All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbors was, that if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white.

After you have read chapters 16-17 of To Kill a Mockingbird, please respond on our blog:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?
  • Remember, a good discussion question does not have a single answer.  Good questions lead to interesting conversations.

Also remember to:

  • Annotate!  Annotate!  Annotate!  Use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion tomorrow.  Remember!  Everyone must participate.
Mockingbird blog #7

47 thoughts on “All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbors was, that if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white.

  1. In chapter 16-17 the part that stuck out to me was when Scout was describing Jem, who was sitting beside her. She describes “Jem seemed to be having a quite fit. He was pounding the balcony rail softly, and once whispered, ‘We’ve got him’ (pg.238)” This doesn’t make any sense because all that Atticus has figured out is that Mayaellas right side of her face was bruised badly and that Mr. Ewell is left handed. I guess one could say that it was Mr. Ewell was the one who assaulted Mayella but then why couldn’t it have been any other left handed man. I don’t understand why Jem would know how Atticus could prove that Mr.Ewell did it. I hope to find out more next chapter.

      • I won’t spoil anything for you, but you guys are up for a surprise. But regarding the fact of Jem, Jem is older now, and is looking at stuff a bit differently. So maybe he does actually know something, or he just wants to seem like he knows and understands everything that is going on. He may have no idea as to why his father is doing what he is doing, but he also may have all the knowledge possible. Personally I’m not sure which it is, and I’m still not sure even though I know what goes on later.

      • Actually, Jem and Atticus might have talked. When Atticus and the kids were coming back from the courthouse, Atticus and Jem were up ahead of everyone, and when they passed under a streetlight and Scout saw Atticus ruffle Jem’s hair. Maybe they were talking about the court case then? But maybe it’s because Jem is just older and understands more.

          • I actually remember that Atticus told Mr Ewell to write his name. In doing so, he is revealed to be left-handed. We also know Mayella was beaten up and bruised on her right side (which means on the left side of you’re facing her). This means that the perpetrator was most likely left-handed, and there was a large chance that Tom is right-handed, which would disprove his accusation and actually might cause Mr. Ewell to get arrested.

  2. In chapters 16-17, the case of Tom Robinson begins. Scout, Jem and Dill manage to watch the case with Reverend Sykes, and Jem seems to be extremely into what happens in the case. Jem is constantly fidgeting in his seat, and is very invested and wants to see his father succeed. But, something that was interesting to me is how good of a lawyer Atticus is. Atticus is not only a great father, but seems to be very good at his job as well. He asks the correct questions that are able to pick apart the stories of some people. He asks unorthodox questions such as if the raped girl got medical attention, and if Mr. Ewell can read and write. The people think that Atticus is ridiculous for asking some of these questions, but really, he knows what he is doing. In the end, when Mr. Ewell is asked if he is ambidextrous, he offers an answer that shows that he is confused and does not know what to say. “I most positively am not, I can use one hand as good as the other. One hand as good as the other.”(Pg. 238). Being ambidextrous means that you can use both hands equally. But, after Mr. Ewell states he is not ambidextrous, he immediately contradicts himself. Atticus was able to pick Mr. Ewell apart, and it was very interesting to see how great of a lawyer Atticus is.

    • Great job, William. I agree that Atticus is an amazing lawyer from what happened. Also, thanks for explaining why Mr. Ewell said that, it made me a little confused.

