In To Kill a Mockingbird, explain what disappoints Jem and Scout about Mrs. Radley's death?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Actually, Jem and Scout were disappointed at the cause of old Mrs. Radley's death because the children had assumed that Boo would one day try to harm her just as he had once injured his father when he stabbed the old man with a pair of scissors.

Jem and I decided that Boo had got her at last, but when Atticus returned from the Radley house he said she died of natural causes, much to our disappointment.

The disappointment didn't end there. When the children decided to try and pry some information about Boo from their father, Scout was nominated to ask the question.

     "Atticus," I said, "did you see Mr. Arthur?"

Atticus "sternly" replied that "I did not," leaving Jem and Scout with no new news about the "malevolent phantom" who lived inside the house.

mkcapen1 | Student

The Radley home served as Maycomb's resident haunted house.  The people that lived there were reclusive.  Mr. Radley was a mean and controlling man who did not fit in with the social graces of the town.  He did not go visiting on Sundays nor invite anyone into the home.  They had two sons and one was a simple man who probably had a mental disability.  Once the son named Boo drove a pair of scissors into his father's leg.  No one in the town ever knew why it had happened but it helped create the image of Boo as a boogie man.

The townspeople thought that once Mr. Radley died that they would have an opportunity to see Boo Radley.  Scout was disappointed because Boo's brother took over his care.  Boo still went unseen by the people including Scout.

"The neighborhood thought when Mr. Radley went under Boo would come out, but it had another think coming."(12)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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