Why do the children spit on the gate in Chapter 6 of To Kill a Mockingbird? How do you know that Jem respects his father?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    To celebrate Dill's last night in Maycomb for the summer, the three children in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird decide to finally invade the Radley Place and attempt to get a glimpse of Boo. First they squeeze under the high wire fence in the Radley's back lot before slowly making their way through the collard patch. Then they come upon the gate which separated the garden and the Radley's back yard. It squeaks.

    "Spit on it," whispered Dill.
    We spat ourselves dry, and Jem opened the gate slowly, lifting it aside and resting it on the fence. We were in the back yard.

    Jem shows his respect for Atticus in many ways. At the end of Chapter 5, Atticus tricks Jem into confessing that the kids are making fun of Boo, realizing later "that he had been done in by the oldest lawyer's trick on record." In Chapter 6, Jem decides to go back for his lost pants because

"Atticus ain't ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way... We shouldn'a done that tonight, Scout."

Later, in Chapter 10, Jem and Scout learn that Atticus is a crack shot with a rifle, something that he has never bragged about. Jem is proud of Atticus' humble ways, and he calls out that "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"


isabellaz1002 | Student
To prevent it from squeaking and making noises as they try to make their way to the Radley House. As for the second question, you can tell by his actions, how he obeys Atticus and takes care of Scout.
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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