To Kill a Mockingbird – Chapter 22

He means that the jury acted unjustly, and the majority of the town does not seem to care. Children are the only ones who weep at injustice because they are still capable of feeling outrage at unfairness. The adults in the town, on the other hand, are ignorant, jaded, orperhaps simply unwilling or unable to freely express indignation at the wrongness of thesituation. What does Atticus mean when he says, it “seems that only children weep”?
Maycomb’s black community sent the food to show Atticus appreciation for his defense of Tom Robinson. As Calpurnia tells him, “[The food] was all ’round the back steps when I got here this morning. They—they ‘preciate what you did, Mr. Finch.” Atticus becomes emotional for the first time. His eyes fill with tears, and he is unable to speak for a moment. He tells Calpurnia to express his gratitude to those who brought the food. In a voice obviously filled with emotion, he adds, “Tell them—tell them they must never do this again. Times are too hard….” On the morning after the trial, the kitchen table in the Finch household is “loaded with enough food to bury the family.”
Jem is struggling with the disillusionment and loss of innocence that comes with knowledge and maturity, a major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. Like a caterpillar safe in its cocoon, he had always felt safe among the people of Maycomb. Now, in the wake of the trial and its outcome, he realizes that evil and injustice exist in the town and that many of his neighbors are not the good, moral people he had previously thought they were. Essentially, his childlike illusions about Maycomb and its people have been shattered. “It’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon…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.” The caterpillar in the cocoon symbolizes a child in the state of innocence. Like the caterpillar, the child must emerge from that state as he or she matures. Throughout the novel, Jem has been transitioning from childhood to adulthood. JEM uses the metaphor of a caterpillar in a cocoon to describe his feelings. According to him, in what way is he like a caterpillar in a cocoon? What feeling is he struggling with, and how does it relate to the trial and the town of Maycomb? What does the caterpillar symbolize?
Miss Maudie means that Maycomb may be gradually overcoming its racist ideology. As evidence for her hopeful attitude, she notes that people like Judge Taylor and Heck Tate had tried to help Tom. She mentions that Judge Taylor’s appointing Atticus to defend Tom was no accident. He gave the job to Atticus because he knew that if anyone could hope to persuade the jury of Tom’s innocence, Atticus would be that person. Most importantly, because the jury took so long to decide, it indicates that Atticus indeed was successful in changing the men’s attitude a little. What does Miss Maudie mean when she says, “…we’re making a step—it’s just a baby step, but it’s a step”? What evidence does she use to explain her optimism?
Dill says he will be a clown when he grows up. Watching the absurd behavior of the gossiping adults brings him to this cynical decision. He explains, “There ain’t one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I’m gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.” As the children watch the neighbors gossip, Dill makes a declaration about what he will be when he grows up. What does he say, and what are his reasons?
Mr. Ewell stopped Atticus in town and spat in his face. Then, he threatened Atticus, promising that he would “get him if it took the rest of his life.” According to Stephanie Crawford, what did Mr. Ewell do to Atticus earlier that morning?

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