To Kill a Mockingbird


Chapter 26 to Chapter 31

Chapter Twenty-Six

When school goes back in the fall, Scout and Jem have to pass by the Radley house every day again, on the way there and back. Now they have grown too old to be afraid of the house anymore, but Scout still wishes that she could see Boo Radley. She wonders what he looks like. She also still thinks about the trial quite often. It is something she just cannot shake completely. On a school day, Scout and the rest of her third grade class learn about the persecution of the Jews by Hitler. They are lectured on democracy, and how people are equal and should be treated as such. Scout does not say anything, but later asks her brother why her teacher can talk about equality and tolerance in the classroom but be so glad that "blacks were taught a lesson" at Tom Robinson's trial. Jem gets very angry. He insists that Scout is never to mention the trial to him ever again. That upsets Scout, who looks for comfort from her father.

This chapter teaches Scout that practicing what one preaches is important, but it is not often done. Her teacher clearly shows that she can talk freely about how Hitler should not harm the Jews, but yet she can be proud that Tom Robinson was convicted. It is a disconnect that Scout has trouble handling. When she tries to talk to Jem, it is obvious that he is not ready to talk about the trial. He is still very hurt by the lessons he learned about humanity when Tom was found guilty.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

In mid-October, Bob Ewell uses one of the Depression job programs to find work. A few days later, he loses that job, and he blames Atticus. During that same time period, Judge Taylor hears a prowler at his house. He goes to see what is going on and finds that his screen door is standing open. Someone creeps away, but he cannot see who it is. Link Deas, who employed Tom Robinson before his arrest, threatens to have Ewell arrested, because he has taken to following Helen Robinson around town. He never gets too close, but he whispers obscenities toward her and stalks her....

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