To Kill a Mockingbird – Chapter 6

They sneak into the Radley’s back yard with the goal of peeping in one of the windows to get a look at Boo. Scout and Jem hold up Dill so that he can look in the window, but all he sees are curtains and “a little teeny light way off somewhere.” They move on to the back porch,where Jem carefully tiptoes up to look in another window. Describe what Jem, Scout, and Dill do in the Radley yard at the beginning of the chapter.
Suddenly they see the shadow of a man: “The back porch was bathed in moonlight, and the shadow, crisp as toast, moved across the porch toward Jem.” Terrified, the children run out of the yard as fast as they can. What do they see that makes them run away?
As the children climb through the fence, Jem gets caught up in it and must kick his pants off to get free. When Atticus asks Jem where his pants are, Dill makes up a story to cover for him. He says that he won Jem’s pants from him in a game of strip poker. What happens to Jem’s pants? What excuse does Dill make up to explain the situation?
Scout’s imagination runs wild through the night. Every sound she hears becomes magnified and transforms itself into something terrifying: Scout is unable to sleep because she is so scared.
: “…every scratch of feet on gravel was Boo Radley seeking revenge, every passing Negro laughing in the night was Boo Radley loose and after us; insects splashing against the screen were Boo Radley’s insane fingers picking the wire to pieces….” Scout uses personification in the last phrase of her description: “the chinaberry trees were malignant, hovering, alive.” How does she describe her sleepless night? Identify an example of personification in her description.
He does not want Atticus to find out what he, Scout, and Dill were up to. More importantly, he does not want to lose his father’s respect. He tells Scout, “Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way.” Why is it important to Jem to go back and get his pants before morning, even though the mission is dangerous?
Jem has this change of heart but it is likely due to his developing maturity. He is now thinking about the consequences of his actions and is feeling remorse for having disappointed Atticus. Jem has decided that what he, Scout, and Dill did was wrong. What might account for Jem’s change of heart?
Scout, on the other hand, is still very much a child. She cannot understand Jem’s newfound moral realization: “It was then, I suppose, that Jem and I first began to part company. Sometimes I did not understand him, but my periods of bewilderment were short-lived. This was beyond me.” How does Scout feel about it?

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