“You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease. “

Tonight, after you have re-read chapters 8-9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, please respond on our blog:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?
  • Remember, a good discussion question does not have a single answer.  Good questions lead to interesting conversations.

Also remember to:

  • Make sure that you read all or some of your classmates posts and comment on at least one other post in this thread.
  • Annotate!  Annotate!  Annotate!  Use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion tomorrow.  Remember!  Everyone must participate.
Mockingbird blog #3

52 thoughts on ““You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease. “

  1. We live in a world today where every baby is given a name when they are first born. But with this there is a question in which many can’t answer, this is, how is it that by just looking at a baby, you can name it? In other words, how can it be that a parent can just look at a baby and know what to name them without even knowing what their future holds and who they are going to be? Also, why is it that the kid’s name always fit the child’s personality? Well maybe it doesn’t. In the fantastic book, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, this answer arose. In the book, there is a character named Arthur Radley, otherwise known as Boo Radley. Author was given his name of Boo by the other kids due to him being sneaky and never leaving his house. Some can say that his nickname is boo due to his frightening stories and how scary he is just like a ghost who says boo and then scares kids away. Anyways, given this name, Boo sticks to it and hides. Although, in chapter 8, Boo did something extraordinary, he gave the main character, Scout a blanket. In my eyes, this was extremely kind and whoever did this shouldn’t be called a frightful man but instead a nice one. As this just shows how names can be offensive and how they can have no relation to who the person actually is sometimes.

    • Nice job, Noy. I agree that names can sometimes have no connection to a person. I also wonder why Boo gave that blanket to Scout..?

      • I think that he may have given her the blanket because he felt like they were, in a way, friends. He had been called Boo instead of his real name, and there are a lot of disgusting rumors about hi. I think that he was leaving the gifts in the tree, and when they wrote a thank you letter to him, and kept trying to talk to him, he didn’t feel quite as separate as everyone else. Either that or he is just a nice guy and saw what was going on, so he gave her a blanket to help stay warm.

    • Great Job, Noy! You did a fabulous job introducing your topic and explaining it. I agree that names at times can be deceiving and that people that seem frightening can turn out to be very kind and caring people. Keep up the great work!

      • I think that Boo Radley was almost being protective of Scout. He probably knew that she was scared and cold and he thought the blanket would help her. Noy, you had a great blog! Good job!

  2. Multiple events happened in chapters 8-9. From the fire to the fight between Scout and Francis, there were many things that occurred in these chapters. But, during the fire, we see another appearance of the mysterious character, Boo Radley. While Jem and Scout are standing outside of the Radley’s house, safely away from the fire, Scout somehow gets a blanket. She is so focused on the fire that she does not realize that the blanket was wrapped around her, by none other than Boo Radley. Scout is disgusted when she finds out that is was Boo who gave her the blanket, and almost throws up due to this fact. But, there are many questions about Boo that arise because of his action. We have already seen that Scout and Jem were left presents by one of the Radleys. We have also seen that Scout, Jem and Dill had a massive obsession with the Radley family. Now, that obsession may also be the same for Boo Radley. Boo looks to be the person who was leaving the gifts for Scout, and now, he is also giving her a blanket. We still do not know his motivation for giving these gifts, but there will probably be a connection between the two characters in the future.

    • Nice blog! I really liked how you summarized what happened and how you compared the two incidents. I guess we will have ti continue reading to find out if the two have any connections.

  3. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants. Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was,” (pg 108).
    Scout does not wear pretty dresses and brush her hair nicely into a braid. She likes to play with Jem and Dill, going on adventures and wearing pants. Aunt Alexandra believes that she has to wear a dress to be a lady, and that girls should be playing with pretend kitchens and tea sets. During this time period, girls were expected to be all pretty and dainty. They should always be wearing dresses, and not pants. Scout’s self-confidence is affected by Aunt Alexandra’s word. She feels out of place, and feels like she isn’t right. Scout is hurt, but when Atticus tells her that it didn’t matter, she felt a little better. Atticus is a great father to Scout, and he really cares for her, and is gentle and lenient with her. He lets her learn independently, and encourages her to be herself.

    • I like what you said about how girls don’t need to be ladies. Scout should be able to have fun, however her Aunt believes that she should act more properly and not enjoy the games she likes the best. Your paragraph also gave a definition for a good parent which I also liked.

