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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.)
Gone was the terror in my mind of stale whiskey and barnyard smells, of sleepy-eyed sullen men, of a husky voice calling in the night, "Mr. Finch? They gone?" Our nightmare had gone with daylight, everything would come out all right. (17.56)
In the controlled, familiar environment of the courtroom, Scout isn't scared, but Tom is as much in danger of his life there as he was that night in jail. What makes her feelings so different? Why does this space seem safe?
"It is a scary place though, ain't it?" I said. "Boo doesn't mean anybody any harm, but I'm right glad you're along." […] "Ain't you scared of haints?"
We laughed. Haints, Hot Steams, incantations, secret signs, had vanished with our years as mist with sunrise. (28.3-7)
LOL. Weren't we silly when we were little? You know, all of two or three years ago? Jem and Scout may be chuckling about their childish fears, but there are still real things to be scared of—and now they're not just "haints," but real, murderous adult men. With knives.