Why do the kids get in trouble for their snowman in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "morphodite snowman" constructed by Jem and Scout serves as a symbolic representation of race relations and the social hierarchy in Maycomb. Because the unexpected snowfall is so light, the children are forced to use snow from Miss Maudie's yard as well as their own for their unusual creation. There is still not enough snow for a full-sized man, however, so Jem uses mud to construct the inner structure and then covers the outside with snow. First, they model the snowman after Mr. Avery, with a big pot belly, but Atticus believes it "slanderous," so Jem and Scout change its appearance to one of non-sexuality: Thus, the "morphodite snowman." In effect, they have created a snowman who is black on the inside and white on the outside. When Miss Maudie's house catches fire, the snow melts, leaving a surviving black "mudman" in its place. It serves to show that people aren't really so different on the inside, and it illustrates the black man's strong will of survival.

lbatjiaka | Student

In Chapter 8 of  To Kill A Mockingbird, for the first time in many years, there is a snowstorm.  Although they don't get a lot of snow, Jem and Scout decide to build a snowman.  They go over to Miss Maudie's house and clear as much snow as they can and bring it to their own yard.  Since they don't have enough snow to make a real snowman, they sculpt a small figure from dirt and cover it with snow.  Unfortunately, the figure they make looks just like Mr. Avery, an unpleasant man who lives on their block.  Atticus is upset that they would create such a likeness, so he makes them disguise the figure.  Jem goes and gets Miss Maudie's sun hat and puts it on the figure's head .

That same night, Miss Maudie's house burns down.  They children run out to watch in their pajamas and they are freezing.  In all of the ruckus, someone drapes a blanket over Scout to warm her up.  Scout and Jem realizes that it was Boo Radley. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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