December 14

It was Jem’s turn to cry.

Tonight please read chapters 22 and 23 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 topics do you want to discuss with the class tomorrow?
  • Why do you think these topics may generate interesting discussion?

As always, please use standard written English in your comment and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Two reminders:  Keep annotating and review those flash cards!  Make sure you quiz yourself each and every night, once or twice on the words.  If you do, you are sure to ace the vocabulary section of our Mockingbird assessment.

TKM blog #10


Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted December 14, 2018 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

36 thoughts on “It was Jem’s turn to cry.

  1. Myles Ng

    We followed him. The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found ajar of pickled pigs’ knuckles. “Reckon Aunty’ll let me eat these in the diningroom?”

    Calpurnia said, “This was all ‘round the back steps when I got here this morning. They — they ’preciate what you did, Mr. Finch. They — they aren’t oversteppin‘ themselves, are they?”

    I think this paragraph shows the effect of what Atticus had done. Sure he lost but he tried and that was more than anyone had ever done for them. Even tough he was assigned the case he didn’t have to try and save Tom’s life, he could have done what any other defense attorney would have done and just let Tom he tried, convicted and killed, but he didn’t. Atticus can’t fight the racism in the south, but he tried. He provided strong evidence and a great defense, and yet they still lost to racism. Even tough they lost people are still grateful for what he did and that is all that matters.

    Reply
  2. Mikayla Friedman

    I agree with your analysis, but the fact that so many people appreciate what Atticus did makes me wonder: if so many people like how Atticus defended Tom, why is there so much racism in Maycomb county? Sure, there will always be people who are filled with prejudices, but that doesn’t account everybody, so why do so many poeple in Maycomb hate African Americans if a lot of them approve of what Atticus did?

    Reply
  3. stephaniec

    “Who in this town did one thing to help Tom Robinson, just who?”

    “His colored friends for one thing, and people like us. People like Judge Taylor. People like Mr. Heck Tate. Stop eating and start thinking, Jem. Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend the boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons for naming him?”

    “This was a thought. Court-appointed defenses were usually given to Maxwell Green, Maycomb’s latest addition to the bar, who needed the experience. Maxwell Green should have had Tom Robinson’s case.” (p. 289)

    This scene intrigued me the most. In this scene, Mrs. Maudie explained to Jem that although it may not seem like it, people supported Atticus and wanted him to succeed. Earlier in the novel we learned that Atticus was appointed to this case by Jude Taylor, but now we know why. Judge Taylor, along with people like Mrs. Maudie, wanted Tom Robinson to have a chance. Therefore, Judge Taylor gave the case to Atticus, knowing that he was the only one who could make a jury think about it as long as they did. Scout thought to himself, “it’s just a baby-step, but it’s a step.”(p. 289). I think that Scout was right by thinking that this was a step in the right direction. Although small, it was a step towards the belief that everyone is equal.

    Reply
    1. Laila Sayegh

      I agree that with the fact that Atticus was appointed to this case because people wanted to see Tom Robinson be freed. It is definitely a step in the right direction!

      Reply
      1. Zoe

        I agree that Maycomb is making its way towards having everyone be equal, however, it is an extremely slow change. I think Atticus took this case also as a way to speed up the process. Great analysis!

        Reply
  4. Mikayla Friedman

    “‘Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that houseful of children out there. You understand?'” (pp. 292-293)

    If the readers weren’t already completely aware of Atticus’s character and personality, we sure are now! In spite of all of the horrible things the Ewells have done, Atticus has found a way to look past all of that and see the good in the situation. Atticus knows what type of person Bob Ewell is. He is vengeful and mean, and he always likes to get his way. Since he did not get his way at the trial (technically he won the case but he got embarrassed and proven wrong during the trial), he wants revenge, and he is either going to take that revenge out on Atticus or his children. Atticus realizes this, and would much rather be threatened with harmless words than have Mayella be beaten by her father. This trait makes Atticus a true gentleman in my opinion, he is willing to sacrifice his pride for the benefit of others less fortunate then him.

