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To Kill A Mocking Bird
Chapter Eight
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Chapter eight begins with winter arriving in the form of snow; an
occurrence so unusual to Maycomb Scout at first thinks "the worlds
ending". Along with the end of Summer, Mrs.Radley's life too comes
to an end, a death that apparently "caused hardly a ripple" because
of her absence in the lives of the county folk. As the chapter
progresses, Jem decides to make a snowman with Scout, but since
the snow is so scarce, creates a "mud man" and covers it up with
snow to give the illusion of a snow man. Atticus, though impressed
by Jem's creation, suggests they cover the snow man up to hide it's
uncanny resemblance to Mr.Avery. Miss Maudie's house then burns
down in a fire that unites the towns folk, however she appears
happy to be rid of he hold big house, and rather focuses on the
bigger yard she will have in the future. When waiting outside while
the towns folk fought the fire, Boo Radley puts a blanket on Scout
without her noticing. The chapter ends on a surprisingly happy note,
with Jem and Scout leaving Miss Maudie in her back yard.
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· Loss of Innocence/Growing up- The fire in this chapter can be
interpreted to represent racism, and how, despite it spreading easily
to Miss Rachel's house, a combined effort of the towns folk can kill it
off easily before anything is harmed. The fire even brings out Nathan
and Boo Radley.
· Prejudice- The snow man in this chapter shows the innocence of the
children. Easily, they merge the mud with the snow to present
something worth appreciating. The mud in this case can be seen to
represent black people and the snow white people, and the
snowman shows how they can be together in harmony. When the
fire burns the snow man down, a loss of innocence is shown.
· These events foreshadow the events of the trial to come, in which
both children (but especially Jem) grow up and realise the prejudice
in Maycomb. Boo Radley covering Scout up also foreshadows how
he will protect both the children in the evens with the Ewell's to
· The fire truck in this chapter, breaks down and has to be pushed
along by the town folk. From it we are shown how behind the town is
and how it's old values and ethics are being pushed forward, but
quickly being replaced by newer and better traditions (the fire trucks
brought in from other towns).
· The unusual coldness of the town can also be seen to premeditate
the state of change the town will by
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Slide 4

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· Scouts Innocence- In chapter eight, through Scouts eyes we see her
misinterpretations of the events going on around her and how things
Jem picks up on she herself does not. Out in the snow, having never
experienced that extent of cold, Scout things the snow in hot, when
in fact it is just so cold it "burns". When Miss Maudie fusses over the
snow man, calling it an "absolute morphodite"Scout assumes that is
the name for their mud/snow man and later refers to it as the
"Absolute Morphodite" much to Miss Maudie's Pleasure. Later in the
chapter, when questioned about the blanket, Jem realises Boo had
put the blanket on Scout and also realises that Mr. Nathan wouldn't
be happy about it if he found out, defending Boo he and Atticus both
decide to keep the blanket. Scout, not realising the implications
handing the blanket back would have, simply thinks Jem has a
moment of madness in which he is putting both her and himself in
danger by giving away their secrets.
· Old town ethics and values/Prejudice- Maycomb comes together in
this chapter to put out the physical danger. However later on in the
novel, when their ethics are put to trial, the town becomes split
because of their old ethics and views since youth. At the start of
chapter eight, Jem and Scout are "burdened with the guilt of
contributing to the aberrations of nature"after being told by Mr.Avery
the cold weather is directly their fault for misbehaving. The fire truck,
as mentioned before, also reflects how behind the town is.
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Slide 5

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Character Analysis
· Miss Maudie: Miss Maudie maintains a light hearted
and kind nature, despite having the only thing she
had left burn down. We see how she worries only
about things that in her mind are most important-
thanking Mr.Avery with a cake, and previously,
protecting the flowers (which can also be seen as a
representation of innocence, helpless and destroyed
in the fire). She choses to focus on the future and
building a small house with a bigger yard, yet we are
also shown through the children's eyes her mourning
of the house that they do not notice themselves
(when she stays out in the cold for hours).
· Boo Radley: Though the children are still scared of
him, Boo Radley gains further sympathy from them.
His acts of kindness are realised by Jem and slowly
the prejudice around him from the children is
beginning to lift as A
they understand
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Slide 6

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Jem realises
Scout Extract could happen
to Boo if
nds what Nathan finds
"Jem seemed to have lost his mind. He began
Jem is doing pouring out our secrets right and left in total out and shows
disregard for my safety if not his own, omitting maturity as he
nothing, knot-hole, pants and all. `...Mr Nathan tries to defend
put cement in that tree, Atticus, an' he did it to him despite
Scout stop us findin' things- he's crazy, I reckon, like what telling
assumes that they say, but Atticus, I swear to God he aint Atticus his
her father did ever harmed us, he aint never hurt us, he could secrets could
not have cut my throat from ear to ear that night but do
understand he tried to mend my pants instead...he aint ever
because they hurt us, Atticus-'Atticus said, `Whoa, son'so
do not get in gently that I was greatly heartened. It was
obvious that he had not followed a word Jem
said, for all Atticus said was `You're right. We'd Despite Jem's
despite better keep this and the blanket to ourselves.
Atticus finding Some day, maybe, Scout can thank him for confession,
out about Scout doesn't
covering her up.'
what they did `Thank who?' I asked. `Boo Radley. You were realise Boo was
so busy looking at the fire you didn't know it the one to give
when he put the blanket around you.' her the blanket
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