To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 26 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
The adults in Maycomb never discussed the case with Jem and me; it seemed that they discussed it with their children, and their attitude must have been that neither of us could help having Atticus for a parent, so their children must be nice to us in spite of him. The children would never have thought that up for themselves: had our classmates been left to their own devices, Jem and I would have had several swift, satisfying fist-fights apiece and ended the matter for good. As it was, we were compelled to hold our heads high and be, respectively, a gentleman and a lady. (26.10)
Faced with an adult conflict, the children are forced to act like adults. It may be less violent than the kid's method of fighting it out, bottling up those emotions means that they fester more than they would otherwise. Would matters have calmed down faster in Maycomb if, instead of a trial, there had been a celebrity death match between the two sides?