What risks does Scout take in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers
Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout takes one risk in deciding to join the boys on their adventure sneaking onto the Radleys' property to try to get a look at Arthur (Boo) Radley in Chapter 6 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

Throughout the whole chapter, the boys had involved themselves in antics to try to get Arthur to leave his home, antics Scout severely disapproved of. As a consequence of her disapproval, the boys spent most of their time that summer by themselves, plotting and scheming, while Scout spent time with Miss Maudie. On Dill's last night in town, Scout grows suspicious when Dill invites Jem to "go for a walk" with him. Upon being pressed, the boys confess their plan to try to get a look at Arthur through a window. Scout begs them not to follow through with their plan, but when Jem calls her a girl, and tells her to go home, she refuses, deciding she must join them:

Scout, I'm tellin' you for the last time, shut your trap or go home--I declare to the Lord you're gettin' more like a girl every day! (Ch. 6)

At this point in the story, both Jem and Scout still see being a girl as a symbol of cowardice. Since Scout feels that being cowardly is an insult, she feels she has no choice but to rise to the challenge and join them in the risk are were taking.

The adventure is a harrowing experience that culminates in Nathan Radley chasing them off the property with a shotgun, but all make it off the property in time, sans Jem's pants, which he gets caught on the fence.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question