Summary of Chapter 8: The Coldest Winter Since 1885

For the first time in Maycomb’s history, the town experiences the coldest winter since 1885. The light snowfall makes the school decide to close for a few days, which is a very rare incident that can happen in Maycomb. The events as well as the snow on the ground make Scout think that it is already the end of the world.

The Snowman and Mr. Avery:

In this summary of to Kill a Mockingbird, Jem decides to build a snowman and invites Scout to gather as much snow from Miss Maudie’s place as she can. However, the snow that they can gather from their place and their neighbors’ place is not enough to make one big snowman. Jem decides to make a snowman from the combination of snow and dirt. He covers the dirt snowman structure with snow to make it look like a full pledge snowman. The snowman figure resembles Mr. Avery. Mr. Avery is a very unpleasant neighbor who lives down the street. Atticus sees the likeness clearly and demands that they disguise the figure. Jem puts the hat of Miss Maudie over the snowman’s head and put her hedge clippers on the snowman’s hands.

Miss Maudie’s House Burns Down:

Atticus wakes Scout. He tells her that the house next door is on fire. Miss Maudie’s house is on fire and they need to get out of their house too. The neighbors help Miss Maudie save some furniture while they watch and wait at the driveway of Boo’s house. Miss Maudie’s house all burned up but the fire truck arrives in time to prevent the fire from burning the neighbors’ houses.

Boo, Scout, and the Blanket:

The children spend the night at the driveway. During the commotion, someone put a blanket over Scout. Scout was horrified. She certainly has no idea who draped the blanket over her. Jem later realized that Boo put the blanket over her, which also explains the puzzle of the knothole treasures they receive from him. This includes the mended pants. In this summary of To Kill a Mockingbird, we also learn that Atticus asks the children to keep the event a secret. Scout later realize that Boo is right behind her while they are in the process of figuring out the blanket and the treasures, which almost make her throw up.

Miss Maudie’s Reaction:

They see that Miss Maudie is still happy despite the fact that she loses her house. She tells them that she wants a new smaller house anyway with a bigger garden. She hates her old house and is excited thinking of building the new one. She sighs expressing her desire to catch Boo putting the blanket over Scout.