  3. One scene that stood out to me in tonight’s reading was when all of the spectators were going to the courthouse to watch the case. There were many different types of people, from far and wide, who had all come to see the fate of Tom Robinson. Scout recounts, “It was like Saturday. People from the south end of the county passed our house in a leisurely but steady stream.” (pg. 211). The fact that the whole county has come out reveals many things Maycomb. The case with Tom Robinson, who Atticus is defending, is certainly a main plot point in the novel, but it seem sto rock the community of Maycomb. This passage reveals that the whole county has come out to see the proceedings, which leads me to believe that this court case is almost once in a lifetime. The event is so large, that it makes me wonder why Harper Lee chose to include this scene. By having the courtroom jam packed with all sorts of people, Lee seems to be raising the stakes and mounting pressure as the court hears the case. It seems that she is trying to show just how desperate the event is for Atticus and the Finches as they know they will lose. This scene leads me to believe that we are nearing the climax in the story as the court case that has been discussed for so long has finally arrived. This part of the novel also conveys the sense of Maycomb as a community, as well. Scout tells of this while watching Jem and Dill and states, “As the county went by us, Jem gave Dill the histories and general attitudes of the more prominent figures.” (pg 212). Here, it is evident that as Jem knows every person and their background. This implies that the town is tight-knit, and everyone knows everyone, making the case more dramatic. Going into the next few chapters, it will be interesting to see how the court case goes and how it affects the town of Maycomb.

  4. The most interesting passages that I have noticed after reading chapters 17-18 is at the end, during the Tom Robinson trial. First off, the trial exhibits the theme that Atticus explained, that even if you’re already beat, there’s no reason not to try to win. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” The trial shows how Atticus still attempts to win the case even though he knows that there is no chance of victory. Tom Robinson’s trial also displays the central theme of racism. Atticus hopelessly battles for justice, even though he knows for sure that he could never make a black man win a court case. In spite of this, he still attempts it to expose how a completely innocent African-American with all evidence on his side would still face defeat against a white man/woman. Despite being “licked” already, he still has motivation to win. Both of these details support how large racism’s role was at the time, and the lesson Atticus teaches his children about not giving up. Finally, the trial also gives us more reason to respect Atticus. We had always been told he was a clever lawyer, but we actually get to see him in action. In the scene, Atticus is able to cunningly glean information from the witnesses that can help Tom Robinson come out victorious. A question I have during this event is when Mr. Gilmer asks Bob Ewell if he is ambidextrous, to which he replies, “I most positively am not, I can use one hand as good as the other.” This had me a bit confused, since if you are not ambidextrous, that means you can’t use one hand as good as the other.

  5. Many people can say that a child learn from their guardian/guardians. If this is the case then a child could learn how to react from their parents reaction when they lose. This point was objected in the fantastic novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, in chapter 18 when a court scene is taking place. Before the hectic truths unraveled, Scout the main character, feels the need to include, “I’ve heard that lawyers’ children, on seeing their parents in court in the heat of the argument , get the wrong idea … This was not true of Jem and me”. By saying this quote, Scout is saying that she different from what many people would expect and also that after watching her father in court, she never got mad or used what she heard to others. Personally, I disagree with this and I think that Scout should observe her father’s skills in court and use them in the real world instead of using physical actions. Anyways,Scout mentioned later on how people think the kids would react to the victory or lose to the case. But by the kids listening to their parents and see how their parents cope with it should only be teaching them a lesson not affecting their personal life. Scout concluded to say that whatever rumor is going on isn’t true, and all kids are different so obviously they are going to react different after hearing their parents. All in all, Scout realized that she wasn’t the stereotypical daughter of a lawyer who thinks a certain way after their parent’s case.

  6. One part of tonight’s reading that interested me is when Scout and Jem first enter the courtroom. The whole town has come to watch, and the segregation between the whites and blacks can be clearly shown by this event in the novel.

    “Four Negroes rose and gave us their front-row seats”

    The black people feel the need to make way for the whites, and sit in the back row, when they should have the same opportunity to sit wherever they want to. When Scout and Jem are taken up to the balcony, the black people make way for them to sit. The segregation is strong, and many of the African Americans do not stand up for themselves. They are probably afraid, and so, they do not try to make things right. People should be equal, and even today, racism still exists.

