March 14 2017

As it was we were compelled to hold our heads high and be, respectively, a gentleman and a lady.

Please re-read chapters 24, 25, and 26 of To Kill a Mockingbird.   Then write your response.  Please consider the following questions:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class tomorrow?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?


Find great passages to discuss in class.

As always be sure to respond to at least one other comment in this thread and proofread your writing for spelling , punctuation, and grammar.

Please note!  If school is cancelled Wednesday due to snow, finish reading the novel and blog about it for Thursday.

Mockingbird blog #11

Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.

Posted March 14, 2017 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

30 thoughts on “As it was we were compelled to hold our heads high and be, respectively, a gentleman and a lady.

  1. Tyler Newby

    The scene that really stood out to me was the Rolly Polly Bug scene. I mentioned in the last blog that Jem believed in justice for all people, and apparently creatures. “Jem was scowling. It was probably a part of the stage he was going through, and I wished he would hurry up and get through it. He was certainly never cruel to animals, but I had never known his charity to embrace the insect world.” Jem is much more mature than Scout. Scout was not as upset and stunned when Tom was found guilty and Scout was going to kill the bug when Jem would have brought it outside. Jem is more like Atticus than Scout.

    1. francescaa

      I also found that scene interesting. I thought it was funny that Jem brought the “justice for all” theme all the way to animals, however it shows us more about the kind of person Jem is.

  2. alexo

    The scene that struck me the most was Atticus’s explaining of Hitler to Scout. What he said was very interesting to me, and I think we should discuss it in class. Atticus is generally a nice person, but he says that you can’t hate anyone, even Hitler – despite how much he seems to hate the person when Scout comes to him asking him about it.

    “Atticus would snap off the radio and say, ‘Hmp!’ I asked him
    once why he was impatient with Hitler and Atticus said, ‘Because he’s a maniac.”

    “But it’s okay to hate Hitler?’
    ‘It is not,’ he said. ‘It’s not okay to hate anybody.”

    After Atticus saying that it’s not ok to hate everybody, scout tries to explain her feeling to Atticus, but can’t quite convey it to him. From what she later said to jem, I believe that she meant to say how Miss Gates could feel so sorry for one race, and show no respect for another. I would think that Miss Gates thinks like this because Jews are white and blacks are blacks, an important distinction to make in 1930’s Alabama.

    1. maddy

      Atticus’ explanation of Hitler also interested me, but I do not think that Miss Gates told Scout that it is not right to hate anybody because of the reasoning your thesis comprises. Ashkenazi Jews (Jews that are nationally European due to diaspora) were neither regarded nor treated as white in the 1930s, as they are not white. Ashkenazim are predominantly genetically Middle Eastern and North African with varying, yet typically low, levels of European admixture.

  3. caias1

    A scene that struck me was when Atticus announced to everyone that Tom had been shot to death. What was surprising was Alexandra’s reaction. “‘Didn’t they try to stop him? Didn’t they give him any warning?’ Aunt Alexandra’s voice shook.” (pg 315) Given that Tom was a black man, Alexandra would not be the first person I would think was concerned, since she is so involved in social class. Another interesting scene was when Miss Stephanie Crawford asked Scout what she wanted to be. As she was contemplating the question, one of her answers was an aviator. Where did wanting to be a pilot come from? All throughout the story, there has never been any connection with airplanes, so why now? Scout has never shown any interest in airplanes, and they are not a part of the story.

  4. arihantp1

    I was surprised by what the definition of a lady was according to the ladies of Maycomb. During a meeting with all the ladies in Maycomb, Scout joins only to be questioned and criticized by the ladies. A lady has good manners, is always elegantly dressed, and smells “heavenly.” Miss Stephanie Crawford started questioning Scout on what she wants to be when she grows up, she says this to mock Scout. She sullenly responds with “a lady,” which she clearly does not want to be. She is also criticized for wearing her bridges under her dress. Scout also describes ladies as hypocrites and prefers to be around men rather than ladies. Ladies, according to the Maycomb ladies, have to be elegant and behave in a certain way, otherwise they are “spoiled.”

