To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What does Scout find in the knothole of the tree in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Over the course of the novel, Jem and Scout discover several items hidden in the knothole of the tree. In total, they find a couple of sticks of gum, a small box containing coins, a ball of twine, two figures carved from soap, an entire pack of gum, a spelling medal, and a pocket-watch. Eventually, they realize that Boo Radley is the one leaving these "gifts" and they are extremely upset when Nathan Radley plugs the knothole with cement.


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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In the knothole of the tree on the Radley property, Scout and Jem find a couple of sticks of gum, a ball of twine, some old Indian head pennies, a spelling bee medal, a pocket watch, and two figurines carved out of soap.

At first, the Finch children don't understand the significance of the items. But they soon understand that Boo Radley, who's always been this strange figure of legend to them, is trying to reach out to them. The knothole is Boo's sole means of communication with the outside world; it's also the only way he can reveal something of himself and his true personality to the Finch children. All the various items he leaves in the knothole provide a tantalizing glimpse into his own little world, a world that no one else has ever had the chance to see.

Scout and Jem's discovery of the gifts in the tree is a real turning point in the story. From now on, they will come to realize that Boo is a much more complex, more recognizably human character than the crazed bogeyman of legend.

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This first item Scout finds in the knothole of the Radley oak tree is two sticks of Wrigley's Double Mint chewing gum. Later on, Scout and Jem find two Indian-head pennies. The children also find a ball of twine, two carved soap figurines, and a whole pack of chewing gum. Scout and Jem then find a medal from an old spelling bee and a pocket watch. Although the children do not know who has been leaving them gifts in the knothole of the tree, Jem has a suspicion that it could possibly be Boo Radley. Jem and Scout then write a thank you note to put into the tree, but when Jem goes to place the letter into the knothole, he finds out that Nathan Radley filled it in with cement. At the end of the novel, Scout realizes that Boo Radley was the anonymous gift giver.

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The above answers give literal points. However, if we read the novel on a deeper level, we can say that Scout and Jem found much more than items in the knot-hole of a tree. They found a what they were looking for, namely Boo Radley, and more importantly, they found a friend. 

The first part of the novel is about Jem, Scout, and Dill and how they wanted to get Boo out of his house. They heard many stories about him and they were interested to say the least. What they did not know was that Boo was watching them. Moreover, as much as they tried to learn about him, he was the one reaching out to them. 

Second, Boo, in his way, was extending friendship to Scout and Jem. This would be very significant at the end of the novel, because the one who saved them from death (as Bob Ewell attacked them) was Boo. So, what started as a few gifts in the knot-hole of a tree ended up in Boo's life-saving protection. 

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On the most literal level, Jem and Scout find: chewing gum, twine, girl and boy figures carved out of soap, a medal, a watch, and pennies. 

On a more figurative level, they find so much more. At first things are mysterious. Jem and Scout do not know whose these items are. They do not know if they are presents for them or a secret...

(The entire section contains 19 answers and 2,847 words.)

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spamanda11 | Student

Scout finds a few things inside the knothole of the tree. She discovers chewing gum, gray twine/string, girl and boy dolls carved out of soap, a medal, a watch, and pennies. 

 

The story somewhat implies that the doll characters are supposed to be Scout and Jem. This adds a sense of suspense and mystery/ creepiness to this scene. It makes the children think about of they are being watched.

user9164311 | Student

Scout finds chewing gum, a rusty medal, 2 Indian head coins, a watch and chain, and soap dolls of her and Jem.

davis-13 | Student

Scout and Jem find gum, two Indian head pennies, and dolls that look like them.

lalaland5 | Student

They find sticks of gum, 2 indian head pennies, a pocket watch, 2 soap carved dolls, twine, and a spelling bee medal.

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rawryooyesithink | Student

1st A gray ball of twine (Pg.78)

2nd 2 small images carved in soap. I was a figure of a boy and one with a dress (Pg.80)

3rd A pack of gum

4th A tarnished medal (Pg.81)

5th A pocket watch that didn’t run with a knife attached to it (Pg.81)

 

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gogryphons | Student

there was also the indian head coins!

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damini | Student

The First time Scout and Jem found a chewing gum the second time they found a watch, the third time they found 2 dolls

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