check out our:
Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything: "It's just that I can't think of a way to make him come out without him gettin' us." Besides, Jem had his little sister to think of.
When he said that, I knew he was afraid. (1.72-75)
For Jem, fear is something to be ashamed of. Maybe this is why kids are obsessed with Boo: acting like they're not scared of him is a way for them to show off to each other.
As the summer progressed, so did our game. We polished and perfected it, added dialogue and plot until we had manufactured a small play upon which we rang changes every day. (4.95)
Play-acting Boo's life might be a way for the kids to deal with their fear; maybe making it a game makes it easier for them to forget about its basis in reality. (We're pretty sure that explains the popularity of zombie video games.)
Jem said quietly, "My sister ain't dirty and I ain't scared of you," although I noticed his knees shaking. (11.78)
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can make you go medieval on a camellia bush and get detention for a month. Despite being a frail old lady in a wheelchair, Mrs. Dubose's tongue-lashings are enough to make even Jem shake in his boots.