After a long day at school, it is time for the children to go back home the way they came through; the woods. Scout forgets her shoes but Jem tells her that she needs to get them tomorrow. While walking through the midnight darkness, Jem becomes worried. Suddenly a person runs up to them only to find out it is a man. The man tackles Jem and Scout falls on her side in the ham costume and can’t get up. Scout then hears a crack and then Jem screaming. The man then goes for Scout and begins to choke her. The man then falls back which causes Scout to think that Jem got up but then notices another man came into the fight. The night becomes quite again other than slight wheezing from one of the men.
One of the men run and take Jem back in the direction of their home while Scout runs after the two still dazed from the attack. When Scout returns, she sees a doctor, the sheriff, and a lot of commotion in the house. Scout notices a man she has never seen before and assumes that’s the man who saved Jem. The Sheriff comes back from the scene to say that there are pieces of material around Bob Ewell who has been stabbed to death. Scout realizes that the man who saved Jem and her from the attack plotted by Bob Ewell was Boo Radley (Atticus tells her to refer to him as Mr. Arthur). Jem receives an arm injury after the incident and becomes unconscious. Atticus thinks that Jem killed Bob Ewell but the Sheriff comprehends the situation and says that Bob Ewell fell and impaled himself with his own knife.
As Scout later says, “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.” This quote explains that you never know anyone until you meet them. Throughout the whole novel, the children became intrigued and horrified of Boo Radley when really he was the one that put the little trinkets in the knothole, fixed up Jem’s pants, cared about the children, and saved the children from Bob Ewell.
“Bob Ewell’s lyin’ on the ground under that tree down yonder with a kitchen knife stuck up under his ribs. He’s dead, Mr. Finch.” – Heck Tate
Jem and Scout walk from their house to their school one evening as Jem is carrying Scout’s ham costume on Halloween. The joke about haints, or Hot Steams, while walking past the Radley Place where no one seems to be home, or at least not Boo. It got very dark and unfortunately, they didn’t think ahead to bring a flashlight. Yikes! Out of nowhere someone jumps out at them with a light. Boo! Luckily, it was just Cecil Jacobs. Scout and Jem arrive at the auditorium and the entire auditorium was packed with people from the town. They head backstage only to find Jem’s costume mashed. After putting on her costume, she fell asleep during the show and missed her cue when Mrs. Merriweather screamed, “Po-ork!” Mrs. Merriweather ended scolding at Scout and she kept the costume on to hide her shame.
The way home is perhaps the most intense part throughout the story (besides the deliberation of the jury during Tom Robinson’s court case). Jem and Scout walk past the field they came from, only now they were walking in amidst the pitch darkness of midnight. When Scout realizes that she forgot her shoes, they were about to turn back until they saw that the school’s lights were off. While walking, Jem seemed paranoid about something and told Scout but Scout doesn’t believe him and told him to “stop playing these games”. She suggests that it was just Cecil Jacobs thought it was odd that he hadn’t come out yet. Jem knew that whoever the stalker was, it wasn’t Cecil, but Jem pretended to think it was Cecil so that Scout wouldn’t get scared. This perfectly portrays the maturity of Jem and how the “manly” figure that he puts on.
Out of nowhere, a MAN jumps out of nowhere and they start struggling to try to escape. Jem urges Scout to run but as the person she is, she refuses and tries to fight off the assaulter and falls over in the process. Scout is completely oblivious as to what was going on because she couldn’t see anything. Once she got up, she went for the stalker but she was held choked, helpless… until she was let go and saw the man fall onto the ground. Boo Radley killed the alcohol-influenced Bob Ewell and saved the children.
“I don’t like it, Atticus, I don’t like it at all,”….”That man seems to have a permanent running grudge against everybody connected with that case.” -Aunt Alexandra
In October, Bob Ewell found work with WPA, one of the Depression job programs, and loses it a few days later. He blames Atticus for “getting at his job.” Also, Judge Taylor was at home and heard someone outside: when he goes to investigate, he finds his screen door open and sees a shadow creeping away. Bob Ewell then begins to follow Helen Robinson to work, keeping his distance but still being weird. Deas sees Ewell and threatens to have him arrested if he doesn’t leave Helen alone. He leaves her alone after that. But these events worry Aunt Alexandra, who points out that Ewell seems to have a grudge against everyone connected with the case. That Halloween, the town sponsors a play at the school. This plan constitutes an attempt to avoid the unsupervised mischief of the previous Halloween. Someone burglarized the house of two elderly sisters and hid all of their furniture in their basement last year. The play is an “agricultural pageant” in which every child portrays a food. Scout wears a wire mesh shaped to look like ham. Both Atticus and Aunt Alexandra are too tired to attend the festivities, so Jem takes Scout to the school.