  4. After reading chapters 8-9, I’ve noticed many new passages that are interesting. The one that strikes me the most is Scout eavesdropping on Uncle Jack and Atticus, when she thinks they don’t know she’s there. In their conversation, they discuss Scout’s behavior, his current case, and other things. However, at the end, Atticus tells Scout to go to bed. “I scurried to my room and went to bed. Uncle Jack was a prince of a fellow not to led me down. But I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said,” (pp. 117). Besides the inquiry of how he knew she was listening, Scout also remarks from the future that Atticus meant for her to hear everything he said. He purposely says certain things so that Scout would know what he is thinking. This is interesting to me because it causes me to think he is even more wise. Earlier in the novel, we saw how he always knows when Jem or Scout were lying. This raises my respect of him as a parent even more, as he always knows the right thing to do for his children. One of the questions I have after reading these chapters is: Why did Boo Radley give a blanket to Scout? What connection does the Radley family have to the Finches? Nathan Radley apparently dislikes them since he filled up the hole upon finding out the gifts were going to Jem and Scout, but Boo actually gives a gift to them. What motives do they have behind this? These questions will generate an interesting discussion, since so much of the novel so far is intertwined with this strange people.

  5. In chapters 8-9 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, many interesting, and significant events occur. First and foremost, Maycomb endures a real winter, with a light snowfall enough for schools to be closed. Jem and Scout are fascinated by this snowfall, and use Miss Maudie’s snow as well in an attempt to construct a snowman. They soon learn that there isn’t enough snow for that. Later on that night, Atticus wakes up Scout and helps her put on her bathrobe and coat and goes outside with her and Jem. It turns out that Miss Maudie’s house is on fire. The neighbors are all surrounded by her house when an interesting event occurs. While Scout is obeying Atticus and waiting by the Radley gate, Boo Radley had placed a blanket over her. Does this mean that he cares about her? This opens up the possibility of Boo placing the items in the knot-hole. After that, we learn that Atticus is defending a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white woman. As a result, Scout hears, “Scout Finch’s daddy defends niggers,” quite a lot. One night while meeting up with some relatives, Francis tells Scout that Dill is a runt and then calls Atticus a “nigger-lover.” Scout responds aggressively cursing, and beating him. Francis tells Alexandra and Uncle Jack that Scout hit him, and Uncle Jack spanks her without hearing her side of the story. After they return to Maycomb, Scout tells Jack what Francis said and Jack becomes furious. As you can see, chapters 8-9 of To Kill a Mockingbird were action-packed. I think that Boo Radley will become an even bigger aspect of this novel and that Scout will build a good relationship with her Uncle Jack.

      • Great response! Your blog post gave a nice, detailed summary of what happened during the chapters we read. You got all of the important events down!

  6. Chapters 8 to 9 are full of interesting details, and events. Ranging from Scout seeing snow for the first time, to a fire, and then to Christmas Day, there are many significant events that occur. One of the most strangest events is when Scout suddenly finds herself, out of nowhere, with a blanket on, in the freezing cold. She was watching Miss Maudie’s house burn down. When Atticus sees the blanket, he implies that Boo Radley put it around Scout. Scout was too busy watching the fire to even notice Boo Radley. When Scout finds out that it was Boo Radley, she is not exactly pleased. She almost throws up, and is shocked and disgusted. However, we can feel from this action that Boo Radley is actually a nice person, instead of the freak everyone thinks he is. Also, Jem also figures out that it was Boo Radley who put the gifts in the tree for Scout and Jem.

  7. “You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease. Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand. . . I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough.”

    This passage in chapter 9 is foreshadowing to an upcoming event. What Atticus is going to do is going to have a huge impact on the lives of his family and his kids. What is Atticus doing or going to do? We notice in this monologue that Atticus includes reference to how “reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up”. This can help us infer that what Atticus is doing likely relates to his current case which the neighbors have talked about. In this very segregated area we can see how one person defending an African American could cause a ripple, but just how large? We also see in this paragraph that the last question is a question of trust suggesting Atticus might do something against the social norms or untrustworthy. From all this evidence and other hints inlaid in the novel we can infer what this act might be. We already know it is likely about Atticus’s current case but he might do something surprising and exciting in that case. Something large enough to make the neighbors dislike him and his children. Whatever this monologue is warning us about I hope both Jem and Scout can get through it with as little difficulty as possible.

