In chapter 1 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird,  what is the turtle metaphor?

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In chapter 1, Dill is thinking of ways to convince Boo Radley to leave his house. Jem then uses a turtle metaphor to describe one method of persuading Boo to leave his home. Jem tells Dill that convincing Boo to leave his home is similar to striking a match underneath a turtle. In this analogy, Boo is the turtle and its shell is the Radley home.

What is most interesting about his metaphor is Jem's conviction that lighting a match underneath the turtle's stomach does not harm the animal. When Scout protests, Jem responds by saying, "Turtles can't feel, stupid" (Lee, 14).

As the novel progresses, Jem matures and loses his childhood innocence after witnessing Tom Robinson become the unfortunate victim of racial injustice. Following the trial, Jem has a new perspective on life and understands his father's lesson regarding the importance of protecting innocent, defenseless beings.

When Scout is about to kill a harmless roly-poly in chapter 25 , Jem prevents her from doing so, which is a completely...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 543 words.)

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