The quote above is when Aunt Alexandra was talking to Atticus about the recent events connected to Mr. Ewell. This quote shows the intolerance and prejudice of Mr. Ewell. He was capable of holding a grudge and retaliating. In this chapter there is foreshadowing about a feeling Aunt Alexandra has, a bad feeling, about what will happen. There is also a simile on page 335, “All the time Ewell was on the stand I couldn’t dare look at John and keep a straight face. John looked at him as if he were a three-legged chicken or a square egg.” when Atticus compares John’s stare to a three-legged chicken or a square egg. The theme in this chapter is the good,evil and human dignity. While reading you notice how the dignity of the Ewell’s doesn’t seem to occur in the way people act around him. Atticus is working towards the good in his life by trying to eliminate and help those who are facing hard times.
As August passes by, Aunt Alexandra is hosting a missionary tea party for church fundraising at the Finch house. This time she is letting Calpurnia serve the tea rather than being picky and controlling. Scout is home rather than with Jem and Dill because the two boys are skinny dipping meaning no girls. Scout offers to help Calpurnia, and gets to carry in the silver coffee pitcher and on top of that, Scout is invited to join them. Miss Stephanie questions Scout if she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up due to the fact that she has been attending trials. Miss Stephanie continues to nag at her until Scout finally replies that she doesn’t want to become a lawyer but instead a lady. Scout starts conversation with Mrs. Grace Merriweather, who had reported to the group on the Mruna tribe, which J. Grimes Everett is trying to convert to Christianity Mrs. Merriweather goes on to talk about J. Grimes Everett’s behavior. She states the need to “forgive and forget,” and to help an unknown woman “lead a Christian life for those children from here on out”. Scout questions if this is about Mayella Ewell but Mrs. Merriweather replies with no. Mrs Merriweather says she is talking about Helen Robinson although she doesnt actually know her. Mrs. Merriweather states that there are some “good but misguided” people in Maycomb (this was directed towards Atticus supporting negroes) who think they’re helping but just causing more trouble. Mrs. Maudie very angrily says, “His food doesn’t stick going down, does it?” Aunt Alexandra makes the situation less tense with some more cake, and guides the conversation into a calmer direction. Scout continues to be confused and does not understand the tension between the conversations. Atticus arrives home but looks sick. In the kitchen, he tells everyone except Mrs. Merriweather that Tom Robinson was shot dead after trying to escape prison guards.
As one grows older, they begin to lose innocence and this will affect their tolerance. As being the most innocent person in the novel Scout becomes very intolerant at times. For example, during dinner when they had Walter Cunningham over for dinner, Scout was being rude and questioning Walter’s preference. “Walter poured syrup on his vegetables and meat with a generous hand. He would probably have poured it into his milk glass had I not asked what the sam hill he was doing…Atticus shook his head at me again. “But he’s gone and drowned his dinner in syrup,” I protested. “He’s poured it all over-””. This explains that Scout had very little tolerance towards Walter’s peculiar actions. She was rude due her innocence. Another example may include the children being scared of Boo Radley. Since they are still young and innocent, there tolerance of fear is little. It shows when they were playing a tire game. “Scout, get away from there, come on!” I raised my head and stared at the Radley Place steps in front of me. I froze. “Come on, Scout, don’t just lie there!” Jem was screaming. “Get up, can’tcha?”” The children are intrigued and horrified of Boo Radley due to a hoax spreaded around the neighborhood. They are afraid of him although they had not even met him. Atticus becomes very tolerable around the children and has patience. He does not expect them to know right from wrong. ““No I can’t,” said Atticus. “I have to make a living. Besides, they’d put me in jail
if I kept you at home—dose of magnesia for you tonight and school tomorrow.”” Atticus remains patient with Scout after she tries to convince him to let her stay home. Atticus shows high tolerance when putting up with the Scout’s nonsense.