    • Good job, Ellie. You kept your blog concise, while not making it too long. I also noticed this scene, and it reminded me of Rosa Parks and how she refused to go to the back of the bus. Many black people at that time had to get up to make way for white people, and I just made the connection to Rosa Parks. Good analysis, by the way. You really narrowed in on this one scene. Nice blog

  7. During tonight’s read of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus and his kids are at the trial of Tom Robinson. While both the sheriff and Mr. Ewell are telling their stories, Atticus asks them numerous times why didn’t they call a doctor. “‘Did you call a doctor, Sheriff? Did anybody call a doctor?’ asked Atticus. ‘No sir,’ said Mr. Tate. ‘Didn’t call a doctor?’ ‘No sir,’ repeated Mr. Tate. ‘Why not?’ There was an edge to Atticus’s voice… ‘But you didn’t call a doctor? While you were there did anyone send for one, fetch one, carry her to one?’ ‘No sir-’ Judge Taylor broke in. ‘He’s answered the question three times, Atticus. He didn’t call a doctor.’”(224) And later on in the text, Atticus asks Mr. Ewell if he called a doctor. “‘Mr. Ewell,’ Atticus began, ‘folks were doing a lot of running that night. Let’s see, you say you ran to the house, you ran to the window, you ran inside, you ran to Mayella, you ran for Mr. Tate. Did you, during all this running, run for a doctor?’”(234) Personally, I don’t understand why not getting a doctor captured Atticus’s attention so much. He seems very interested in the subject and I don’t really know why. I have some ideas, though. One of them is that maybe Mr. Ewell didn’t want the doctor to check the fingerprints on her neck, but did the people back then have the technology/tools to do that? Or maybe he didn’t want a doctor because he was too rushed on making sure she was alright. I hope that Atticus reveals why he felt that not getting a doctor on the scene was so peculiar.

  8. In chapters 16 and 17 many very interesting things happen. One event was when Aunt Alexnadra told Atticus not to mention someone who didn’t like black people around Calpurnia. I think it added an additional layer to Aubt Alexandra’s character and how I don’t think she racist or prejudiced against black people but she clearly has no clue how she act around them or what’s acceptable and what’s not. I also can’t tell just yet if this was so prevent Calpurnia’s feelings from being hurt and it was genuine or if there a judgements like undertone there. There is also a man in town who sits with the blacks and prefers to associate with them and Scout learns about the nature of mixed race children and how they really aren’t accepted anywhere by anyone. Also the Tom Robinson trial has begun, and Atticus has gone all in. He is extremely meticulous in the way he asks the witnesses questions and he has tactics he uses very cleverly to get the response he wants. He intructs Mr Ewell to write and he’s a lefty and Mayella was beat in her right eye. A righty couldn’t realistically to that but a lefty could which births the theory that Mr Ewell raped and hit Mayella himself and is blamed it on Tom Robinson after he was caught. This may be a stretch but is it possible he paid off Heck Tate and got him to lie for him?

  9. And so the case against Tom Robinson begins. This is a very interesting case, and historically correct at the time. Although the case itself is fiction, cases like this were indeed actually happening around the U.S. at this time. It was a case of a white man claiming that a black man rapped his white women. And like many other times, the defendant was innocent, but is still going to be found guilty because it’s a white mans word against a black’s.
    What is more interesting though, is how Jem reacts to what is going on. Jem is getting older, and he is showing signs of it already. Not hanging out with Scout as much, and maturing. And this is one great example. During the whole case, Jem is saying things about what is going on, and is acting like he knows exactly what is happening, and exactly why his father is asking so many odd questions. one time he even starts banging on the railing and says that they got him. Scout clearly has no idea of what is going on, and that can be blamed on her being younger and Jem being more mature. But the Reverend also doesn’t seem to understand what is happening. Which leads me to believe that either Jem knows more then we think he does, and is a lot smarter. Or Jem is just trying to act smart, and trying to make it seem like he is better then everyone else because he know what’s happening, but they don’t. So it may be that Jem is truly talented, or it could also just be another case of a teenage boy trying to make himself look better in order to impress. Even though I know what happens later on, I am still not so sure as to which it is, is Jem super smart, or is Jem just another Teenage boy.