    Also, the phrase “put yourself in his shoes” takes the reader back to the beginning of the book when Atticus tells Scout you can never fully understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. This time however, Atticus is teaching the lesson to Jem, not Scout. This means that Atticus has taught both of his children the same lesson at different times, which to me is a blaring hint that Harper Lee wants us to take Atticus’s lesson and apply it in our own lives. Lee has made Atticus the character that he is, and of all of the lessons Atticus teaches his children and the reader, I think this is the most important: the lesson of understanding one’s point of view and situation.

    Reply
  5. Emily

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”(p. 304)

    In these chapters, the reader’s experience the aftermath of the trial. One spot that I found intriguing is when Jem and Scout are talking about all of the different types of people in the world. While Scout has the idealist view that there is only one type of person in society, but Jem has the pessimistic view that people can’t be alike because if they were then why would they hate each other. I thought that this was interesting because their opinions reflect their characters. Even though Scout is young, she can see what society should be like. Jem represents what society actually is like but Scout represents what society should be like.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I like how you brought out Scout and Jem’s different point of views on society. I agree that Scout sees the world as it should be and Jem sees it how it is.

      Reply
  6. Hannah Pitkofsky

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”(p. 304)

    This shows the aftermath of the trial for Jem, Scout, Cal, and Atticus. It shows the way the trail has impacted the main characters, including their change in perspective about the way that Maycomb treats people, including themselves. Jem makes a bold statement during these chapters saying, ““If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?” The way Maycomb has treated the black citizens makes the whites feel like they are the only true citizens, which impacts their opinions on the blacks, which may be why racism existed for so long: as the kids grew older, they absorbed the mood of the town they grew up in and continued it on.

    Reply
  7. janem

    “I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, at least that’s what they seemed like.” (p. 288)

    In the book, the adult characters often tell Scout that they haven’t truly gotten a sense of society. Meaning, that they haven’t learned how, large, diverse, and cruel the world is. Tom Robinson’s case really hurt Jem. He was so sure Atticus would win, but little did he know that it would be impossible. A Maycomb county jury would never take Tom’s word against the Ewells’. Jem is so anger type at how unfair the trial was, which later lead him to realize how unfair Maycomb county is. Jem’s not so positive outlook on his town is sure to effect future events in the plot of the novel.

    Reply
    1. trinityt

      I agreed with your statement. Before the trial ended, Jem thought that Atticus was going to win in defending Tom Robinson because his evidence were convincing and make sense. However, Atticus lose the case and Tom was declared guilty because of racism, and Jem found out the truth about the racism in Maycomb and that the world is not such a nice place as he think it is.

      Reply
      1. Emma Garbowitz

        I agree as well! Jem’s idea of other people in society has changed over the course of the past few chapters. He seemed to have some hope that Atticus could win the trial, but after Atticus lost, Jem had a hard time dealing with it and ended up having a different view on all the people in Maycomb.

        Reply
  8. trinityt

    “The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs’ knuckles…Calpurnia said, ‘This was all ’round the back steps when I got here this morning. They- they ‘preciate what you did, Mr. Finch. They- they aren’t oversteppin’ themselves, are they?” (p.286).

    This passage is important because it shows the impact Atticus has made on some people from Maycomb. When Atticus was chosen to defend Tom, he knew that he would not win. However, he still tries his best, and did everything that he could. Even though Atticus lose the case in defending Tom Robinson, because of racism, his efforts was much appreciated. This is a step to the belief that everyone is equal, no matter their race or skins’ colors. This may be a baby step towards that belief, but it’s still a step.

    Reply
  9. Laila Sayegh

    ” I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what
    they seemed like.”

    “If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m
    beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”

    In both of these quotes, we see Jem come to a very important realization: the people in Maycomb aren’t exactly who he had made them out to be. As he grows and matures, he sees the truth behind all of these people and begins to understand that the people in Maycomb aren’t “amazing”. He notices how unnecessary all of the constant arguing and fighting is. He doesn’t understand why people can’t just live in peace among one another which is something he has never thought of before. He even said he understands that the reason Boo Radley may always be inside is because he simply just wants to escape the people of Maycomb County. Jem realizing this is a very important part of the story because as Jem begins to tell Scout everything he’s been noticing, Scout soon will also see from his point of view. It shows how they are maturing because of their fathers case and the affects it is having on them.

