The bored children of Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, make up a game of fantasy revolving around their mysterious and unseen neighbor, Boo Radley. Since little is known about the Radleys, the kids--Jem, Scout and Dill--are left to their imagination to enact what goes on inside the house. Very little is accurate, although some of the action is based on what little information the children have of the family. Scout portrays Mrs. Radley, who primarily sweeps the porch. Dill played old Mr. Radley, who walks up and down the sidewalk and coughs. Boo was played by Jem, who "shrieked and howled from time to time." They continued their game throughout the summer; they "polished and perfected it" by using what gossip and information they could attain. The formerly beautiful Mrs. Radley eventually lost her hair, teeth and even her right forefinger--bitten off by Boo. (Scout tells us that Dill added this imaginative bit of gore.) The big scene, of course, came when Boo plunged the scissors into his father's leg. When the real Mr. Radley would pass by, the children remained frozen in silence, wondering if he had a clue about what their entertaining play-acting was all about.
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