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Quotes

Quote #1

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.

Quote #2

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.)

Quote #3

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.

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