The main event in chapter eight was the snowfall and subsequent fire, which resulted in the loss of Miss Maudie’s house and touched the Finches’. While everyone in the town rushes to her house to save her possessions, Atticus tells Jem and Scout to wait by the Radley’s place for him. During the commotion, someone secretly slips a brown woolen blanket across Scout’s shoulders. After going back home, Atticus, Scout, and Jem decide that because everyone else was watching the fire, the only person that could have “given” her the blanket was Boo Radley
Throughout the book, Jem and Scout are slowly coming to the realization that Boo Radley is not just a legend, but an actual person. So far, this has happened in a very remote way – by leaving gifts and potentially letters in the tree, they establish contact and friendship in a very impersonal way. So, when Scout realizes that it was Boo Radley who had given her the blanket, she is horrified and “her stomach turned to water (96),” because he was only feet away from her.
Jem and Scout’s different reactions to this incident show their respective levels of maturity. As To Kill A Mockingbird is essentially a story about growing up, the dynamics between Jem and Scout are an important part of the story. While Scout is scared merely by the closeness of her encounter, Jem is afraid of more than that.Why do you think Jem responded the way he did? Why do you think Boo Radley gave her the blanket? Why does Atticus tell them to keep their stories of Boo quiet?