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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 22 Summary

  • Jem is weeping tears of injustice.
  • At home, Alexandra softens up enough to tell Atticus she's sorry he lost the case—but she still doesn't think he should have let the kids listen in.
  • 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.
  • In the morning, 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.
  • The kids head out to see Miss Stephanie Crawford giving a blow-by-blow account of the trial to Miss Maudie Atkinson and Mr. Avery.
  • Miss Maudie keeps Miss Stephanie from asking rude questions 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.
  • Jem is pretty bummed out. 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.
  • Actually, Miss Maudie says, some did. Judge Taylor usually appoints an inexperienced local lawyer as public defender, but made an exception in Tom Robinson's case to appoint Atticus instead.
  • And even though Atticus didn't win, he made the jury think about their decision for a long time.
  • That's a 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.
  • Nope, Dill says. He'll be a new sort of clown, one 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.

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