Re: To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapters 1 - 6
A remarkable aside from Scout's complaints about the boredom of school is her incidental remark that "my father had served for years in the state legislature, elected each time
without opposition, innocent of the adjustments my teachers thought essential to
the development of Good Citizenship". Was Atticus really a lawmaker as well as a lawyer?
The weird finding of Wrigley’s Double Mint chewing gum in the Radley tree on the way home from school expands in mystery as the second wrapper contains old pennies with Indian heads dating from 1900. These naturally have their own Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Head_cent
Surprisingly, the wiki entry fails to mention Jem’s assertion that these coins are “real strong magic, they make you have good luck. Not like fried chicken when you’re not lookin‘ for it, but things like long life ’n‘ good health, ’n‘ passin’ six-weeks tests…”
Summer holidays are celebrated with the arrival of Dill from Mississippi. An earlier chapter had explained that their friend Dill was “a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies.”
The imagination of inventing plays is an astounding thing for these rural kids, followed by smelling death and rolling in a tire. This is the sort of insane story for children who think they will live forever and have not yet experienced the caution bred by physical injury: “by pushing the tire down the sidewalk with all the force in his body. Ground, sky and houses melted into a mad palette, my ears throbbed, I was suffocating. I could not put out my hands to stop, they were wedged between my chest and knees. I could only hope that Jem would outrun the tire and me, or that I would be stopped by a bump in the sidewalk. I heard him behind me, chasing and shouting. The tire bumped on gravel, skeetered across the road, crashed into a barrier and popped me like a cork onto pavement. Dizzy and nauseated, I lay on the cement and shook my head still, pounded my ears to silence, and heard Jem’s voice: “Scout, get away from there, come on!”
The imaginative fun pauses for mid morning lemonade, then culminates with the game of Boo Radley, who for all they know is stuffed up a chimney: “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.” The game must be kept secret, which becomes a problem when Atticus takes an interest.