What is it that Jem is trying to get Atticus to understand in Chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird?When Scout comes home with the mysterious blanket wrapped over her shoulders, "Jem seemed to have...

What is it that Jem is trying to get Atticus to understand in Chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

When Scout comes home with the mysterious blanket wrapped over her shoulders, "Jem seemed to have lost his mind. He began pouring out secrets left and right..."

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem figured out what Atticus' little grin and roundabout hints were about before Scout caught on (in Chapter 8). When Atticus suggested that they get some wrapping paper in which to return the mysterious blanket, Jem suddenly "seemed to have lost his mind." He spilled all the little secrets the children had kept to themselves about Boo Radley--including the knothole and the lost pants. Jem understood what Atticus did not spell out clearly--that it was Boo who had placed the blanket around Scout's shoulders. Why he suddenly blurted out the children's secrets is another matter, but it must have been a combination of his own guilt and his recent realization that Boo was really a good guy that caused him to be so talkative. He settled down quickly enough to rattle Scout a bit before promising Atticus that he had no desire to "do anything" to Boo again.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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