To Kill a Mockingbird – Chapter 14

When Jem and Scout go into town, people whisper about them and make remarks behindtheir backs, such as, “There’s his chillun” or “Yonder’s some Finches.” Jem and Scout overhear one man say, “They c’n go loose and rape up the countryside for all of ’em who run this county care,” a reference to Atticus’s defense of Tom Robinson. How is the trial affecting the children’s weekly visits to town? What are people saying?
He gives her a legal definition, which she does not understand: “…rape [is] carnalknowledge of a female by force and without consent.” He wisely decides that she is still too young to be burdened with the knowledge of what rape is. How does Atticus explain rape to Scout?
Aunt Alexandra is talking about not allowing Scout to visit Calpurnia at her home. This, combined with Aunt Alexandra’s plans to make Scout into a proper young woman, causes Scout to feel like a prisoner. She uses the metaphor of a “pink cotton penitentiary” to describe what she views as an impending loss of freedom at the hands of her aunt. As Scout eavesdrops on Atticus and Aunt Alexandra, she says, “I felt the starchedwalls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me….” What does Scout mean by thiscomment? What literary term is demonstrated here?
he wants Atticus to fire Calpurnia. Alexandra believes that now that she is there, the family does not need Calpurnia anymore. In addition, it is clear that she does not like the fact that Calpurnia has influence over Scout. Atticus firmly tells her that he has no intention of firing Calpurnia: “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years.” He stresses that Calpurnia is a faithful member of the family and that she has done a great job of raising Scout and Jem. What does Alexandra want Atticus to do to Calpurnia? What is his response?
Jem tells Scout not to antagonize Aunt Alexandra. Scout resents the fact that Jem is giving her orders. When Jem threatens to spank her if she does not heed his advice, she punches him, and they end up brawling until Atticus comes in and breaks them up. What does Jem tell Scout she should do when dealing with Aunt Alexandra? How doesScout react to his suggestion?
They find Dill under her bed. He has run away from home and has been hiding there for about two hours. Scout thinks there may be a snake under her bed but it turns out to be something elseentirely. What do she and Jem find under her bed?
He tells Atticus that Dill ran away. Scout and Dill are shocked that Jem revealed their secret to an adult. They view Jem as a traitor. Of the perceived betrayal, Scout says that Jem “broke the remaining code of our childhood.” Jem explains that he had to tell Atticus. He says to Dill, “You can’t run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin’.” This decision further establishes that Jem is maturing. He knows that Dill’s mother must be extremely worried. He is thinking the way a responsible adult would think, and his action reflects that. What does Jem do that shocks Dill and Scout? How does he explain his action, and how does it further establish his increasing maturity?
He says that his parents do not pay very much attention to him. He explains to Scout that they are not mean or hateful and that they buy him everything he wants. However, they do not spend any time with him, and it is obvious that he feels lonely and unwanted: “…they just wasn’t interested in me…they stayed gone all the time, and when they were home, even, they’d get off in a room by themselves.” Why has Dill run away from home? What reasons does he give?
She finds herself thinking of the Radley house and Boo’s imprisonment in it. She asks Dill, “Why do you reckon Boo Radley’s never run off?” Dill’s answer is that maybe Boo “doesn’t have anywhere to run off to….” As the chapter ends, what is Scout thinking about? What question does she ask Dill, and how does he respond?

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