In Chapter 4 of To Kill A Mockingbird Chapter 4, when Scout alludes to the Boo Radley game, part 2, she says, "Jem was born a hero," what traits does Scout have in mind?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Jem pushes Scout who holds herself inside an old tire so hard that she crosses the street into the Radley yard, Scout rushes home without the tire as Jem shouts to her to hurry and bring the tire with her. "Why didn't you bring it?" he asks, and Scout replies, "Why don't you go get it?" So, Jem rushes into the Radley property and retrieves the tire. When he is back in the Finch yard, he berates Scout, "I swear Scout, sometimes you act so much like a girl it's mortifyin'."

In order to further "contrast his fearless heroism with [her] cowardice," Jem creates a new game, having Scout play the role of Mrs. Radley and Dill the part of Mr. Radley. Then, they re-enact the day the Boo Radley game involves a re-enactment of Boo's arrest and his appearance in court before the judge:

When it was time to play Boo's big scene, Jem would sneak into the house, steal the scissors from the sewing machine drawer when Calpurnia's back was turned, then sit in the swing and cut up newspapers. Dill would walk past Jem, cough at Jem, and Jem would fake a plunge into Dill's thigh. From where I sat, it looked real. 

When Atticus comes out onto the porch, he asks what the children are doing, and Jem replies that they are doing nothing. But, when Atticus sees the scissors, he asks if the scissors has anything to do with the Radleys, Jem reddens and says, "No, sir."  This brave portrayal of the Radleys and his denial of any wrongdoing to little Scout is an act of bravery and heroism.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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