Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, how does the Boo Radley game change?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Boo Radley game was the inventive amusement first suggested by Dill on his first day back after returning to Maycomb. The children were bored with their standard play-acting of The Rover Boys, so Dill suggested that their new parts should include the characters of the Radley family: Jem played Boo, Dill played Mr. Radley, and Scout was Mrs. Radley, and their stage was the sidewalk outside where the whole world could see.

     As the summer progressed, so did our game. We polished it and perfected it, added dialogue and plot until we had manufactured a small play upon which we rang changes every day.  (Chapter 4)

The game became more and more gruesome, with the imaginary biting off of fingers and plunging of scissors into legs. The children stopped their game when anyone appeared, but one day they missed Atticus's silent appearance. When Atticus asked what they were doing, Jem replied, "Nothing," but the children soon found that Atticus knew better. The next day Atticus delivered an ultimatum--that the children "stop tormenting that man" and to give up the "asinine game he had seen us playing."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team