  8. Throughout chapters 8-9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, many interesting events arose. One passage that caught my attention is the incident with the fire at Mrs. Maudie’s house, and the mysterious blanket that appeared on Scout’s shoulders. The fire at Mrs. Maudie’s house happened in the middle of the night, and as as Atticus helped his neighbor, he instructed Jem and Scout to stay put. This is illustrated as Scout recounts “At the front door, we saw fire spewing from Miss Maudie’s diningroom windows… Now listen, both of you. Go down and stand in front of the Radley Place. Keep out of the way, do you hear?” (page 92). While the children watch from a distance, they take in the scene of many people lending a hand to try and save as much of Mrs. Maudie’s belongings as possible. As the fire dies down,and they return to the house, Atticus inquires about the blanket that Scout is holding. He asks, “‘Then whose blanket is that?’ ‘Blanket?’…’We’d better keep this and the blanket to ourselves. Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.’ ‘Thank who?’ ‘Boo Radley.’” (pages 95 and 96). The fact that Boo Radley provides Scout with a blanket further suggests that he is unlike the perception people have of him. By giving Scout a blanket, and thus keeping her warm, Boo also spurs further curiosity in the children about him. Boo Radley is a mysterious character, and it will be intriguing to see how Lee develops his character in the upcoming chapters and if there is any further connections between him and the Finch children

  9. A part I would like to discuss in class is the part when Scout gets into a fight with Francis. In this part Francis is calling Atticus a n— lover. This is because Atticus is working on a case defending Tom Robinson. Francis and many others have heard of this and began calling him that name. Scout gets very mad at first then remembers what Atticus told her about how people will say things and to not get mad. So she lets it go. Then when things are going ok Francis says n—-lover under his breath. Scout losses it and punches Francis in the face and jumps atop him. The adults rush out and the fight is over. This tells us that Scout will protect her father’s name and that she has a temper.

  10. In chapters 8-9 in the book by Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird we find out that Atticus is raising his kids “wrong”. His sister believes that Scout should be wearing dresses and playing with dolls instead of running around and climbing fences. “‘Sister, I do the best I can with them!’ It had something to do with my going around in overalls. Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches…”(108) Atticus loves his kids, and never had done anything to hurt them. It annoys him how his siblings are telling him he is doing a poor job at raising his kids. At the end of chapter 9, Atticus and Uncle Jack are talking about Scout and how Atticus doesn’t want to hurt his kids. Scout was listening to their conversation, and she later on realized that Atticus wanted her to hear every word of it. Maybe Atticus wanted to show her that he trusts his kids and that he never wants to do them harm. I like how the kids and their dad have some kind of bond. They respect one another and I really hope that doesn’t change throughout the novel.

  11. As we continue through To Kill A Mockingbird, we learn more and more about the Radleys. They we’re slain through rumors about them, even if no one really knew any of them that well. Although they’re were so many rumors going around the neighborhood, it doesn’t mean that any of them are true. For all we know, the Radleys may be the exact opposite we were told to expect from them, and that society had pushed them to become so mysterious. The one in the Radleys that was hurt the most was Mr. Arthur Radley, known as Boo Radley. His first accusation was for stabbing Mr. Radley with scissors. He was said to be working, then stabbed him, and then continued his work. That sounds like he was crazy, right? Well, like they say, he is innocent until proven guilty. Mrs. Radley said “Arthur was killing them all”pp. 13, when that was not at all true, since he only was accused of stabbing Mr. Radley on the leg, and nowhere else. It does not make any sense, especially since he seemed to have no motive, at least what Scout was told. To add onto that, there are many references showing that the three kids had gotten a lot of this information from Miss Stephanie Crawford. I have reason to believe that maybe she was manipulating people to think that the Radleys were to be avoided. As evidence, she was showing to be manipulative by trying to get Miss Maudie’s recipe with letting her say at her house after her house burned down. It is hard to gain solid information from only one person. I also have reason to believe that Arthur is simply misunderstood. There is quite a few moments that shows him being soft. First, when Scout rode her tire into the Radley’s lawn, she heard laughter. It could not have been Nathan or Mrs. Radley, since they didn’t seem to be the kind to act such a way, so there is a possibility that it was Arthur laughing. Second, on the day that he “had stabbed Mr. Radley with a knife,” apparently he was using the scissors to make a scrapbook. Would a lunatic work on a little arts-and-crafts project like that? Plus, if he wanted to stab Mr. Radley, it would have been more efficient to use a sharper weapon, like a knife. Third, Jem and Scout had found items in the Radley’s tree. It would make sense for Arthur to do things like that. I mean, there isn’t that many adults who can whittle dolls of people, and that seems more like a project for someone more childish, and is skilled at it, which fits Arthur, since he seemed childish to make a scrapbook when he was 33. Also, the tree was part of the Rdaley’s property, so there is much evidence pointing towards it. I also have a reason to believe that Nathan Radley had cemented the tree so Arthur could not be connected to outside life. I mean, he seemed to handle a child in his yard with a rifle to get him out. Lastly, during the fire, Arthur had covered Scout with a blanket. It would make no sense at all that a crazy person would have the ability to be able to do such a thing. Now that you think about it, if Nathan was helping with the fire, that meant Arthur was able to roam there without anyone knowing, especially since not many people actually know what he looks like. Hopefully, we can learn more about this intriguing character.