    • I agree that the text was kind of confusing at this part, because so many things were being said and then repeated. I personally believe that Jem actually knows what is going on, and he will probably rub it in Scout’s face later on, saying how he knew it the whole time. It seems like something he would do at this point, now that he’s growing up more and becoming even more of an annoying older brother to Scout. However, I disagree with your idea that Scout has no idea of what is going on. It is said in the text through her thoughts that she does in fact have a good idea of what’s happening, even if she’s not completely sure what the end result will reveal. Good response though!

  10. The thing that struck me the most in chapters 16-17 was Bob Ewell’s performance at the court. He was so disrespectful and rude. He was too confident. He didn’t take the case seriously and was trying to be funny. He has obviously never been in court before. ” It was becoming evident that he thought Atticus was an easy match. He seemed to grow ruddy again: his chest swelled, and once more he was a little red rooster.”(pp. 236). He does not think Atticus is smart or can prove him wrong. He is boastful and naive. No wonder why the Ewells are Maycomb’s disgrace.

    • Great Job, Jacky! I liked how you expressed your thoughts and incorporated great analysis with keeping your response relatively short. Keep up the great work.

  11. seat left. We’ll hafta stand up.'” There were so many people that there were no seats left to sit in. The reader quickly learns that not only is Atticus a great father, he is a great lawyer. He asks questions that put the witnesses on the spot. They had to tell the truth. Not only that, he asked unconventional questions that helped his case as well as give examples of why Tom Robinson is not guilty. Somehow, Jem knows exactly what Atticus is thinking of and how he plans on trying to win the case. Although racism will be a strong predilection for the decision, Atticus is easily able to prove that Tom Robinson is not to blame. These chapters were really a climax of the novel. The important parts of the novel have only just begun. In fact, Tom Robinson is like a Mockingbird. He has not done anything wrong but he has to face the prejudices of racism. Killing a Mockingbird is a sin and maybe killing Tom Robinson is a sin. Both have done nothing wrong. They are only entertaining and helpful. This allows me to make the prediction that Tom Robinson will get killed based on the title.

    • Good Inferences. That is a very deep connection between Tom and a Mockingbird. They both have not done anything thing wrong (Most probably, due to the overwhelming evidence given by Atticus) and so maybe in the same way that Atticus sees it as a sin to kill a mockingbird, he sees it as a sin to kill Tom. I believe this is probably why Atticus has put all of his effort into this case.

  12. In chapters 16-17 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, we the readers are given a glimpse of the judicial system along with the genius, and mastery of law of Atticus. As the trial begins, people from all over the county flood the town with crowd camps in the town square to eat. Jem and Scout sty towards the end of the crowd so Atticus wouldn’t see him. Next, Reverend Sykes lets them sit in the balcony where black people are required to sit in order to watch the trial. These seats allowed Jem and Scout to see the entire courtroom, getting them closer to the action. When the case started, Atticus’ genius and mastery of law are portrayed. Atticus repeatedly attempts to get quick answers and asks intelligent questions. For example, Atticus gets Mr. Ewell to write his name proving he is left-handed. This supports Tom Robinson innocence because a left-handed man would be more likely to leave bruises on the right side of a girl’s face. This can also be the first step of Atticus completely exposing Bob Ewell for lying. I hope to find out more about this case, and see what else Atticus will do. I wonder how Mr. Eswell will react and respond to Atticus techniques and how much longer he can.