    Reply
  10. Emma Garbowitz

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”

    I found this quote very interesting as I was reading these last few chapters from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. When I read Jem and Scout’s conversation with one another they both seemed to have different views on the people in their small little town. Scout believes that all people are the same so they should be treated equally and with the same amount of respect as everyone else. However, Jem seems to view the people in Maycomb in a completely opposite way than Scout. He thinks that all people are different and depending on who you are, what you look like, and where your family is from is how you will be judged. I think Scout still has hope in people that they will treat others with respect if they understand what’s wrong with being racist. She still has that child-like innocence that allows her to look at people and situations so positively. On the other hand, Jem seems to think otherwise. While Scout wants to see the best in people, Jem understands that he can’t change people’s opinions of others. He understands racism is wrong but he also understands that he, alone, can’t do anything about it.

    Another interesting thing about this quote would be when Jem said, “I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.” I think Jem said this because he thinks Boo stays inside all the time to avoid the racism and not to deal with any of the outside world’s problems. In Jem’s opinion, he thinks Boo doesn’t want to be involved in any bad situation or have anything to do with other people. However, in my opinion, I don’t think Boo Radley is staying in that house by choice. I think someone is making him stay there. Nobody would ever want to stay cooped up in a house for that long throughout their life time. Although there may be problems going on outside of the house, the reader doesn’t know what is going on inside the house too. I would like to find out more information on Boo Radley and why he hasn’t come out of his house in so long. Could it be because he wants to stay in there, or because someone is forcing him to?

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  11. Sunna

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”

    This passage really showed the development in Jem’s character. He is finally seeing Maycomb for what it truly is—racist and bigoted. He’s growing up, yet still has some innocence to him. He can’t quite understand why everyone can’t get along with each other if there’s only “one kind of folks”. People like Atticus understand that it’s fear of other people being different and changing their society that drives them to such hate, to put it as simply as possible. But Jem still doesn’t know why everyone can’t just get along with each other instead of, as he put it, going “out of their way to despise each other”. However, he does seem to realize that this hate scares people off. It makes them feel alone and misunderstood. He tells Scout that maybe Boo Radley wants to stay inside. This shows his maturity in this situation. He knows that fear drives people to never interact with anyone. Boo may feel so misunderstood, feeling that no one would ever give him a chance, that he doesn’t bother to live his life. Jem sees just how much damage all of the hate can do, and Scout will probably start to learn them same. Tom Robinson’s trial has already shown her that, and is clearly changing the way that Jem, Scout, and Dill see the world—or even just Maycomb.

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  12. Zoe

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.”(p. 304)

    This paragraph seemed important to me because it sort of made a statement about prejudice in Maycomb. Before they said this, Scout and Jem tried their best to come up with a statement about why prejudice was a thing. However, after several tries, they concluded that there is no way to understand it, proving prejudice really doesn’t make any sense, yet so many people still believe in it. This is why Boo Radley doesn’t come out of the house. He doesn’t want to be associated with these people who separate themselves from anyone who is slightly different. Besides, at this point, he is one of the strange separated people after being shut in the house for a long time. This paragraph basically breaks down the whole reason why the story happened and why the court case came out this way. It’s definitely an important moment in To Kill A Mockingbird.

    Reply
    1. Kate Ma.

      I agree with your point on how this moment was extremely important to the book and your view on Boo Radley and why he keeps himself inside.

      Reply
  13. Kate Ma.

    “Don’t talk like that, Dill,” said Aunt Alexandra. “It’s not becoming to a child. It’s—cynical.”
    “I ain’t cynical, Miss Alexandra. Tellin’ the truth’s not cynical, is it?”
    “The way you tell it, it is.”

