Friday, August 19, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird Discussion: chapters 20-26

Calpurnia waited by the railing to get the Judge’sattention, when she did she delivered an envelope to Atticus. The envelope hada note inside from Atticus’s sister stating that his kids were missing, haven’tbeen home since noon. As he told the Judge about the note, Mr. Underwood spokesaying that the kids were up in the colored balcony and they have been theresince 1 P.M.
Atticus looked up and called for them to get down. At theend of the staircase they met both Atticus and Calpurnia, Atticus sent themhome with Calpurnia to have supper and allowed them to get back to hear theverdict.
Jem, Scout and Dill walked back home with Calpurnia whoscolded them all the way home. Aunt Alexandra was shocked once she heard wherethe have been, and even more shocked upon learning that Atticus gave thempermission to go back and hear the verdict. They all ate silently, and racedback to the courthouse. They waited with Reverend Sykes, who saved their seats,for jury to come with the verdict. Jem and the Reverend discussed the case withJem insisting “we’ve won it.” After that they all remained silent. The silencemade Scout and Dill sleepy; Scout still had enough energy to fight it, whileDill fell asleep on Jem’s shoulder.
The jury is finally back with a verdict; guilty.

As they left the courthouse and met Atticus outside, Jem wascrying and was incapable of saying anything more than “It ain’t right,Atticus.” He couldn’t believe that the jury would convict Tom when it wasobvious that he didn’t rape Mayella. As soon as they got home they all went tobed. On the next morning everyone was surprised when they saw the amount offood in the kitchen from the black community. Calpurnia explained to Atticusthat they were gifts appreciating what he did to Tom Robinson, in spite of theverdict. Atticus’s eyes welled up with tears as Calpurnia talked, he told herto thank them all and not to do it again, times were hard. Atticus then excusedhimself and left the house.

Soon after that Dill came over, had breakfast with Jem andScout then they all stepped on the front porch. Miss Maudie called for them tocome over; she had some cake for them. She talked to them and pointed to a fewthey never thought about before. Like how it was no coincidence that JudgeTaylor have appointed Atticus to defend Tom, and how many people were trying tohelp Tom. The case may have been lost, but only Atticus could have kept a juryout so long to decide. To her that was a baby step towards equality.

As they were leaving Miss Maudie, Mr. Avery, Miss Rachel andMiss Stephanie Crawford waved at them. To be polite Jem, Scout and Dill walkedover to them. Miss Rachel took Dill by the shoulder instructing him to goinside at once, saying danger is coming. Miss Stephanie started to tell themwhat happened just as Aunt Alexandra was calling for them, Mr. Bob Ewell hadstopped Atticus at the post office corner, and spat in his face, and told himthat he would get him if it took the rest of his life.

Atticus passes it as an empty threat, and tries to convinceJem and Scout that. He also assured them that the case was not over; there isstill the appeal, which Atticus thought they had a good chance in winning.
Discussing the case brings Jem and Atticus into a long legaldiscussion with Jem suggesting solutions so that Tom can be a free man again. WhateverJem suggests, Atticus explains why it would not be applicable.

Later on Jem and Scout discuss the people in Macomb County,their ways and lives. Doing so makes Jem understand Boo Radley more, he staysinside all day because he wants to not because he has to.

Aunt Alexandra introduced Scout to the formal tea time thatshe hosts in an effort to teach Scout on how to be a lady. As Scout observesthe ladies, she is lost in the world of pretty and delicate ladies. At last,she decides that she fits better in her father’s world.

Suddenly Atticus interrupts the ladies, asking for AuntAlexandra to step into the kitchen for a moment with him. Scout knew somethingwas wrong, since Atticus never comes home early whenever his sister is havingsome ladies over. She follows her aunt into the kitchen and learns from Atticusthat Tom Robinson is dead. He tried to escape from the prison and was shot bythe guards. Atticus asks Calpurnia to accompany him and help him deliver thenews to Tom’s wife, Helena. Calpurnia agrees and they both leave. Scout, MissMaudie and Aunt Alexandra rejoin the ladies at tea.

Jem and Dill witnessed what happened when Atticus toldHelena about Tom’s death. They were walking back from swimming at Barker’s Eddywhen they saw Atticus driving by. Atticus didn’t have to say anything to her,she understood from the look on his face what happened, and fainted. Atticusand Calpurnia gently lifted her up and took her inside her house.

Jem tells Scout that he heard that Mr. Ewell had threatenedthem again, saying that there was one down and two to go. Jem believes that itsan empty threat and warns Scout not to worry, and not to breathe a word toAtticus, if she did he won’t speak to her.

School starts and Scout rarely sees Jem since he attendsHigh School now. She’s in third grade now, and sometimes she has to pass theRadley house alone, but she is no longer afraid as she used to be of the place.Passing the house made her think more about Boo Radley and regret tormentinghim the way they used to.

Scout is confused by her teacher, who strongly feels thatAdolf Hitler’s prosecution of the Jew is wrong, while she heard her at thetrial saying ugly things about Tom Robinson, and how this should teach them alla lesson.

Later Scout asked Jem about it, why Miss Gates hates Hitler, feelswhat he does is wrong, and yet feels Tom Robinson's verdict is justified becausehe's black, Jem gets very angry and yells at her and not talk about that trialto him ever again.
When she goes to Atticus for comfort he tells her that Jemis just trying to come to terms with something in his head, and when he doeshe'll start being himself again.


- Do you think that if Tom Robinson was alive till the time of the appeal, would he win it? could he ever be a free man again
- Miss Maudie said that Atticus made the jury stay out for a long time and that alone was a baby step towards equality, do you agree?

Review and questions by Ateka.

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