  5. Toa Neil

    What really struck me in these chapters was the shooting of Tom Robinson. It was unjust and makes the prejudice even worse. And the point made in the Maycomb Tribune drives it home. I also noticed the allusion to current events as a symbol for their situation.

  6. maddy

    Jem’s temperament in chapter twenty-five made for an intriguing affair. It was highly aberrant of Jem to be sensitive in accordance to the prospect of an insect being killed. Given recent occurrences, however, it is evident why he behaved in such a way. Perhaps in Jem’s viewpoint, the roly-poly symbolized Tom Robinson. Insects are constantly killed without a second thought, and society disregards them as significant or necessary. The predominance of insects are harmless and innocent, in reality. I find how Scout regarded the roly-poly similar to how the whites of Maycomb regarded Tom. There were anti-black stereotypes and assumptions perpetuated against Tom that were reasoning as to why most whites were indifferent toward or supportive of his death.

    Additionally, there was a line Jem spoke that struck me as a familiarity. On page three hundred and twenty, Scout inquired of Jem why he did not wish for her to kill the roly-poly, and Jem responded, “‘Because they don’t bother you.’” This excerpt reminded me of what Miss Maudie said on page one hundred and nineteen: “‘Your father’s right. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens; they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’” By this logic, Tom Robinson and the roly-poly are symbolically mockingbirds.

  7. George

    I don’t have a passage that I would like to speak about hpwever i have a theme that I would like to address loss of innocence. We can see that more in the progression of Jems maturity that in Scout. We see that at the beginning of the book we see them both in their childhood when they are both in ignorant and therefore in bliss. Then we see Jem grow and and start to lose that bliss he starts to realise that the world is not fun and games. This is why he more upset about the verdict of the case than Scout. It’s not because she doesn’t care about Tom its because she is young and doesn’t know whats happening.

  8. ivanl

    Something I found very interesting was the shooting of Tom Robinson. Mr.Underwood wrote an editorial about the killing of Tom Robinson. Instead of explaining the actual facts of the case and shooting of Tom Robinson, Mr.Underwood is more concerned about his subscriptions and ads, basically he is being greedy. He relates the killing of Tom Robinson to the killing of songbirds by hunters, showing that the death of Tom Robinson didn’t really mean anything from his point of view. This also shows the racism of Maycomb County, the death of a black man doesn’t make a difference, it is just about as relevant as hunters shooting songbirds.

  9. eshap

    Throughout chapters 24, 25, and 26, I found how Tom Robinson was seen by the people in Maycomb to be striking. After the trial, Tom was placed in prison where he tried to escape. While climbing the wall, the guards gave him warning to come down. However, he kept going. As he was going over the top, he was shot seventeen times and died. Aunt Alexandra was in shock at this news. She saw this as “the last straw”. Atticus told her that it didn’t matter to the guards whether or not Tom was killed. “Depends on how you look at it…He wasn’t Tom to them, he was an escaping prisoner.” (page 315) Tom Robinson’s death was just another one that would soon be forgotten. He wasn’t seen as anybody special, and trying to escape made him seem like a bad person. Any African American that was accused of a crime was automatically deemed guilty, regardless of any evidence that proved they were innocent. Tom Robinson’s case was nearly impossible to win, especially since a white man’s testimony was believed more than an African American’s. He thought he could escape from his fate, and tried to climb the wall. If he had two good hands, Tom would have made it over. Yet, he would still be hunted down. His death was no more than another African American’s death. It was not seen as unfair, simply as typical. “To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical.” (page 322) Maycomb would soon forget about Tom and his attempt to escape. There have been other cases where the African American was guilty and tried to escape. Many have tried, but there are very few who succeed in escaping. The people in Maycomb don’t see it as anything out of the ordinary. It has happened before and would most likely happen again with other cases similar to Tom Robinson’s.

