To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 22 Summary
* Jem can’t hold back the injustice-fueled tears as he, Scout, and Dill go to meet Atticus outside the courthouse. * He says to Atticus that it’s not right, and Atticus agrees. * Aunt Alexandra is waiting up for them when they get home (still wearing her corset even under her bathrobe, Scout thinks), and tells Atticus she’s sorry he lost the case. * Even slightly softened, Alexandra doesn’t miss the chance to remind Atticus that she doesn’t think he should have let the kids listen in on the case. * Atticus says that they have to deal with the fallout from it anyway, and that racism is just as much a Maycomb standby as missionary teas are. * Atticus goes to bed wearily, but seems more hopeful in the morning. * At breakfast he tells his family that it’s not over yet – there’s still the appeal process. * Breakfast is a lavish affair, as it seems every African-American in the county has sent the Finches a gift of food. * Calpurnia says she found everything on the back steps when she arrived that morning, and asks if they were overstepping themselves; Atticus, a bit teary-eyed, tells her to thank everyone but tell them that there’s no need to be so generous, especially when times are so hard. * Atticus leaves for town, and his place at the breakfast table is taken by Dill. * The kids soon head out themselves, and see Miss Stephanie Crawford giving a blow-by-blow account of the trial to Miss Maudie Atkinson and Mr. Avery. * Miss Maudie calls Jem over; Miss Stephanie butts in to pepper them with rude questions, before Miss Maudie shuts her up and offers the kids some cake. * There are two little cakes and one big one, and Scout thinks that Miss Maudie has uncharacteristically forgotten Dill, but then finds out the big cake is for Jem. * Scout realizes this is Miss Maudie’s way of saying everything is still cool between them. * Miss Maudie tells them that some men just get stuck with the sucky jobs, and Atticus is unfortunately one of them. * Jem says that he always thought that Maycomb folks were good people, but it doesn’t seem like that to him any more, since no one stepped up to support Tom Robinson. * Miss Maudie said that some did, including Judge Taylor, who usually appoints an inexperienced local lawyer as public defender, but made an exception in Tom Robinson’s case to appoint Atticus instead. * Miss Maudie goes on to say that she knew Atticus wouldn’t win, but that he made the jury think about their decision for a long time, and that’s a baby step in the right direction. * They leave Miss Maudie’s house, and Dill says that he’s going to be a clown when he grows up, because the only possible response to humanity is to laugh at it. * Jem says that Dill’s got it wrong, clowns get laughed at by everyone else, but Dill says he’ll be a new sort of clown who looks at the audience and laughs at them. * Miss Rachel and Aunt Alexandra tell the kids to get off the street, there’s trouble coming, and Miss Stephanie butts in to tell them why: that morning Mr. Ewell spit in Atticus’s face and told him that he had it out for him. To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 23 Summary
* Atticus won’t say much about the attack other than to joke about it with dry wit. * Scout thinks Atticus should carry a gun, but he responds with calm unconcern. * Finally Atticus figures out that his kids are really terrified that Mr. Ewell will follow through on his threat, but Atticus thinks that Ewell’s done as much as he’s going to do, and after that the kids don’t feel scared any more. * Atticus tells Jem and Scout that nothing can happen to Tom until the appeal, which might have a better result than the original trial. * Tom is now at the Enfield Prison Farm seventy miles away, where his family can’t visit him. * Scout asks what will happen to Tom if he loses his appeal, and Atticus says he’ll go to the electric chair unless the governor...
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