What is different in how the boys treat Scout during the second summer compared to the first in To Kill a Mockingbird?

During the second summer in To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem and Dill treat Scout differently by spending less time with Scout and only including her in their activities when they need a third party. They also spend the majority of their time together in the treehouse, and Scout feels neglected. While the boys participate in "foolhardy schemes" to get Boo out of the house, Scout spends her evenings with Miss Maudie Atkinson.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

During their first summer together, Scout plays with Jem and Dill and is included in all of their activities. The boys treat Scout as their equal and encourage her to play games with them. When Dill visits Maycomb for the second summer, he begins neglecting Scout in favor of hanging...

Read
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

During their first summer together, Scout plays with Jem and Dill and is included in all of their activities. The boys treat Scout as their equal and encourage her to play games with them. When Dill visits Maycomb for the second summer, he begins neglecting Scout in favor of hanging out with Jem. Scout mentions that Dill "was becoming something of a trial" and promptly forgot about asking her to marry him. Scout responds to Dill's aloof behavior by beating him up, but he only becomes closer to Jem. Dill and Jem also share an affinity for Boo Radley and are fascinated with the idea of influencing him to leave his home, which is something Scout has no desire to be apart of because she fears their reclusive neighbor.

While Dill and Jem spend the majority of their time playing in the treehouse and formulating elaborate schemes to get a look at Boo Radley, Scout spends her evenings talking to Miss Maudie on her porch. In chapter 5, Scout elaborates on her conversations with Miss Maudie and learns the truth about Boo Radley. Scout's relationship with the boys has dramatically changed, and she no longer feels like their equal. The boys also have different interests than Scout and believe that she will only interrupt their foolish schemes. As the story progresses, Jem continues to mature and eventually hits puberty. During this stage, Scout finds it particularly difficult to get along with him and believes that her carefree childhood relationship with him is long gone.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team