    While reading chapter 26, I found a similarity between To Kill A Mockingbird, and Ethan Frome. In Ethan Frome, he would shave every morning hoping to impress Mattie. He got up a little earlier than he normally would to do so. Ethan thought that his wife, Zeena, wouldn’t notice, and this carried on for a while. However, at one point, Zeena casually mentions how Ethan has been shaving, letting him know that she was paying attention to everything he did. In To Kill A  Mockingbird, Atticus does something similar to what Zeena did. He lets Scout know about their “adventure” to try and get Arthur Radley out of his house. “This was the first he had let us know he knew a lot more about something than we thought he knew.” (page 325) This event happened a few years before Atticus brings it up, and Scout is shocked that he knew. They had told Atticus that they were playing with matches, yet he had somehow figured out the rest. He might have heard from Nathan Radley about what the figure looked like, and he would have had a suspicion when they were missing that night from something that would spark their interest about the Radley’s. Scout now knows that Atticus knows a lot more, he just doesn’t mention it right away, and brings it up quite casually just as Zeena did.

    When Atticus and Calpurnia are on their way to tell Helen Robinson about Tom, they see Jem and Dill on the way and bring them along. Atticus tells Jem and Dill to stay in the car after they begged to come with them. Upon their arrival, Atticus asked the children where Helen was, and Sam went to go fetch her. Dill went on to tell Scout everything that occurred, exactly what everyone said and did, and descriptions of everyone. While Dill was explaining this to Scout afterwards, there could be a chance that he didn’t remember everything and was making a few things up. We know that Dill has lied before, especially in the case about his father. It might be possible that his account of what happened is not exactly accurate, but Scout believes him anyways. She has nothing to compare what he says to with Jem, Atticus, or Calpurnia’s account since no one else told her. There was no way for her to know whether or not Dill was telling the complete truth. There might have been something he left out, or forgotten, and in that case, replaced it with something else. Scout has the tendency to believe what people tell her, and Dill’s case was no different.

  10. charlottes

    A small section at the end of chapter 25 interested me very much in tonight’s reading of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The passage is talking about how Mayella metaphorically killed Tom. The author states,

    “Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.” (page 323)

    This quote may not seem very important, but if you think about it, it contributes to the story. This quote refers to when Mayella was “harassed” by Tom. I put that in quotes because it isn’t what actually happened. Once Mayella screamed, it was all over for Tom, because now someone could say that Tom raped her, just because of a scream. Tom was in the Ewell household and Mayella tried to kiss him. When Bob walked in and started to beat Mayella, Tom fled and Mayella screamed. Instantly, Bob Ewell could use that scream against Tom. The quote is also saying that it doesn’t matter whether Tom did it or not. He is a black man, and is anyone really going top believe a black man? There was so much discrimination back then. Could anyone possibly believe that Tom didn’t do it or (referring back to the quote) that it was her own white father that was responsible for her injuries? No one would believe it, just because Tom is a black man. The quote above refers primarily to discrimination.

    1. avae1

      I agree, and I also thought this was a very significant quote considering people usually believe what a white girl says over what a black man says.

  11. francescaa

    Throughout chapters 24-26, the way African Americans were viewed in the town of Maycomb became ever so clear. After Tom Robinson’s trial he was put in a prison in which he would probably spend the rest of his life in. He attempted to escape but was caught by the guards and shot to death. They had given him multiple warnings, yet he insisted upon climbing up the prison walls. When the news of his death circulated around town, the reaction people had were very upsetting, at least in my opinion. The people of Maycomb were the least bit surprised, claiming that it was just another case of African American “recklessness.” They claimed that Tom Robinson had not been thinking about the future, something that supposedly all negroes did.

