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TKAM - Chapter 4 & 5

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What does Scout think of current fashions in education?
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The children, Jem and Scout, have grown up hearing stories about Boo Radley and his house. Boo is said to roam around the backyards at night. He eats cats and squirrels and has blood stained hands from killing and eating them. At night the children hear scratching and believe that it may be Boo Radley out seeking his revenge. They would imagine him scratching on the screen and picking it apart with his fingers.
The children, Scout, Jem, and Dill, have been acting out their ideas about the Radleys in much the same way they had previously acted out stories they had read. This shows that the children view the Radley family as just a part of their fictional (fake) games. They don't see the Radleys as real people and the don't realize that their game may be hurtful to real humans behind the Radley windows.
Miss Maudie is not really like other women in Maycomb. Miss Maudie thinks for herself and does not gossip with the other women. She is very kind to the children and respects their privacy. The children trust Miss Maudie and respect her yard. Miss Maudie is very kind fo the children and makes them cakes during the summer.

When Miss Maudie's house burns down, she does not become overly upset. Instead she says she will just build a better house. She always looks on the bright side of things.
Miss Maudie tells Scout the truth about Boo Radley. She explains how Boo got in trouble with some teenagers and, in a plea bargain with the judge, was locked up in his father's house for pretty much of his life. Miss Maudie explains how Boo had stabbed his father in the leg with scissors.

Before talking to Miss Maudie, Scout thought that Boo was a freak who ate squirrels and stalked children. Miss Maudie helps Scout understand that Boo is a human being with a sad past.
Dill was lonely. He tells lies because he wants other people to like him and want to spend time with him. The lies he tells are designed to make himself sound interesting, so people will want to be with him. Possibly, he can't face the truth of his own life, either. He bounces around from family member to family member... like no one really wants him around.
Atticus catches the children and orders them to "stop tormenting that man" with either notes or the "Boo Radley" game. As an adult, Atticus can see the real hurt the game may be causing. In a quiet way, he reminds the children that "What Mr. Radley does is his own business." So Atticus has taught the children as lesson about respecting other people. This foreshadows a lesson he will try to to teach the town of of Maycomb by defending Tom Robinson.