    This passage interested me because it shows how Aunt Alexandra has on orderly way of thinking and whoever doesn’t fit under her views of how people should act she doesn’t care for them. This here shows how aunt Alexandra believes there is one way on how children should talk and act and Dill was not demonstrating her belief. She has one way of how childlike behavior should be; sweet and innocent and that’s most likely the reason she got mad that Scout, Jem, and Dill went to the trial. Aunt Alexandra wants everyone to conform to the way of life she believes is right when really there is now “right” way to living. Her whole character expects Scout to conform into a lady the way she likes or seperating her and the family from the Cunninghams just because they’re considered “trash” to her when they only just don’t live like she does. Aunt Alxandra only accepts people who act like her which is completely wrong.

    Reply
  14. maxwellw

    In chapters 22 to 23 a contrast is drawn between the children’s outlook, and Atticus’s. His understanding of the world is not innocent and he does not believe in goodness simply because he has never seen evil. He has indeed seen and experienced evil, but he is nevertheless capable of faith in the good qualities of humankind. This faith represents the adult perspective toward which Scout, who begins the novel as an innocent child, is forced to move as the story progresses. Although the jury strikes a blow for prejudice by convicting Tom, it is still possible for the town’s morally unblemished adult characters to hold out hope. Even after the verdict has been handed down, there is a sense that progress has been made: as Miss Maudie puts it, the town has taken “a step—it’s just a baby-step, but it’s a step.”

    Reply
    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I think it also shows how the children can be wiser than adults, since they are more willing to see change than adults.

      Reply
  15. Brishti Sarkar

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.” (p. 304)

    This passage addresses a huge problem with the human society. Throughout the world, there are many different types of people with thousands of different beliefs, and there are people who look different than each other. However, we are all part of the human race. Jem, like many other children when they mature, is now opening his eyes to the fact that humans cannot just coexist. Thousands of species exist on Earth, but humans are the only ones who have developed war and bigotry against each other. Instead of remaining peaceful, humans take time to hate others for things that they cannot control. The main message in the book is to shed light on the inequality between white people and colored people. Atticus even says “when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins,” (p. 295). This causes victims of endless bullying, like Boo Radley, to cut themselves off from the rest of the world and hide. Jem realizes that sometimes being alone for eternity is better than forfeiting to a life of endless torment of bigotry and prejudice from your peers.

    Reply
  16. jaclynl

    “It’s like bein‘ a caterpillar in a cocoon, that’s what it is,” he said. “Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like.” (p. 288)

    Now that Jem is beginning to grow older, he is starting to recognize the reality of the world around him. Tom Robinson’s trial was one of the first times that he had ever seen such unfairness in the world. Before walking in, he was sure that Atticus would win. Even with compelling evidence and a great defense, Tom Robinson never had a chance against the Ewells. Now that Jem has realized the racism that makes up Maycomb, he is going to be forced to mature and think about these types of topics.

    Reply
  17. Maddie

    “Atticus’s eyes filled with tears. He did not speak for a moment. ‘Tell them I’m very grateful,’he said. ‘Tell them– tell them they must never do this again. Times are too hard….'”

    In this passage Atticus receives lots of food from black people. They gave him the food to show their support for Atticus because he defended Tom Robinson. Though they are saddened by the fact that Atticus lost the court case, they appreciate the effort that Atticus put in to defend Tom. He is extremely grateful but know that these people are giving him all that they have and insists that they never do it again, though it was an extremely nice gesture.

    Reply
    1. josepha4

      Yeah I agree that even though they lost the case they appreciate his effort and want him to acknowledge how much it meant to them

      Reply
  18. Sophie

    “’That’s what I thought, too,’ he said at last, ‘when I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.'” (p. 304)

    After the trial, Jem and Scout had some special moments that shows growth, maturity, and exposure in both of them. The days following the trial, Jem was mad. He was mad and confused and upset. It look a lot of reasoning and guidance from Atticus before he was feeling any better. This really showed maturity in Jem because he was taking an adult situation that had not a lot of impact on him, and took it very seriously and worried about how it could affect his personal life in the future. Also, the trial effected Scout as an exposure experience. Unlike Jem who was had moments of realization as an effect, she was younger and was exposed to some of the wrong doings in the world. She saw first hand an experience of prejudices and racism. For a girl of her age to watch such a grown up case is pretty important. It effected her personality a lot, and improved her actions of acceptance. For example, after the whole situation, she talked to Jem and Aunt Alexandra about how she planned to make Walter Cunningham feel welcomed. She wanted to have him over and play with him. Overall, the trial showed maturity in Jems development into adulthood, and Scouts growing understanding of acceptance and human equality.