  13. “… the Ewells gave the dump a thorough gleaning every day, and the fruits of their industry (those that were not eaten) made the plot of ground around the cabin look like the playhouse of an insane child: what passed for a fence was bits of tree-limbs, broomsticks and tool shafts, all tipped with rusty hammer-heads, snaggle-toothed rake heads, shovels, axes and grubbing hoes, held on with pieces of barbed wire… All the little man on the witness stand (Mr. Ewell) had that made him any better than his nearest neighbors was, that if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white.” (Pg. 229) During Chapters 16 and 17 this particular section of the text stood out to me. It demonstrates characterization of Mr. Ewell who has been revealed to have a very racist Disposition. The first giveaway of Mr. Ewell’s character was the way he provides for his family. He feeds his family by rifling through the county garbage dump. The inside of his house “Looked like the playhouse of an insane child” meaning that Mr. Ewell mostly did very little to take care of his family. Not only this, but earlier in the book, it is said that Mr. Ewell uses relief checks for drinking rather than taking care of and feeding his family. As well as this it is also stated that the only thing that separates him from a black man, is that his skin is a different color. He is just as poor as the black people that he lives near, and is of much worse person. Not only that, But it comments on how dirty Mr. Ewell is physically (Covered in Dirt).

  14. One passage that stood out in tonight’s reading was when Scout overheard men talking about Atticus in the courthouse.

    This was news, news that put a different light on things: Atticus had to, whether he wanted to or not. I thought it odd that he hadn’t said anything to us about it— we could have used it many times in defending him and ourselves. He had to, that’s why he was doing it, equaled fewer fights and less fussing. But did that explain the town’s attitude? The court appointed Atticus to defend him. Atticus aimed to defend him. That’s what they didn’t like about it. It was confusing. (pg. 218)

    I think that Atticus didn’t tell people that he had to defend Tom Robinson because he wanted to use it as a learning lesson for Jem and Scout. If they had a reason for Atticus defending Robinson, they wouldn’t have learned how to keep their temper. Also, form a business standpoint, Atticus wouldn’t be as believable in court if people thought that he wasn’t willingly helping Tom.

    • I like what you wrote your blog on. The insight that he wanted this is to be a good example for his children is a nice answer to why he didn’t tell his childrenn he had to take the case. When talking about Atticus taking the case they talk like he is really trying to win rather than just let his client be punished purely because of skin tone. In this time period it is possible that lawyers would just let there clients down if the client was black. In such a well developed nation I am surprised to see how, at a time, an entire race didn’t have an equally opportunity for as basic of a need as justice,

  15. Chapters 16 and 17 of To Kill A Mockingbird featured the beginning of the Tom Robinson trial. So far, it has been very interesting. Atticus’s methods seem effective. For example, “ ‘Mr. Ewell,’ Atticus began, ‘folks were doing a lot of running that night. Let’s
    see, you say you ran to the house, you ran to the window, you ran inside, you ran
    to Mayella, you ran for Mr. Tate. Did you, during all this running, run for a doctor?’ ” (p. 234). To me, it seemed like Atticus was trying to see if he could get another witness. If there was a doctor who saw Mayella’s injuries, the doctor could either confirm or deny Tate’s and Ewell’s testimonies. Many of Atticus’s questions are like this, searching for contradictions in the testimonies. However, though, there was one part that confused me. Bob Ewell had said, “ ‘I most positively am not [ambidextrous], I can use one hand good as the other. One hand good as the other,’ he added, glaring at the defense table,” (p. 238). This particular part confused me. Why would he say he isn’t ambidextrous if he can use both hands equally well? Did he just not know what the word ambidextrous meant? Or was it possible that he realized why Atticus wanted the information and changed his answer mid-sentence. Either way, this quote was perplexing. I hope that the book might answer these questions, but if not, maybe I just missed something. In case I did, could someone please explain to me what happened? Thanks.

  16. “All the spectators were as relaxed as Judge Taylor, except Jem. His mouth was
    twisted into a purposeful half-grin, and his eyes happy about, and he said
    something about corroborating evidence, which made me sure he was showing off.”