    The way Scout saw ladies also changed in these chapters. When Scout and Aunt Alexandra received the news that Tom Robinson had been shot, Aunt Alexandra practically had the whole town over at the FInch household. Aunt Alexandra and Scout couldn’t pout and cry since they had so many women at the table waiting for their hosts to appear. So, Aunt Alexandra had no choice but to carry on and pretend that nothing happened. This course of action really changed Scout’s perspective of Aunt Alexandra. Scout noticed that it took a lot of courage for Aunt Alexandra to just put Tom Robinson’s death behind her. Yet, she did it anyway because it was what she needed to do. I think Scout gained respect for Aunt Alexandra, something that we haven’t seen from Scout thus far.

  12. tarika1

    What struck me in these chapters was the rolly polly scene. It shows Jem as caring for all creatures, even bugs that people do not usually care about. This reminds me of Atticus and his philosophy. He believes everything is somewhat good and it has influenced Jem. He now cares about simple things like bugs and how they did not do anything to Scout. This shows how Atticus has developed as a father throughout the story. In the beginning of the story he was ind of distant. Then as the story progressed, he taught lessons of bravery, courage, and other things to his children.

  13. marinas1

    One passage from chapters 24, 25, and 26 particularly sparked my attention. It is a statement uttered by Miss Maudie about black people in the south during Aunt Alexandra’s gathering. Miss Maudie says “‘At least we don’t have that sin on our shoulders down here. People up there set ‘me free, but you don’t see ‘me settin’ at the table with ’em. At least we don’t have the deceit to say to ’em yes you’re as good as we are but stay away from us. Down here we just say you live your way and we’ll live ours.'” (p.313) In this quotation, Miss Maudie is talking about the North’s treatment of blacks versus the South’s treatment. Miss Maudie says that in the North, the whites give the blacks freedom, and hope, and an idea of a prevailing equality. Yet, they still enforce the constant view of whites being better than blacks. Therefore, northerners give blacks hope, only to diminish it every day. In the South, on the other hand, southerners tell it as it is: no one is truly equal, and whites and blacks will constantly be seperated from one another. Consequently, the northerners are worse, for they give blacks ungraspable and unreachable hope.

    As I continued reading these chapters of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, I saw a relation in the description of Tom Robinson’s death to Miss Maudie’s statement about white northerners. When talking about Tom Robinson’s death, Atticus describes “‘They shot him…He was running. It was during their exercise period. They said he just broke into a blind raving charge at the fence and started climbing over. Right in front of them… They got him just as he went over the fence. They said if he’d had two good arms he would have made it, he was moving that fast…I told him what I thought, but I couldn’t in truth say that we had more than a good chance. I guess Tom was tired of white men’s chances and preferred to take his own.'” (p.315) The part that says “‘They got him just as he went over the fence'” is particularly striking. The image of Tom taking a leap of faith over the fence that seperated the jail from the outside world is, evidently, supposed to symbolize his “leap” for freedom. After all, that fence was the only thing seperating him from his family and loved ones. In that moment, trying to escape the jail, we see how Tom has a hope for his future, and wants a life outside of a jail cell. Unfortunately, as one can clearly tell, Tom’s hope is quickly dismissed, for he is shot seventeen times. In this way, I see how just as the North lets people believe they are free and then takes that away from them, Tom’s hope and freedom in that moment is also torn away from him. On another note, the last line of Atticus’s statement (“‘I guess Tom was tired of white men’s chances and preferred to take his own.'”) is as equally striking. It shows how Tom was weary of his fate being decided and bartered for by a white man, and not by himself individually. Therefore, when he leaps over the fence, he is taking a chance for himself, and is standing by himself, for his fate should only be decided by him, and only him.

  14. sofiad1

    There were two scenes I found interesting in tonight’s reading. The first one I found interesting was the Missionary society scene. I found it extremely interesting how, after receiving the news about Tom Robinson’s wrongful death, Miss Maudie, Scout, and Aunt Alexandria all went back out as if nothing had happened. The were obviously shaken up, but as soon as they were outside the only disturbance was Calpurina’s temporary absence. Anther scene I found interesting was the scene about Hitler. Scouts teacher had told them everything wrong with his prejudice against the Jews, but once Scout got home, she pointed out that her teacher thought the same way about African Americans as Hitler did about Jews.