    • Very Interesting view. I talked about something similar in my thought of how Boo would most likely turn out to be a much nicer person than expected.

  12. There were many important events that occurred in Chapters 8-9. One instance that was mentioned many times before is how, and who put the blanket on Scout. Almost everyone believes that its Boo but theres the small percentage who thinks it isn’t. It seems suspicious. Maybe Boo knew that Dill, Jem, and Scout had an interest in him. Maybe now, Boo has an interest in them. I have a feeling that they will have an encounter soon. Another important topic that may be a motif or a theme is again, parenthood. Uncle Jack is important role model for Jem and Scout, as he is the “cool uncle.” When Scout defends Atticus, in front of Francis, Scout is the one who gets “licked” and Francis goes away grinning. When Scout comes home, she talks with Uncle Jack and has a good conversation about “knowing kids”. Uncle Joe receives a good lesson.

    • This was a good point to bring up Anjali, I had almost forgotten about it but it was great to get to read you bring it to light again. Wonderful job!

  13. In tonights reading, we got a taste of what Scout’s family was like. Throughout the reading we learn that Atticus, Jem and Scout are kind of the outcasts of the family. They don’t really fit in too well. Atticus’s sister Aunt Alexandra and his mom have this exact view of what a proper lady is and that Scout should act that way. They criticize her for wearing pants and running around doing things that is not right for a girl to do. Scout thinks this is so unfair because girls should be allowed to wear and do whatever they want. Another time we see how the rest of the family sees Atticus as a disgrace because they disagreed with hoe he raised the kids and the he was a so-called “n***** lover” just for fighting for a black man that deserved to be helped. The family obviously sees Atticus as a lesser person even though he should be rewarded for how open-minded he was for a white man living in the South at this time. All he wanted was to give a worthy person the same fighting chance a whit male would’ve gotten, and that is a very honorable thing. The extended family of Jem Scout and Atticus had some very different views of them and although you can’t say that one is wrong or right because of different opinions, Atticus has done a great job raising his kids and he should not be shot down all the time for it.

  14. Tonight our reading assignment was chapters 8 and 9. In these chapters we see the first snowfall in many, many years, we learn more about how Scout defends herself (through fighting), and meet the extended Finch family. Although all of tonight’s reading was interesting, I found one part to be intriguing. Scout gets in trouble by Uncle Jack, and later Scout explains to him why he doesn’t understand kids. After this Uncle Jack decides that he doesn’t want kids, and is talking to Atticus about it, and Atticus is giving advice. Almost all of this passage is in quotations by Atticus, giving us a perspective change [author’s craft move;)]. We learn Atticus’s parenting methods, and what he sees for his children in the future. This passage makes me understand, and like, Atticus more.

    • It is definitely interesting when you see another perspective for something. It’s definitely important in the story, so great topic!