    Reply
  19. josepha4

    “If there’s just one type of folk, how come they can’t get along with each other?… I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in his house all this time… It’s because he wants to stay inside.”

    This passage from the novel is interesting to me because it portrays the novels main theme. That is, people naturally enjoy people who are similar to them, and dislike others who differ from them, And the thing that determines a persons character is whether they accept that evil or choose to fight against it. Atticus is an example of a civil rights activist who fights against racism as we saw in the court. However, there can be another example of civil rights activist who live in Maycomb county, Boo Radley. Instead of standing up and fighting, he chooses to not participate in the racist everyday life of Maycomb county. Is it fair to call him a civil rights activist? Or call him a pacifist? To be a good person do you need to accept that there are others different than you? They may look different or they may speak differently or have religious ideas you don’t share but you have to accept them, and even if you don’t agree, or like it, respect it. Jem is opening his eyes to the racist world and rejecting that evil, passage into his beliefs. Jem’s beginning to accept the morals Atticus teaches. Atticus believes everyone is equal and Jem has come to that conclusion as well. Hopefully Scout will follow the same path Jem did and believe blacks are equal to whites.

    Reply
  20. johnh1

    “‘As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men
    every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—
    whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he
    is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.'”

    I chose this quote because it relates to something we talked about with great expectations. Here, Atticus talks about how if a person treats a black man badly or takes advantage of them than they are trash no matter how rich or from what family. This relates to how a gentleman isn’t made by money, something we talked about while reading Great Expectations. I just thought this common theme was interesting.

    Reply
  21. angelicac1

    “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. . . it’s because he wants to stay inside.” (p. 304)

    Throughout this novel, problems within Maycomb have always found ways to affect Scout’s and Jem’s lives, actions, and thoughts. In this passage it is clear to see that Scout’s perspective on the people in society have changed after becoming more aware of the problems within her community. Scout believes that all people should be seen as equal while Jem believes the opposite of that. Jem believes that every person differs from each other when it comes to their appearance, family, and your reputation.

    Reply
  22. MadiR

    “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it— whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.”

    This passage is fascinating in my mind because it shows that Atticus can step into other peoples shoes. Earlier in the book they already warned the reader that it is almost impossible to get a fair trial if you are black. Atticus explains that the Jury instead of leaving their thoughts outside of the jury box, brought inside their racism. This appalling act is what makes Atticus say these words to Jem. Atticus taught Scout to learn how to walk in others shoes and in this passage Atticus is being a great example for her.

    Reply
  23. Casey

    “The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs’ knuckles…Calpurnia said, ‘This was all ’round the back steps when I got here this morning. They- they ‘preciate what you did, Mr. Finch. They- they aren’t oversteppin’ themselves, are they?”

    This is the part of the story after Atticus and Tom Robinson lose in court. It was devastating not only to Atticus and Tom, but to the African Americans living in Maycomb. Instead of being disappointed in Atticus, they were proud of him and wanted to show their support and thank him for all that he did to help Tom. Many of them dropped off food at his house for Calpurnia to cook for them. The fact that many people took the time to get food for Atticus showed that he had lasting effect on them.

    Reply
  24. Hannah M.

    At the end of tonight’s reading Jem tries to explain to Scout why some people are different than others. Scout just can’t wrap her mind around other people’s morals, but Jem tries anyway and explains everything to her. Jem also exclaims that she knows how Scout feels for he thought the same thing when he was Scouts age. We see a maturity in Jem and leadership. It’s fun to see this in other peoples perspective. Jem is a very interesting character that we could go on and on about in class

    Reply

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