  15. margauxc

    The concepts of hypocrisy and facades are featured and analyzed within chapter twenty-four of Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Though, in particular, one can say facades are barely present- depending on the perspective taken. Aunt Alexandra is a woman of many talents, as noted by Scout Finch, and holds a sharp tongue and a stern nature. In chapter twenty-four, we (the reader) see a different, more concerned side of Aunt Alexandra. Despite her air of ignorance, Alexandra is still capable of acknowledging and voicing her concerns in regards towards her brother’s mental health. From this, it can be assumed that Aunt Alexandra often charades a cold front- yet is actually, genuinely caring and not entirely arrogant. Primarily though, the claim that Aunt Alexandra plays a facade can be drawn from her actions at the end of the chapter- once Atticus leaves and she is recovering from her brother’s news of the unjust tragedy. She recomposes herself rather quickly, with Scout commenting, “Aunt Alexandra was ahead of me, and I saw her head go up as she went through the door.” (pg. 317). One can easily conclude that Aunt Alexandra is pulling a facade for the sake of upholding her reputation. Hypocrisy is another subject mentioned in the novel- primarily taking place when Mrs. Merriweather shares her stories of J. Grimes Everett. Scout states, “Mrs. Merriweather’s large brown eyes always filled with tears when she considered the oppressed.” (pg. 308). It’s disturbing to think how hypocritical this is, seeing as Mrs. Merriweather does not hesitate to spare derogatory remarks towards her maid, Sophy, on page three hundred and ten. Another case of hypocrisy which appears in Tuesday’s assigned pages, are the words shared between Miss Gates and Miss Stephanie Crawford on the night of the trial.

    An aspect of chapter twenty-five which greatly interested me was when Scout claims, “Jem was the one who was getting more like a girl every day,”(pg. 320). In this statement, which took place after Jem defended the roly-poly, it can be assumed that Scout associates compassion as a feminine undertaking. This conclusion can possibly be drawn from the observation that the town of Maycomb is insistent upon the stereotype that ladies are supposed to be compassionate and fragile.

  16. avae1

    A scene I found interesting in chapter 24 was when the news of Tom Robinson’s death broke out in the Finch household. Every one was shocked by it, including Aunt Alexandra, Calpurnia, and Scout. Aunt Alexandra was clearly unsettled, and as Miss Maudie comforted her, questioned why the town’s burdens were always put on Atticus. Nonetheless, she had a roomful of ladies out in the dining room enjoying themselves who didn’t need to wait any longer. Asking about her signs of distress, “‘Do I show it?’ ‘Not a sign,’ said Miss Maudie. ‘Are you together again, Jean Louise?’ ‘Yes ma’am.’ ‘Then let’s join the ladies,’ she said grimly.”(p.317) Alexandra had put on a pleasant face for the ladies when really the circumstances were not so. It appeared to me that Scout was impressed by her Aunt Alexandra in this moment, and played along as polite as she could be. “After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.”(p.318) For the first time Scout realized that, at least in this time period, being a lady wan’t just sharing teacakes and having a nice fragrance. Being a lady was also pushing through and acting as though times aren’t tough, and Scout respected Alexandra when she did this.

  17. briannag3

    A scene caught my eye in the reading was Tom Robinson’s death. The news broke out to them during a Missionary circle which included Miss Maudie, Aunt Alexandra, and Scout. Atticus took them into another room to tell them and the three are rocked by the information. However, they all go back in and try to act normal like nothing had happened. It seemed that Scout was a little surprised of how polita and calm Aunt Alexandra acted after the news. She thought that if Aunt Alexandra could act like a lady she could as well.

