In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem tells Scout that when he retrieved his pants from the Radleys they were folded across the fence like they were expecting me of what type of figurative language is this language?

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This is an example of personification.

Personification is a type of figurative language where something inanimate is described as animate or given human-like qualities.  In this case, the quote can be interpreted as personification because the pants seem to be waiting for Jem to come back for them.

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This is an example of personification.

Personification is a type of figurative language where something inanimate is described as animate or given human-like qualities.  In this case, the quote can be interpreted as personification because the pants seem to be waiting for Jem to come back for them.

“When I went back for my breeches—they were all in a tangle when I was gettin‘ out of ’em, I couldn’t get ‘em loose. When I went back—” Jem took a deep breath. “When I went back, they were folded across the fence… like they were expectin’ me.” (Ch. 7) 

What is actually happening here is that Boo Radley saw Jem’s pants and knew that he would come back to get them.  He took the pants and stitched them up, and then left them for Jem because he did not want Jem to get into trouble.  As Jem observes, the stitching is uneven and does not appear to have been done by a woman.  In those days, more women would be sewing than men. 

This incident serves to foreshadow Boo’s later involvement in the children’s lives.  Previously, he left them presents in the tree.  When Miss Maudie’s house caught on fire, Boo Radley again tried to protect one of the Finch children by leaving a blanket on Scout’s shoulders. 

This is when Jem realized that Boo Radley was the one who left the presents and the pants.  He spills everything to Atticus so that he won’t tell Nathan Radley what Boo has done. 

“…Mr. Nathan put cement in that tree, Atticus, an‘ he did it to stop us findin’ things—he’s crazy, I reckon, like they say, but Atticus, I swear to God he ain’t ever harmed us, he ain’t ever hurt us, he coulda cut my throat from ear to ear that night but he tried to mend my pants instead… he ain’t ever hurt us, Atticus—” (Ch. 8) 

Atticus agrees with Jem’s assessment of Boo Radley’s harmlessness.  He agrees not to return the blanket and get Boo in trouble.  This is a turning point for Jem and Scout.  They begin to realize that Boo Radley is not the neighborhood villain after all.  He is their friend, and he is looking out for them.

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