duality of human nature. They learn that their compassionate neighbors are also racist, and treat African Americans with contempt every day.

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