Though Scout is young and impressionable, she becomes a spokesperson for her entire class, interacting with the adult teacher comfortably; this shows that though a child, she is more grown-up than some of her peers. Oh, and meanwhile has shown up to teach the kids some family pride and, in Scout's case, ladylike behavior. She also says that most of the rumors about him aren't true. To Kill a Mockingbird is primarily a novel about growing up under extraordinary circumstances in the 1930s in the Southern United States. The children are curious to know more about Boo, and during one summer create a mini-drama they enact daily, which tells the events of his life as they know them. For the children at this point in the story, bravery means nothing more than accepting a dare to touch the Radley house. He gets his revenge one night while Jem and Scout are walking home from the Halloween play at their school.
The book opens by mentioning how at age twelve, Jem broke his arm. As they run, they hear a shotgun sound somewhere behind them. Jem cuts off the tops of an old neighbor's flower bushes after she derides Atticus, and as punishment, has to read out loud to her every day. Scout starts school, and hates it. Scout asks Jem whether their deceased mother was pretty, if they love her, and if he misses her, as Scout was only two years old when she passed and therefore has no real memories of her.
A patient and loving, if somewhat unusual, father, Atticus acts as the voice of reason for his children, and later the entire town. They are stunned at the verdict because to them, the evidence was so clearly in Tom's favor. He knows Tom is innocent, and also that he has almost no chance at being acquitted, because the white jury will never believe a black man over a white woman. Scout asks her one day about Boo Radley, and Miss Maudie says that he's still alive, he just doesn't like to come outside. In this town, the rules of society are clearly set. The physical representation of this facet of childhood is represented in Jem's daring rush into the Radleys' yard, in which he enters a space that has been fundamentally condemned by the entire town.
Dill comes to Maycomb for the summer again, full of stories about train rides and his father, whom he claims to have finally seen. The courtroom sequence comprises four examinations or cross-examinations: Sheriff Tate, Mr. While Jem and Scout, shivering, watch the blaze from near the Radley house, someone puts a blanket around Scout without her realizing it. Though the children have never seen him, rumors abound that he is over six feet tall, has rotten yellow teeth, popping eyes and a drool, and eats raw animals. Few people move in, fewer move out, so it's just the same families doing the same things for generation after generation. On a dare, Jem actually runs up and touches the Radley house, and Scout is sure she sees someone watching them from inside behind a curtain. Scout, Jem, and Dill, who have snuck out of their house, join Atticus, who anticipated the mob attack.
Jem explains that he's never been whipped by Atticus and doesn't want to be. GradeSaver, 29 July 2007 Web. The journey of this one individual against the mores of the entire group, though performed here in fear and on a dare, symbolically speaks toward events that will follow when Atticus defends Tom Robinson in court and Scout breaks up the threatening mob of townspeople. At the end of the novel, he becomes fully human to Scout, illustrating that she has developed into a sympathetic and understanding individual. Though the verdict is unfortunate, Atticus feels some satisfaction that the jury took so long deciding.
Ewell is allowed to hunt out of season because he is known to be an alcoholic who spends his relief money on whiskey - if he can't hunt, his children may not eat. The day before the trial, a mob surrounds the jail where Tom Robinson is being held. Miss Maudie is one of the only women whom Scout respects and is friendly with. As Atticus explains, the town authorities bend the law for the Ewells because they'll never change their ways - for instance, Mr. Walter asks for some molasses and proceeds to pour it all over his meat and vegetables.
When all the excitement dies down, it turns out that Mr. According to the Ewells, Mayella asked Tom to do some work for her while her father was out, and Tom came into their house and forcibly beat and raped Mayella until her father appeared and scared him away. Jem is particularly hard hit by the verdict, and his faith in justice is even further shaken when Tom tries to escape from prison and is shot and killed. At the window, Scout and Jem hoist Dill up to peek in the window. Jem and Scout get permission to go sit with him that evening. Scout recognizes one of the men, and her polite questioning about his son shames him into dispersing the mob.
One night, Atticus overhears a poignant conversation between Jem and Scout. This narrative device allows the reader to understand more about some of the events that Scout recounts than the young narrator is completely aware of. Scout mentally recollects how Mr. Calpurnia and Miss Maudie are the main motherly influences in her life. Scout, Jem and Dill sneak into the courthouse to see the trial and sit in the balcony with Maycomb's black population.
The Cunninghams are not all necessarily illiterate and ignorant because of a lack of intelligence, but because they are subject to a system which subverts their chances of receiving a good education. Truth and Atticus's lawyering skills win the day, right? When he goes back to get them later that night, the pants are mended and folded. Jem realizes that Boo Radley must have done it. As sheriff, Tate decides that Boo was saving other people's lives and doesn't need more attention. During this time, Scout has a very difficult time restraining from physically fighting with other children, a tendency that gets her in trouble with her Aunt Alexandra and Uncle Jack. Walter hesitates but then takes Jem up on the friendly offer. Ewell threatens Atticus and other people connected with the trial because he feels he was humiliated.
Atticus interrupts the meeting to report that Tom Robinson had been killed in an escape attempt. In an attempt to avoid the innocent, reclusive Boo from being tried for murder and receiving unwanted public attention from Maycomb residents, Tate fabricates a story, asserting that a drunk Ewell fell and killed himself on his knife. Atticus asks her to understand the situation from Miss Caroline's point of view - Miss Caroline can't be expected to know what to do with her students when she doesn't know anything about them yet. Dill is a crucial character in the story because he is both an insider and an outsider. However, he gives his little sister support when she needs it even though he warns her not to tag along with him and his fifth-grade friends at school. He relies on the family's black cook, Calpurnia, to help raise the kids. Atticus argues that Tom has a crippled left arm, which disqualifies him as the supposed rapist, who would have had to extensively use his left hand to assault Mayella before raping her.