How and why does Miss Maudie's house look like a pumpkin?

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Scout says Miss Maudie's house looks like a pumpkin because the state of the fire burning her house has changed and become more intense. Before this moment, neighborhood men were able to run into the home to save furniture and other items from the flames. For instance, Atticus had the good sense to carry Miss Maudie's cherished rocker out on to the lawn.

When Scout says to Jem that Miss Maudie's looks like a pumpkin because the flames are so orange, this indicates that the fire has entered a new phase. The men can no longer attempt to go inside the house to save goods. The fire has taken over the second floor and is now burning the roof. As Scout remembers it:

window frames were black against a vivid orange center.

At this point, she says,

Jem, it looks like a pumpkin . . . .

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In chapter eight, Miss Maudie's house catches on fire, and Atticus wakes his children in the middle of the night. Atticus takes precaution by instructing Jem and Scout to stand at a safe distance in the Radley yard while he helps the neighbors carry Maudie's furniture out of her burning home. While Jem and Scout are witnessing Maudie's house fire, Scout comments that the home resembles a pumpkin. Scout mentions that Miss Maudie's home looks like a pumpkin because there are orange flames engulfing the home and the window frames are black against the vivid orange center. Essentially, Maudie's burning home resembles a jack-o'-lantern, where the window frames are the carved-out eyes of the pumpkin, and the flames are the same color of orange as a pumpkin.

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It looks like a pumpkin because it is on fire. Scout says, "The fire was well into the second floor and had eaten its way to the roof: window frames were black against a vivid orange center." More accurately, the house looks like a jack-o-lantern, a big orange ball with its eyes cut out (Chapter 8).

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