To Kill a Mockingbird

3 main ideas of chapter 6


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In Chapter 6, the children come even closer to bridging the distance between themselves and Boo. Scout is reluctant to participate in these games, but can't stand to be left out, especially on charges of being too "girlish." Later on, Scout learns why Boo likes his privacy and understands why it's important to leave him alone, but for now, she is suspicious of him.

The children's attempts to connect with Boo evoke, again, the sense that children will be able to see Boo with more decency and sincerity than the rest of the populace. Their search through the darkness, the many gates, the vegetables in the yard, and then Dill's glance through the dark window with curtains through which there is one small light are somewhat symbolic of the children's search through layers of ignorance and rumor to find the truth underneath it all. By searching for the man who has been made into a monster by society, they bring back his basic common humanity and unite him with everyone else in spite of his unusual personality.

Atticus wants to make it possible for black people to exist on the same plane as whites, no longer subjected to an inhuman subjugation. Color is not insignificant here: Boo Radley is described as very, very white at the end of the book, and Tom is described as being extremely "velvety" dark - they are at opposite ends of the flesh color spectrum but both of these main "mockingbird figures" share the common dilemma of being markedly different from the flesh color considered the norm in Maycomb.