What makes Scout think that the world is ending?
Scout Finch lives in Maycomb, Alabama. Most of her understanding of the world revolves around her family, her community, and her summer vacations. She is used to a world bathed in warmth most of the year and she is accustomed to only two seasons—hot summers and a mild rest of the year. In her inexperienced youth, Scout had never awakened to the sight of snow. This causes her great alarm when she looks out the window to a great surprise.
"My screams brought Atticus from his bathroom half-shaven.
'The world's endin', Atticus! Please do something--!' I dragged him to the window and pointed.
'No it's not,' he said. 'It's snowing'" (64).
The children cannot sit tight and focus on their breakfast that morning. Jem is all ablaze with questions about how to make a snowman. Atticus says that they may not see snow enough to even make a snowball.
Scout runs out into the falling snow the first chance she gets and sticks out her tongue to catch a flake or two. When she does catch a snowflake on her tongue, she describes the feeling as hot because she's never experienced anything close to freezing or freezer burn in her life. Oddly enough, Jem responds to Scout by saying that it isn't hot, but "it's so cold it burns" (65). Jem, who may have not experienced snow before, either, at least understands what Scout means when she describes the flake as hot. The snow is a wonderful thing for the children to experience since they generally don't see snow each winter.
In chapter 8, Maycomb County experiences the first snow since 1885. Having never seen snow, Scout has no idea what is occuring in Alabama, a place that rarely sees snow. To her, it seems as if the sky is falling. Some strange white material seems to be breaking apart and coming down to the earth.
Interestingly, Mr. Avery, one of the Finches' local neighbors, offers a reason for why the snow has finally fallen. He notes that whenever children disobey or misbehave the snow will fall. Therefore, he makes Scout believe that what has occured is actually her fault. She takes the conviction and then enjoys the snow.