The Chapter begins with the new school year and scout finding school just as boring as last year, however there was a bright spot now she got to walk home with her brother, Jem. One afternoon while they were walking home Jem tells Scout about the night he went back for his pants and found them folded and stitched. Jem expressed concern about the fact that someone was watching them and could be reading his mind but Scout reassures him saying no one could know what he was going to do. As they walk past the tree that Scout previously found gifts in, they see a ball of twine. Thinking that the tree was someones hiding spot they didn’t take it but when it was still there after 2 days Scout pockets the twine and took anything else that was in the tree from then on. The next month they found 2 miniature dolls that oddly seemed to represent Jem and Scout. Over the next few weeks the children found a packet of gum, a spelling medal, and a pocket watch that didn’t work, however Jem decides to keep it for himself. The kids decide to write a letter to whoever is sending them gifts but when they go to the tree to leave the note they find to their astonishment the hole sealed with cement. Wishing to find an answer Jem asks Mr. Radely about the tree and finds out he sealed the hole because the tree was dying. However when Jem asked his father, Atticus, if the tree was sick he says its healthy leaving the children perplexed to why Mr. Radely said it wasn’t.
Themes, Motifs, and Mood
Themes: Education is a major theme, because throughout the chapter, one of the most important conflicts is the one involving Scout’s schooling.
Motifs: "As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around in it: if I had gone alone to the Radley Place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon."- Jean (Ch.7, pg 77) as already explained by Atticus (Ch.3, pg.39), being compassionate about others feelings helps you understand others better.
Mood: The mood of this story began cheerful as Scout was happy to walk home from school with Jem and receive gifts from the mysterious tree. “The only thing good about the second grade was that I had to stay as late as Jem, and we usually walked home together” (pg 77) “Less than two weeks later we found a whole package of chewing gum, which we enjoyed” (pg 80) However the chapter ended with a hopeless mood as the children realised they would no longer be receiving gifts. “Someone had filled our knot hole with cement. “Don’t you cry, now, Scout... don’t cry now, don’t you worry-“ he muttered to me” (pg 82)
Allusions: "He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't."(Ch.7, pg.79)
The story bases this quotation from Ancient Egyptian artifacts and writings.
“Jem waved my words away as if fanning gnats” (Ch.7, pg 78) - simile
"Like somebody was reading my mind...like somebody was readin' my mind...like somebody could tell what I was gonna do." (Ch.7, pg.78) – simile
"When I went back, they were folded across the fence...like they were expectin' me." (Ch.7, pg.78) – personification
Physical: “There are no clearly defined seasons in South Alabama; summer drifts into autumn, and autumn is sometimes never followed by winter, but turns to a days-old spring that melts into summer again. That fall was a long one, hardly enough for a light jacket.” (pg 79) Scout describes the seasons are undefined and that they change but never quite change. The temperature changes but ever so slightly that you can’t call it a new season.
Psychological: The mood of the chapter was peaceful, since in this chapter there is a lull in action and everyone is relaxed.
Political: The person in power in