What is it about the Radley place that keeps drawing the kids back, and what happens after their evening foray into forbidden territory?What is it about the Radley place that keeps drawing the kids...
What is it about the Radley place that keeps drawing the kids back, and what happens after their evening foray into forbidden territory?
The Radley place is mysterious. One may rarely see a Radley outside. This family lives a fanatically religious, isolated life. Intriguing rumors surround the community. In his teenage years, Boo Radley supposedly stabbed his father with scissors. There is an element of mystic concerning the Radley place. Jem, Scout and Dill are fascinated as typical children would be. They desire to take a look in the windows of the Bradley place.
One evening, Jem, Scout, and Dill scurry over to the Radley place. While they are peeping in at the Radleys, Mr. Radley overhears them. He shoots his gun. Jem, Scout, and Dill run for safety, but Jem's pants get caught in the fence. He has to strip down.
The neighbors come over, including Atticus. The children claim they have been playing strip poker and Atticus reprimands them.
Later that evening, Jem returns to the Bradley place for his pants. He finds them poorly resewn and folded neatly on the fence.
Jem catches his overalls in the Radley fence and must abandon them. Later that night, he returns to retrieve them and finds them neatly folded on the fence with the ripped fabric poorly resewn.
No one comes outside. Since the children play outdoors and interact with Miss Maudie who tends her flowers, and they see Mr. Avery on his porch, or Miss Stephanie Crawford gossiping with one of the neighbors, their curiosity is naturally aroused by the seculsion of the Radley household. Added to this, there are rumors that surround the inmates of this house. Therefore, there is a mystery about the Radley house. As post #2 remarks, all this is fodder for the young minds, providing them opportunities to scare others and themselves and to dare others to prove they are not afraid.
First, the Radley house is only two houses down from the Finch house, making it easily accessible to Scout and Jem. They see the house each day and have to pass it on the way to school. It is larger and in need of repair, and the children know all about the rumors and history of the Radley family. It is like a haunted house--forboding yet inviting, scary but seemingly harmless. The fact that the children know Boo is inside is the lure that keeps the children returning, hoping for just a glimpse of the phantom to prove to them of his existence.
It's scary, but in a relatively safe way. Kids love to do things like that. They love to do things that test the limits of what is safe, particularly if they are not actually risking their lives to do so. In addition, the place is forbidden. They know they are not supposed to be going over there and that makes it even more exciting.
The Radley place represents the chance to challenge themselves to be brave and it represents the chance to be somewhat defiant of authority. What more could kids want?
Kids love secrets, and the Radley house represents a whole lot of secrets. It inspires their imagination and as they have some cryptic interactions with the Radley family, their imaginations leap into overdrive. The kids actually know very little real information about the Radleys and the Radley house, giving them the perfect opportunity to create legends.
Every neighborhood has a house like this. Kids love to be scared, and they love to dare each other to do scary things. The Radley house is forbidden, which of course makes it irresistible. It's also scary, because they think Boo Radley is some kind of monster. Naturally they are curious to learn more about him, or see him.