Why does Atticus make the children leave the house and stand in front of the Radley's house in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    Indeed, why would Atticus send his children to the Radley House, where the scariest man in all of Maycomb resides in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird?  In this case, the Radley Place was safest place for Jem and Scout to observe the chaotic night that followed the surprise snow that covered the town in Chapter 8. After being blamed by Mr. Avery for the unseasonable autumn snowstorm and retaliating with a snowman that resembled their accuser, Jem and Scout were awakened that night by Atticus. They were hustled out of the house in their robes to witness the burning of Miss Maudie Atkinson's house.

    "It's gone, ain't it?" moaned Jem.
    "I expect so," said Atticus. "Now listen, both of you. Go down and stand in front of the Radley Place. Keep out of the way. See which way the wind's blowing?"

The children watched the rest of the blaze from there. So intent was their gaze upon the fire that neither of them noticed the blanket that was placed across Scout's shoulders by the man inside that they so desired to meet.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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