    Corroborating Evidence- a collection of facts and information that backs up someone’s story

    In this passage between chapters 16 and 17 we see that Jem gets very excited as if something important is happening. Jem has a half grin and mentions something about corroborating evidence. Now, we learn from earlier Jem wished to be a lawyer so it makes sense that he might know something about what Atticus is doing while we do not. After that hint about corroborating evidence and some questions that Atticus asked we can infer what Atticus is going to try to do in order to defend his client. Atticus is going to try and find a fault in the witnesses story. It seems like he will ask the witnesses to answer questions he gave to others or do random thing in the attempt to be able to put the evidence together and show the the Ewells are lying. We know already that Tom Robinson is innocent since this book is designed to teach us about segregation. We also can predict Atticus will win because he is portrayed as a near perfect character that will to the right thing and peacefully get his point across. The only question I have is what is going to be the deciding piece of evidence that shows Atticus is correct and the Ewells are wrong?

  17. In chapters 16-17 a big part that stood out to me was Jem’s reaction to the court case. “Jem seemed to be having quite a fit. He was pounding the balcony rail softly, and once he whispered, ‘We’ve got him.’ ” (pg 238), in my opinion, I was confused when this was mentioned. I had not yet seen the fact of how Mayella (Mr. Ewell’s daughter, the victim) was beaten would have to do with a person’s prominent hand. At this point in the novel though, Jem had seen it. He understood what was happening, even when Scout didn’t fully understand either. This leads the reader to believe that maybe Jem knew something more about the entire situation and the case itself. From reading, we could see that Jem knew early on that it was close to being over. This could just be implying that because Jem was older, he ha understood more about the moment and the information that Atticus was mentioning. But it also could be seen that maybe Jem knew more about the trial before going into it. Because Jem and Atticus were close, Atticus might have told Jem facts about Tom’s past a the case overall, before the courtroom hearing. Another clue that Jem might’ve known something more beforehand, and had seen Atticus’s accusation beforehand, is in last night’s reading where it said, “As they passed under a streetlight, Atticus reached out and massaged Jem’s hair , his one gesture of affection” (pg 207). This was said after Jem, Scout and Dill went to the scene of the mob, and it was almost as if Atticus was proud of Jem for going and for helping the situation. These two quotes prove that Atticus may have let Jem be more involved in the information and the case then we have noticed before.

    • An interesting take on it! I read it as Scout almost doubting Atticus’s skills, and that Jem was confident. But maybe there is something behind the scenes that we don’t know about. Can’t wait to discuss!

  18. Chapters 16-17 are very interesting. With Atticus defending Tom Robinson on court, it’s interesting to see how this battle really plays out. Atticus knows exactly what he plans on doing before he does it, which is exactly what Scout says a lawyer does. As a lawyer, you shouldn’t ask any questions you don’t already know the answer to, as they might destroy your own case. It’s a little weird when you think about it that lawyers ask questions that they only know answers to, almost like they’ve planned their moves out as if it were a game of chess. Atticus has his own way of proving his client innocent, and I think that it is clear he has won the case after proving that the marks we made from a left handed person, not Tom Robinson. However, Scout seems to have some sort of instinct that his defense won’t be enough to set Tom Robinson free. What could be the reasoning behind it? Jem is very confident in Atticus, but Scout is nearly the opposite.

  19. In Chapters 16-17, the part that stuck on to me was how good of a lawyer Atticus is. He was very professional, analytic, and precise. When asked questions, Bob Ewell, did not handle the situation well and kept answering the questions as if it was a joke. On the other hand, Atticus asked the questions, taking apart the stories that every person as a witness said. For example, when Atticus asked why they couldn’t call for a doctor, leaving the witness answerless. Most questions Atticus asked may have sounded ridicolous to the crowd; however, Atticus had a point and he got to it.