  15. “You’re right. We’d better keep this and the blanket to ourselves. Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.” “Thank who?” I asked. “Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.”(Pg. 96)
    I chose this quote because I thought that it would become very relevant later in the story. Considering the amount of time spent describing the urban legend around the Radleys, I think that they will play a very large role in the story. This paragraph relates to this, as it is more evidence that Boo Radley is not the malignant spirit as the children in Maycomb may have you believe, but rather a kind person willing to help those in need. This also ties into the way children think and see adults. While all of the adults in maycomb refer to Boo in a respectful manner, but the children do not, spreading an urban legend about his nighttime wanderings. This also refers back to Mrs. Caroline, and that the reason that she often gets into arguments with the children is because she thinks about them thinking the way adults do, for example an adult would think to explain why Walter Cunningham cannot take money, but a child would see it fit to simply say “He’s a Cunningham” and leave it at that.

  16. Many things happen in these chapters, and many of them were important. Dill came back his summer, as he always does. But this year wasn’t as fun at first. Scout and the others couldn’t figure out what to do. But finally they decided that they wanted to reenact Boo Radley’s life as the have heard it. They had a lot of fun doing this, and instead of switching to multiple different plays like they used too, now they only stuck with Boo Radley’s life. They got so interested in it that they tried to get the attention a Boo. So, that summer consisted of them acting out Boo’s life, and trying to get notes to Boo to get him outside so that they would know if the rumors that they had grown up with were true. They tried again and again, but were unsuccessful. One time they even got Mr. Radley (not Boo but rather his older brother) to shoot a shotgun into the air. As they ran away, Jem got his pants stuck and ripped them and took them off and left them on the fence. Later when he went to get them they were sewn closed and left on top of the fence folded. I believe, that along with the gifts in the tree, Boo also folded and sewed Jem’s pants. I believe that Boo was beginning to like Jem and Scout. They were trying to reach him and even left a thank you letter which made him happy because it seemed like the kids didn’t care about the rumors that were told about him, and still wanted to know him. This would also explain why he gave Scout the blanket during the fire. He was shy and didn’t want her to see him, but was happy that they didn’t think of him based on the rumors. In reality they did still think of him as the rumors described him, but from his point of view everything they were doing was nice, or meant to be nice to him.

    • Wait, your blog confuses me. Dill only came back in chapters 4-7, not 8-9, which was tonight’s reading. Also, most of what you are focusing on is from a part of the last reading. You didn’t really focus on a passage from chapters 8-9. I agree with your ideas though.

      • Arjun, your right, but he is still connecting it to the reading from tonight, as he continues to highlight how Boo Radley helps the children.

  17. Scout makes an interesting comment at the end of chapter 9 in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. After Atticus is talking about his case with Jack late in the night, and Atticus learns that Scout was eavesdropping and sent her back to bed, she remarked “I scurried to my room and went to bed. Uncle Jack was a prince of a fellow not to let me down. But I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said,” (p. 117). This is particularly interesting. Why did Atticus want Scout to listen to them? It seems like he wanted to (so-called) tell Scout that he understood her and what she is going through. That way, if she ever has a problem, instead of going to the neighbors or asking for the word on the street, she will ask Atticus. It also seems like he is saying these things to gain her favor. Atticus obviously wouldn’t want to lose control of his children just because of a seemingly unwinnable case. He feels that if he can earn her respect, Scout may still follow him, even if he does lose the case. This quote also tells us that Scout is narrating from far into the future. This means that part 2 will most likely skip to years later. It foreshadows what kind of impact that Atticus’s reason for letting her listen will have on Scout’s life. To summarize, that quote from the text helps us to understand Atticus’s thought process as he let Scout listen, and also gives us a clue as to what kind of book that this may turn into.

    • Arjun, this is a wonderful analysis with many good ideas, like about the novel will eventually skip ahead a couple of years. Great job analyzing the author’s craft to come to that conclusion. I also agree that Atticus let Scout listen so that he could gain her trust more, even if he doesn’t win this highly controversial case. Great response!

