What act of courage on Jem's part ends Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The children have taken the legend of Boo Radley and created this monster of a scar-faced man who ate raw squirrels and

"....any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained" (pg 13)

His teeth were rotting in his mouth and he drooled a lot. They gave this description...

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The children have taken the legend of Boo Radley and created this monster of a scar-faced man who ate raw squirrels and

"....any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained" (pg 13)

His teeth were rotting in his mouth and he drooled a lot. They gave this description to Dill when he first arrived.  Dill was seven years old and believed everything they told him.

One day, when the children were bored, Dill challenged Jem to go up to the Radley house and just touch it. Dill offers to trade him The Gray Ghost.  All Jem had to do was touch the house.

Jem ran up to the house, hit it with the palm of his hand, and then ran out of the yard so quickly that he didn't even look back to see if someone had come out.  Dill and Scout were right behind him, not wanting to see Boo Radley either.  However, when they looked back at the house, they only saw a tiny movement of a shutter in the window.  Other than that, nothing happened.  However, Jem had proven himself a daring person that day.

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Jem takes a dare to touch the Radley's house. He runs in the gate and smacks it before running out to Scout and Dill. 

This is an example of Jem's early physical courage. He is being courageous without real purpose. Later, he learns it is often more difficult to be courageous when standing up for your beliefs instead of simply putting oneself in physical danger.

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At the end of Chapter One of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, after being harassed by Dill and even Scout. Dill indicates that going onto the Radley property should not be such a big deal, and almost shames Jem into going, making him feel like a coward.

Ultimately the boys come to an agreement so all Jem has to do is smack the side of the house. He works up his courage, and finally runs in as fast as he can, smacking the side of the house and running away again, having fulfilled his end of the dare.

Jem is relieved to have this out of the way, but as they move away, Scout reports a tiny movement from one of the house's shutters before everything becomes still again.

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