What do the children do in the Boo Radley game?  

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this game, the children actually pretend to be the Radley family and enact the various lurid incidents that popular gossip ascribes to the family. They make quite a drama of it. Scout, as the only female is rather unwillingly relegated to the role of Mrs Radley, Boo's mother. They imagine her as a decrepit old woman with little hair,  few teeth and lacking a finger which supposedly was bitten off by Boo. Jem pretends to be Boo and Dill is Mr Radley. The central incident which they act out is the supposed stabbing of Mr Radley by Boo. Scout remarks that 'it looked real'.

The children invest a lot of time and energy in the game, showing just how much of a hold the Radleys have upon their imagination. However, one day Atticus catches them at it and from then on their enthusiasm for the game dwindles somewhat. Scout also wants to stop the game as she once heard laughter from inside the house and conjectures that Boo is probably watching them play the game. Of course, they also lose interest in it as they grow older and find other pursuits. Furthermore, reality itself becomes more grim than their harmless little drama could ever be; with Tom Robinson's trial, with all its attendant racism and injustice, as well as the sordid and sorry spectacle of the Ewells, the children learn about the darker side of human nature and the world in actuality. 

price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sparked by their obsessive interest in Boo Radley, Scout, Jem, and Dill start acting out scenes of what they think goes on in the Radley house. Also spurred on by rumors that Boo stabbed his father with a pair of scissors in the leg, the children reenact what they think happened during the gruesome scene. The children are somewhat bored with Dill’s tales of Dracula and Tarzan, so they imagine the closest “monster” to them, Boo Radley. In Chapter 1, Scout describes Boo as a scary "malevolent phantom," and according to rumor, Boo sneaks out at night and peeks in windows, eats squirrels, and even causes frost to damage budding flowers in the town. Various scenes they act out are Scout (Mrs. Radley) sweeping the porch, and Jem (Boo) howling underneath the porch. Dill also imitates Mr. Radley walking down the street.

These games are the manifestation of the children's unchecked imaginations running wild, until Atticus catches them and tells them to leave the Radleys alone. The games they make up about the Radleys are disrespectful and exaggerate the Radley family, who only wish to be left alone.

sdlizsmith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout and Jem are afraid of their neighbor Boo Radley. When their new friend Dill comes to town for the summer and they tell him about Boo, he becomes increasingly interested in the stories. Dill wants to get Boo Radley to come out of the house and dares Jem to make that happen. Jem thinks it over for three days while Dill accuses him of being scared. Finally Dill settles on daring Jem to run up and touch the house. He figures Boo Radley will come out after that anyway. Finally, Jem works up the courage, runs into the yard, slaps the side of the house, and sprints home to his own porch. The other children follow and once they're safely home, they think they see a shutter inside the Radley house moving.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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