  20. I found chapters 16 and 17 of To Kill A Mockingbird very interesting, specifically when the text described Mayella. She is an Ewell, so she has a stocky, rough build, but she also appeared to be more dainty and civilized than the rest of her family. “..she seemed somehow fragile-looking, but when she sat facing us in the witness chair she became what she was, a thick-bodied girl accustomed to strenuous labor… Mayella looked as if she tried to keep clean, and I was reminded of the row of red geraniums in the Ewell yard.” (pg. 239) This makes me think that she desperately wants to rid herself of her family’s rural ways. As Scout points out, Mayella is very lonely, and wants something or someone to be able to connect with. When Atticus asked her if she had any friends, she seemed confused at the question, and thought that he was mocking her. This shows how secluded she is from the rest of everyone, especially since they live in a tiny cabin behind the city dump. I can’t imagine how difficult a life this must be, and having an alcoholic father who potentially beats you, would make it all the worse. Furthermore, according to Tom’s account of the events, Mayella often called him over to help with household chores and jobs, probably because she was relieved to have someone who she could actually talk to. I agree with Scout’s comparison of Mayella to the mixed race children, who are also lonely and secluded. “‘They don’t belong anywhere. Colored folks won’t have ‘em because they’re half
    white; white folks won’t have ’em cause they’re colored, so they’re just in-
    betweens, don’t belong anywhere.’” (pg. 215) Mayella is quite like them, because she longs to be considered a “clean” person of society (as shown by her small but beautiful garden), rather than be doomed to a life of being looked down upon. When Jem was describing the mixed children to Scout and Dill, he says that if you have even a tiny amount of being African American in your background, then you’re automatically considered completely black, and therefore worth less as a person. We discussed in class today about people’s supposed need for “purity” in white women, and how it was easily taken away by being taken advantage of by a black man. This all ties into Mayella being considered impure, because she is an Ewell, and the mixed children, who are half black.

    • Reading this back, I feel like I got slightly off topic and started to rant about unrelated things from what I originally discussed. Oh well. :/

    • This is a great response, Sedha! there is a lot of evidence present, and your thinking was clear. And your connection between Mayella and the mixed children was very smart!

  21. There are two passages that stood out to me in chapters 16-17. One was in chapter 16, when there was a crowd of people outside of the court for the Tom Robinson case. Miss Maudie had even stated, “It’s like a Roman carnival.” (pp. 213) People were treating this like a spectacle and some exciting production, when it is just an intense and disturbing case. The towns people of Macomb definitely care, but they aren’t as open-minded as Atticus. And then when everyone is outside the court, they were having picnics! During the trial, Atticus was so clever, and I was flabbergasted by the end. Atticus not only came up with the idea to ask what side Mayella had a black eye, but he was able to see his theory fall into to place with each person at the witness stand. First, he asked Mr. Tate which side of her face the bruise was on, then he asked Mr. Ewells which hand he wrote with, and even the answers of the witnesses fell into place. If there is a black eye on Mayella’s Right eye, and Mr. Ewells is left handed, then there is a huge possibility that Mr. Ewells and struck his own daughter and made everything up about Tom Robinson. atticus had always said that he knew he would lose, but he would still try to win, but he is really on to something, and I believe that Tom Robinson was framed for this crime. Small things I noticed throughout the text were Jem’s opinion on mixed children, and how they don’t belong anywhere. I think that white people think that those children are disgraces, but black people wouldn’t care because they have a better set of values than some white people that we have met throughout the novel. And on page 217, it says, “…a view indicating a people determined to preserve every physical scrap of the past.” I thought that this quote was interesting because it although it was talking about the different pieces of buildings, but it could also mean that Macomb likes to hold on to customs from the past, such as racism, and discrimination. This could be another way Harper Lee symbolizes racism through her text.

  22. Atticus is a very interesting lawyer. He has questioning strategies that he uses to defend his case. He first starts by asking Mr. Heck Tate what were here injuries, which are on the girl’s right side, which would be the suspect’s left hand. It was very mystifying on what he was trying to prove. Then, he questioned Mr. Ewells on what he did during that time. Then, out of the blue, he asked about how he can read and write, and to prove it. When, he wrote his name down, everyone was shocked. He was left-handed: the girl was hit at the suspect’s left side. At that moment, Mr. Ewells started to act scared and angry, repeating that he just saw it. Atticus is a very strategic lawyer, and I believe that he has the chance to win this case.

