To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What game did Dill invent?  

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Jem, Scout, and Dill first spend a good deal of time enacting scary dramas about Boo Radley that Jem dreams up. When they have worn this game thin and are sick of it, Dill comes up with idea of getting Boo Radley out of his house so they can see what he looks like. He dares Jem to go up and knock on the front door of the Radley residence and bets him a book called The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that he won't. Jem can't stand to turn down a dare, so he agrees. Jem says to Dill:

“I hope you’ve got it through your head that he’ll kill us each and every one, Dill Harris,” said Jem, when we joined him.

This new game is more dangerous, and therefore ups the excitement value of Boo Radley. Jem sort of goes through with the bet, opening the gate, running into the yard, and slapping the side of the house before running out again. The fascination with seeing Boo will continue.

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katemschultz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The first summer, the children spend a good deal of their time talking about the Radleys and being scared to even go near the Radley house.  They second summer Jem, Dill and Scout spend together, Dill invents the game "Boo Radley".  The children dramatize events they've heard regarding the Radelys' lives.  Scout complains because she usually has to play Mrs. Radley, whereas Jem and Dill get to play more interesting characters, like Boo.  The children even go so far as to take Calpurnia's scissors from her sewing kit to reenact Boo stabbing his father in the leg.  Atticus eventually catches the kids playing the game and forbids it.

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