  18. willowm

    I was interested in the scene where Scout talks to Jem about Miss Gates being a hypocrite. Scout recalled Miss Gates’ conversation with Miss Stephanie Crawford: “I heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us. JEm, how can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turnaround and be ugly to the folks right at home-” (pg 331) This trial has taught Scout a lot about the people in Maycomb county, and she is more aware of prejudice. She realizes that it is unfair for Miss Gates to say that it is horrible for Hitler to persecute Jews when she is doing the same thing with African Americans in their own county. It seems that Harper Lee wrote the book so that most of the characters are not likeable to highlight the goodness of Atticus and his kids, and to bring light to the important issue of racism. Just because something is one way and always has been doesn’t mean it should be.

  19. alekhya

    In chapter 24, I found out that there is a lot more to Aunt Alexandra than what I thought an that both Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra are women of great spirit, strength, and willpower. Miss maudie and Aunt Alexandra have just found out that tom Robinson was shot and killed in an attempt to escape the prison. but rather than break down they man up and get ready to face the dainty, gossipping ladies in the dining hall. “‘Stop that shaking,’ commanded Miss Maudie, and I stopped. ‘Get up Alexandra, we’ve left ’em long enough.’ Aunt Alexandra rose and smoothed the various whale bone ridges along her hips. She took her handkerchief from her belt and wiped her nose. She patted her hair and said ‘Do I show it?'”(316) That day during that meeting, Aunt Alexandra showed Scout what it was to be a lady and made Scout want to be one for the first time. “After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.”(318)

    When Atticus gives them the horrid news of Tom Robinson’s death Miss Maudie reacts with anger towards racists and Aunt Alexandra’s composure is shaken.”‘Didn’t they try to stop him?Didn’t they give him any warning?’ Aunt Alexandra’s voice shook”(315) As far as we have seen Aunt Alexandra has always been a composed woman who has never shown so much emotion towards anything during her stay in Maycomb County. Miss Maudie on the other hand shows her distress by speaking against racism. “‘The handful of people in this town who say that fair play is not marked White Only; the handful of people who say a fair trial is for everybody,-‘”(316)

    When I compared their reaction to the rest of Maycomb’s I was disgusted. The racist people of Maycomb country were turning his last run for freedom into something funny that only a nigger would do. “Typical of a nigger’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw……..Nigger always comes out in ’em.”(322) I understand better know how racism is like rabies where good people turn into trash talkers.

  20. adam

    The death of Tom Robinson was very intriguing as well as reactions to the fact. The factor of color is definitely an underlying factor of many assumptions made. One may wonder how interpretations and assumptions would have differed if Robinson was white. It is possible that perceptions would have changed if Robinson were white. Secondly, I was shocked to see how reactions were not as severe when people discovered his death. I wonder if he had little significance to the town, and it is underwhelming how little people were dismayed. Tom Robinson”s death was very crucial to the novel.

  21. laurena2

    In these chapters of To Kill A Mockingbird, I found the way Tom Robinson died to be very interesting. While trying to escape jail, Tom Robinson was shot by the guards. This brought many questions to my mind. Because of this scene I wondered if him being African American had anything to do with the shooting. If Tom Robinson was white, would he still be alive? Also, while trying to escape, he must have known that there were guards watching, waiting to shoot. Did Tom Robinson want to die? After being convicted for a crime he did not commit Tom Robinson must have wanted to die and not continue the “life” he had in jail.

  22. cameronl3

    What I found most interesting in the reading was the Rolly Polly scene. From what we read beforehand, we know that Jem believes in justice for not only people such as atom Robinson, but even animals. We can see that Jem is much more matured than Scout, and he sees more into things, such as the trial, as he got much more emotional. Even with bugs he cares about their well being, which is something that Atticus in a way taught Jem. This lesson that Atticus had taught Jem is one that is very meaningful to him as a character. He now even cares about the smallest of things,such as bugs. From Atticus to his children, we see many changes in them maturing as the story goes on.