  23. The most interesting part of the reading that really struck out to me was how Atticus went along with the trial. Throughout the part of the trial that we have read about. Atticus has yet to make one objection. Also he kept his cool throughout both of the chapters. The thing about atticus techniques that struck out the most was how he asked the questions.“‘Did you call a doctor, Sheriff? Did anybody call a doctor?’ asked Atticus. ‘No sir,’ said Mr. Tate. ‘Didn’t call a doctor?’ ‘No sir,’ repeated Mr. Tate. ‘Why not?’ There was an edge to Atticus’s voice… ‘But you didn’t call a doctor? While you were there did anyone send for one, fetch one, carry her to one?’ ‘No sir-’ Judge Taylor broke in. ‘He’s answered the question three times, Atticus. He didn’t call a doctor.’”(224) Atticus seems to be asking the same questions repeatedly for both witnesses. this question was about why they didn’t get a doctor. This wasn’t some irrelevant question it surely had a purpose to be asked. If the girl really was raped and got beaten up by him wouldn’t her father want to get a doctor for her. Atticus has caught on to the fact that the whole scenario that played out didn’t seem totally right.He later concludes with accusing the girls father of bruising her. I wonder how the rest of the trial will play out and if Atticus knows something we don’t

  24. “’What’s so interesting?’ he asked.
    ‘You’re left-handed, Mr. Ewell,’”
    I chose this quote because it best sums up the suspicion Atticus was using to defend Tom. Until this point, both witnesses, Mr. Tate and Ewell agreed that Mayella had been bruised and beaten on her right side, or our left side. If a beating had occurred, this means that the perpetrator was most likely left-handed. During this time, it was highly frowned upon to be left-handed, which meant not many people were left-handed. When Mr. Ewell wrote his name, he wrote it with his left hand, indicating that he indeed was left handed. Since most people (by a large margin) were right handed, there is a pretty good chance that Tom Robinson is right handed. If Tom did commit the crime, then Mayella’s face would probably have been beat up on our right side and her left. Not only could this prove Tom innocent, but it could also lead to his arrest. This is just a fine example of truly how genius of a lawyer Atticus is.

  25. Chapters 16-17 were very, very interesting. Through the whole case, I was trying to analyze Atticus’s evidence. It is later learned that Atticus suspects Mr. Ewell of committing the crime when Mr. Ewell walked in. “I didn’t think so: Atticus was trying to show, it seemed to me, that Mr. Ewell could have beaten up Mayella. That much I could follow. If her right eye was blacked and she was beaten mostly on the right side of the face, it would tend to show that a left-handed person did it. Sherlock Holmes and Jem Finch would agree. But Tom Robinson could easily be left-handed, too. Like Mr. Heck Tate, I imagined a person facing me, went through a swift mental pantomime, and concluded that he might have held her with his right hand and pounded her with his left. I looked down at him. His back was to us, but I could see his broad shoulders and bull-thick neck. He could easily have done it. I thought Jem was counting his chickens.” A discussion question I thought of was what would be Mr. Ewell’s motive of hurting his daughter? He is a sick man and I truly believe he is responsible, but why? Maybe he knew he wouldn’t get caught since society will point fingers at the black man. I really hope Atticus can prove he is guilty, but I can’t be sure. The real question is, How will Atticus prove Tom Robinson is innocent?

  26. Chapters sixteen and seventeen of To Kill A Mockingbird are very eventful. The trial of Tom Robinson starts, and the first witnesses tell of their accounts of the incident. One passage that is interesting is when Atticus made the observation that when Mr. Tate talked about how Mayella was beat up on the right side of her face, and then uncovered the fact that Mr. Ewell was left-handed, which means that he could’ve hit Mayella, because a left handed person hits the right side of the face. My question is, will Atticus be able to convict Mr. Ewell, instead of Tom Robinson?

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