What does Mr. Avery say makes the seasons change?

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troutmiller's profile pic

troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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In chapter 8 it says that according to Mr. Avery, it was "written in the Rosetta Stone that when children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war on each other, the seasons would change."  That was his way of blaming the "uncontrollable" aspects of life on kids.  This tells the reader that Mr. Avery was a cranky, old, cynical man.  His character is supported throughout the novel with similar situations.

tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Maycomb experiences its coldest winter since 1885. Scout and Jem are fortunate to experience snow for the first time because Alabama usually has mild winters. Scout thinks the end of the world is coming when she wakes up to see snow falling. When she catches her first snowflake on her tongue, she tells Jem that it burns her because she doesn't know how the cold can also burn. The kids have a great time making a snowman as well. As Scout reflects on the cold and eventful winter, she remembers that Mr. Avery told the kids that the Rosetta Stone says that seasons change when children disobey their parents. As a result, Scout feels the following:

"Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves" (63).

Scout and Jem prove themselves to be a little superstitious by accepting Mr. Avery's reasons for the cold weather. Later, though, Scout is happy to have had the opportunity to experience snow even if it did cause her neighbors some discomfort.