  18. One important scene that occurs in chapter 8 is when there is a fire in Miss Maudie’s home. The reader learns much more about the characters. One example is of Jem. He listens to everything Atticus tells him. Instead of disobeying what Atticus says like how he has previously done with his Radley game and protects Scout. He does not let her out of sight and they stay next to the Radley Place. This shows that Jem can be responsible and obedient in emergencies and when he wants to. The reader also finds Boo Radley during the fire. He puts a blanket around Scout almost in a way that he can be described as protective. After all, Scout was the most scared an all she was wearing was a bathrobe, a coat, socks, and shoes with whatever she was wearing while she was sleeping. She would most likely feel cold especially since this happens during a winter night. Although the reader can predict Boo Radley put the blanket on Scout for that reason, the reader can only make predictions about him. He is still a mysterious character that is yet to be discovered. Another character that the reader learns about is Miss Maudie. After her house burns down, she is almost happy with it happening. She loses her house and Mr. Avery gets hurt, but she is still in a happy mood. Either she is the craziest woman ever or she is very optimistic. Either way, she explains to Jem and Scout that she will get a big house built and thinks that she was waiting for it to happen. The whole novel is full of distinct characters that make Maycomb county such a mysterious yet fascinating place.

  19. In chapters 8 and 9 many eventful things occurred. One of the biggest was when Miss Maudie’s house was on fire, and Scout and Jem were in the cold they had a blanket that wasn’t theirs. Atticus says that Boo Radley came up behind Scout and wrapped it around her. I think we should discuss what this means for Boo as a character. I truly believe that he is desperately trying to get the kids to change the way they see him, and so he’s attempting many acts of kindness to get their attention. Also the incident between Francis and Scout is definitely worth discussion.

    • Try to go into more detail with what should be discussed. It’s good that you specified the Boo Radley incident, but what makes the Francis-Scout moment worth discussing?

  20. In chapter 8 of To Kill A Mockingbird, Miss Maudie’s house catches fire in the middle of the night. While Scout is watching all the commotion, someone places a blanket that she does not notice until Atticus points it out. This is mysterious because Mr. Radley was busy helping out with the fire, but Scout is on the front lawn of the Radley household. It’s concluded that it must’ve been someone inside the house, and it’s believed to be Boo Radley. Crazy, huh? It’s almost like a friendly Frankenstein. He’s made out to be some monster, but everything would suggest that he is truly quite the opposite. It’s interesting to think about how he really must be personality-wise. Yes, he has done things that would classify him as crazy, but he might also be lonely. It may sound weird how a psychopath could get lonely in a non-murdering way, but it’s as if he doesn’t want to harm anyone. My question is what could make Scout so special? Boo has definitely taken a liking to her, so could it be how she acts? Maybe Boo is interested in Scout because she went up to the house when nobody else would. This definitely should be discussed in class in further detail.

    • I love how you chose the part of the novel with the fire. I missed the part where Boo Radley is suspected to have started the fire when I first read it. Now it makes so much sense. Great Response!

  21. In the chapters 8 and 9, many noteworthy events take place, which raise many deeper questions. First, there is the matter of the snow. Now, it rarely ever snows in Alabama, and it scared the townspeople to an extent, since they don’t see it often. So naturally, being the superstitious people that they are, snowing means that people have done wrong things to anger god. Could this be a symbol representing the message that children have done something wrong, or are going to? The next event of significance is the fire that burned down Miss Maudie’s house. In the fire, nobody appeared to be hurt, and some of the most valued items and furniture were saved. During he fire, though, Boo Radley had apparently wrapped a blanket around Scout, without her noticing, to keep her warm. This shows us a great deal about Boo Radley. This shows us this humble, kind side of Mr. Radley previously unbeknownst to us. But we also know that he is willing to shoot a black person for standing in his yard. This shows us the truly old-fashioned social hierarchy Mr. Radley still lives by. He is kind, but doesn’t really understand that black people are even human, most likely being raised by parents who owned slaves. What happens in the aftermath is also worth taking into consideration. When Jem and Scout go to check on Miss Maudie, she isn’t even sad. She sees this as an opportunity to rebuild her house into a smaller one, which she always wanted, so she can grow her flowers. There is a metaphor about life: “always stop to smell the flowers”. Could it be that Miss Maudie’s garden is representing what truly makes her happy, and that her way of dealing with loss is to simply use it to her advantage? What could this mean for the entire story?

  22. In chapters eight and nine in “To Kill A Mockingbird” a lot of valuable events took place. One event in particular is when Miss Maudie’s house caught on fire and Scout and Jem were forced to stay outside and wait for the fire o stop. One thing that is important to note is that when Scout came home, she had a blanket wrapped around her, and nobody knew where it came from. Boo Radley actually gave it to her. This might show that Boo might not be what all the town rumors say he is. He might be friendly, and giving a person your blanket is very kind, therefore making me think that Boo really isn’t that bad. Overall, Boo Radley might not be so horrible, and maybe Scout will found out if he really is a nice person.