As children, our parents seem to have high tolerance when we make mistakes. For example, If a child were to get in trouble at school, it is the parents job to tell them what they did wrong and have a slight punishment on the situation. Similarly to how Atticus puts up with his children’s bad behavior.
Is there always justice if someone is guilty or innocence?
No, that is not the case. Determining the guiltiness or innocence of a person is an extremely difficult task to do because it carries a lot of weight to it and the responsibility is incomparable (especially when it’s regarding a murder or something important). Now, in most cases, there is justice in the verdict whether they’re guilty or innocent because, in a trial, twelve people have to reach a unanimous decision for the defendant. The U.S. Court System was designed this way to guarantee as much justice as possible for both sides of the trial.
But what if that isn’t the case. Considering Tom Robinson’s case, that wasn’t a lot of justice. Tom Robinson is presumably “guilty” despite the lack of evidence; it was just one witness against the defendant, a white witness against a black defendant. Prejudicism, hate, and bias, all contribute toward the absence of justice. In this case, it is focused in onto racism.
“Guilty..guilty, guilty” (Lee 282) As the judge counts off the votes from the jury, there was nothing but guilty. Any sane person would’ve clearly been able to see that Robinson is not guilty and the reason that the jury evicted him is that of his race. Therefore, there isn’t always justice in innocence or guilt. Moreover, Atticus claimed, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (Lee 39) Atticus claimed that you don’t understand another’s point of view until u climb into their skin and walk around in it because he is implying that injustice derives from the inequity of human races.
In 1890, a case was brought up to the Supreme court called Plessy v. Ferguson where it challenged the laws passed that restricted black people from certain privileges. One day, Homer Plessy was removed off a Railroad Train and arrested because he refused to be seated in the colored passenger seating area. He displayed civil disobedience and the case was brought up to the Supreme court. Unfortunately, the court ruled against him and that was the first example of “separate but equal” enforced on a higher level. This shows that justice are not necessarily reached when it comes to guilty and innocence in the law of court.
It is true that justice and injustice opinions are based on whether a group of people want to be apart of a large group to feel included in a matter or actually believe in the matter at hand. People are scared of sharing an unpopular opinion in the fear of being hated or judged by other people on the other side of the argument. Mr. Cunningham for example is a perfect character from TKAM that demonstrates joining a group that holds the upper-hand in the opinion of Tom Robinson’s guiltiness. When Scout states, “‘How’s your entailment getting along,’ [Cunningham] turned and looked away.” Though he does not say much, Mr. Cunningham demonstrates a sense of embarrassment in this moment in front of the group of men next to him. This proves that he joined the group out of a rash decision and is scared how the men will judge him knowing more about his financial state. Later, Atticus mentions, “That proves something- that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human…” This quote has a major impact to the question above. The fact that he says the men are still human portrayed into the role that the human desire wants to fit in and wants to be generally liked by the overall population. The only way to do this is by agreeing with the popular opinion that Tom Robinson is guilty just because he is a Negro.
Finally, Scout states, “Naw, Jem. I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” This quote emphasis the fact that all men are the same. Fitting in is a mental thing that not many people can avoid. Scout and Atticus both understand that Mr. Cunningham was only with the group of men that night to show them his loyalty to the guilty side of the trial. Scout, by the end of the novel, truly believes that people are equal and they form opinions based off of false evidence and assumption which can lead to injustice actions.
An excerpt from a peer pressure article talks about the outcomes of peer pressure. “Across a variety of cultural settings, adolescents tend to be friends with those who are most like them. In fact, sociodemographic characteristics are usually the strongest predictors of friendship formation. Different types of peer groups have unique capacities to encourage negative or positive behaviors in their members. Adolescent mis-conduct most often occurs in groups. In the United States, cliques are often distinguished from other peer groups through the pressure they exert on their members to conform to certain norms in school orientation, drug use, and sexual behavior. Researchers found clear differences among six different cliques in their participation in high-risk health behaviors, including smoking cigarettes, alcohol use, marijuana use, engagement in illicit sexual behavior, and decision making.” (Peer Pressure) Though this example mentions peer pressure in teenagers, these same tactics are applied in adult life. It is human nature to go with the crowd, even if its not the best decision, because of fear of missing out of opportunities. This social fear drives humans to make life’s poor decisions which can lead to dire consequences and untrue opinions.