  23. kat

    In chapter 24 I found the scene with women interesting. The women all met together in Scout’s home, and Scout became Jean Louise. This was a test in a way. Aunt Alexandra wanted to see how much of a lady Scout was.

    I was surprised by the fact that Alexandra wasn’t cruel to Scout. Even though Scout was laughed at, Alexandra did not seem upset. However when they found out that Tom had died, Alexandra was visibly upset. We got to see a more human side of her. Throughout the book she has been someone that we want to dislike. She scolds Scout, tells her she has to be a lady, and tries to change her. However in this reading we see her as someone who really does care.

    In class we have talked about Calpurnia being a mother figure for Scout, but in this chapter, I saw someone else assuming that role. Calpurnia, and Alexandra live with Scout, and watch them so the both act like mothers. Scout loves them both. However when Scout was being asked many questions about being a lawyer she seemed upset. She knew that because of her present company she had to say she wanted to be a lady, whether or not that was true. This is where I saw Miss, Maudie become a mother figure. “miss Maudie’s hand touched mine ad I answered mildly enough, Nome just a lady…Miss Maudie’s hand closed tightly around mine, and I said nothing. Its warmth was enough.” (p.308) When Miss Maudie does this she comforts Scout but also subdues her. She has that tender way of helping Scout that reminded me of a mother.

    Also when Calpurnia(one of Scout’s mother figures) leaves with Atticus, Scout and Alexandra seem torn up about Tom’s death. This also seemed to define what a lady was. When she hears the news Alexandra sits in Calpurnia’s chair and puts her head in her lap. However Alexandra and Miss Maudie are ladies. Ladies are cool, collected, and always seem to be graceful, aware, and calm. Atticus has just delivered terrible news that is really quite upsetting. However after a moment Alexandra, Scout and Miss Maudie collect themselves and go back into the other room as if nothing is wrong, and nothing has changed. I believe that Harper Lee is trying to show us that that is a true lady.

  24. Rebecca F

    In tonight’s reading, I was surprised by Aunt Alexandra’s reaction to finding out that Tom was dead. I had assumed from her previous behavior that she did not like Tom Robinson and was of the general opinion of Maycomb County. While my assumption was not completely wrong, Aunt Alexandra proved that she is not as discriminatory as she seems. Although her main reason for being upset was that she hated to see Atticus suffer, she was upset by the county’s treatment of Tom as well. Although I still dislike her, this greatly redeemed Aunt Alexandra in my eyes.

  25. faithw

    I found it interesting how Scout and Jem had differing attitudes toward the roly-poly bug. Scout wanted to mash it. She did not put any thought into the significance of her actions. It was just a childish thing she wanted to do. Jem, on the other hand, thought about the life of the insect with more maturity and sensitivity. He urged his sister to leave the bug alone, as it did not do anything to harm her; “they don’t bother you” (p. 320). I thought this related to the morality of not picking on individuals or treating people badly just because you are in a position to do so. One should not be an oppressor over others. One should not strike out against the innocent or vulnerable. Similarly, Mr. Underwood condemned Tom’s Robinson’s death. He “likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds” (p. 323). This implies that To Kill a Mockingbird, or to kill the innocent or vulnerable, is unjust. Tom Robinson was a harmless victim of Maycomb’s racism.
    Scout’s teacher, Miss Gates, spoke about how wrong Hitler was to persecute Jews, and then claimed that people are not persecuted in America. In her lesson, she stated “That’s the difference between America and Germany. We are a democracy and Germany is a dictatorship…Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced” (p. 328-329). Miss Gates saw nothing wrong in the town’s racism against Blacks. Through the teacher’s hypocritical statement, Scout starts to look at things differently. She questions why it is unacceptable to tolerate prejudice in Nazi Germany, yet is it acceptable in Maycomb. Perhaps she will think twice the next time she sees a roly-poly bug.


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