  23. Chapters 8-9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, many interesting things happened. It snowed, which is very rare for Maycomb. “As it has not snowed in Maycomb County since 1885, there will be no school today.” (pg. 73). Of course, the children were excited to build a snowman, so they used dirt and snow mixed together because there wasn’t enough snow. We also read about all the characters and events at christmas in chapter 9. However, I would like to analyze the part of chapter 9 where we hear talk of Atticus defending a negro.

    “I’m simply defending a Negro—his name’s Tom Robinson. He lives in that little settlement beyond the town dump. He’s a member of Calpurnia’s church, and Cal knows his family well. She says they’re clean-living folks. Scout, you aren’t old enough to understand some things yet, but there’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man. It’s a peculiar case—it won’t come to trial until summer session. John Taylor was kind enough to give us a postponement…” (pg.86). Since it is the deep south in the 1930’s, segregation was very bad and whites and blacks couldn’t do anything together. Scout and Jem were made fun of because their father was gonna support somebody of a different race. Atticus made a good point in saying everyone needs respect and help, which made me like Atticus a lot more. Some questions we could discuss in class to be what we are thinking about this case. For some reason, it was postponed until the summer, and it was described as very peculiar. Also, Atticus kept talking about how this man was a good man so I am a little confused but excited to see what happens next. I think this is probably going to be the big case in the book that I have heard about, but we will have to wait and see.

  24. In last night’s chapters, the part that was most interesting to me was when there was a fire in Miss Maudie’s house. After the fire went down, Miss Maudie stayed with Miss Crawford. At Jem and Scout’s house, Scout learns that the mysterious blanket around her shoulders was put there by Boo Radley! Jem saw him but it didn’t state if Atticus saw, but Scout didn’t even notice the blanket until Atticus brought it up. Atticus believed Jem and told miss Maudie that it was Boo, and she believed it as well. Miss Maudie was strange towards the end of the chapter because she was looking on the bright side, when the previous night, she wouldn’t talk to anyone. I predict that one of the Radley’s set her house on fire. It said in a previous chapter that they are foot washers, and she had been yelled at by a mob of foot washers because she “spent too much time time in God’s outdoors, and not enough time indoors reading the Bible,” so that gives them a motive. And of course Mr. Nathan would come to help the house so he wouldn’t appear suspicious.

  25. An interesting motif keeps coming up in the text, which is that everyone is very set on making sure Scout is more “ladylike,” and less of a tomboy. Atticus knows how other people feel about this, specifically their family, and he tells them, “‘I do the best I can with them!’” (pg 108) I like that Atticus doesn’t push Scout to be someone she isn’t, just because his sister tells him to. In this time period, girls were always taught to dress a certain way, act a certain way, and play a certain way. However, Scout rarely acted, dressed, or played in this ladylike fashion, which bothered her aunt terribly. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that required pants.” (pg 108) She wanted her to play with tea sets and dolls, but Scout would rather run around and play with Jem and Dill. Furthermore, Jem tends to use phrases like, “‘you’re gettin’ more like a girl everyday,’” to manipulate Scout into doing what he wants. This makes me think that Scout might act so un-ladylike out of spite for her aunts words. If she is willing to do something that she obviously doesn’t like or agree with, just because Jem said she was acting like a girl, then perhaps she is doing these things specifically so that she doesn’t follow those standards expected by her aunt. Of course, she could also be acting this way just because being called a girl is often taken as an insult, which is how Jem meant it when he used it to get his way.

  26. In chapters 8 and 9 of How to kill a Mockingbird. The nature of Arthur Radley otherwise know as Boo Radley can be concluded from his actions so far in the novel. Boo was first brought out to be a psychotic character who is mad and terrifying. This may be how he was first shown but his actions so far in the novel reflect on a nature that is a polar opposite to what he is conceived to be. We finally see that Boo was the one who left the gifts there. This is a kind act and contradicts everything that is said about Boo. Also when Boo drew the blanket on Scout. I see this act as a form of concern. It is almost as though he cares about Scout. The question however is why. Why would Boo even care about Scout. Also why is he locked away. Maybe he is just a misunderstood person. Overall I believe that Boo Radley will definitely be a significant character for times to come.

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