What word does Scout hear when Miss Maudie sees their snowman?

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msarahrah eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Scout first awakens and she sees her first snow, she thinks the world is ending. But after a brief discussion with Atticus, Scout discovers that it is snow!  

Jem and Scout had never made a snowman and they decide that is how they will spend the morning since they do not have school. The children create a very unique snowman that Miss Maudie thinks looks too much like Mr. Avery. The children, with Atticus' coaxing, add features such as an apron and a pair of Miss Maudie's clippers to change his looks. Miss Maudie and Atticus then discuss the fact that the snowman has characteristics of a hermaphrodite.

A hermaphrodite is an animal or person that has both male and female characteristics or organs. The word can be used as an adjective or a noun.

Scout only thinks she hears correctly the discussion between Miss Maudie and Atticus. Scout later refers to the melted snowman as the Morphodite which makes Miss Maudie put her hands on her head and laugh loudly. Jem and Scout did not understand why Miss Maudie thought the discussion with Scout was so funny.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
In chapter 8, a winter storm hits Maycomb and a light covering of snow coats the ground. Jem and Scout go outside to play in the snow and attempt to build a snowman. Unfortunately, there is not enough snow to build a traditional snowman, and the two children mix snow with dirt in order to accomplish their goal.
Initially, Jem creates a snowman that resembles their overweight neighbor Mr. Avery. However, Atticus tells Jem to alter its appearance because Mr. Avery may get offended if he sees it. Jem then grabs a pair of hedge clippers and a straw hat and makes the snowman resemble Miss Maudie. When Miss Maudie initially sees Jem's snowman, she calls him the devil and begins chastising him for his creation. When Atticus walks over to have a discussion with Miss Maudie, Scout overhears Maudie say, " . . . erected an absolute morphodite in that yard!" (70) A "morphodite" is simply a mispronunciation of a hermaphrodite.
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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