In "To Kill a Mockingbird," why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem and Dill?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like most children, the Finch kids and Dill have fun with the fear of a possible ghost, haunted house, and daring one another in regards to both of those things.

The Radley Place is fascinating because the children have made it mysterious. One of the inhabitants is an apparition-like figure they've nicknamed "Boo." Boo is occasionally glimpsed through a window but none of the children have ever met him.

The children build the place up in their minds, convincing themselves that if Boo "catches" them, they will come to harm. (See Ch 4) The children heighten their fear, adding new details all the time to Boo's history. When Jem is dared, he tries to scare the others as much as he is scared by saying "I don't think he's still there. He died years ago and they stuffed him up the chimney."

Eventually the children learn that all they have concocted is not the least bit true. Fortunately, they have learned this important lesson as children. The adults complicit in the accusations, trial, and eventual death of Tom are not as enlightened.

grade9 | Student

The house fascinates Jem, Scout, and Dill because they are the only people who have stepped foot in the Radley's yard. They notice how Boo puts treasures in the tree in the front yard. This is one of many reasons why that particular house fascinates them. These three kids believe that the house is to be haunted. There never seems to be anybody there. They'll sit there and watch that house until they see something weird.

redmist | Student

the children were forbidden access to the Radley's place. like the saying 'forbidden food always tastes better', they were even more intrigued by the place. furthermore, all the news they've heard came from gossips and rumours, and nobody was able to tell them the truth. out of curiosity typical of children their age, and wanting to know what really happened, the find the Radley place fascinating.

rstoecklin | Student

The children find the Radley place facinating because of the suspense and intrigue associated with it. The children are told never to go over there, and this spurs the suspense of the place.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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