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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

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12
Quote #1

"You goin' to court this morning?" asked Jem. […]

"I am not. 't's morbid, watching a poor devil on trial for his life. Look at all those folks, it's like a Roman carnival."

"They hafta try him in public, Miss Maudie," I said. "Wouldn't be right if they didn't."

"I'm quite aware of that," she said. "Just because it's public, I don't have to go, do I?" (16.40-48)

This is one reason that courtroom cameras are controversial: making trials public is one way of guaranteeing that they're fair (not that it worked in this case), but it also turns the whole thing into a circus.

Quote #2

"Atticus-" said Jem bleakly.

He turned in the doorway. "What, son?"

"How could they do it, how could they?"

"I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it—seems that only children weep. Good night." (22.14-17)

Is it "children" who are weeping, or only Jem, Scout, and Dill? Is it simply being children that causes them to be sad about Tom's fate, or are their other factors? We doubt Cousin Francis is losing any sleep about it.

Quote #3

Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything: "It's just that I can't think of a way to make him come out without him gettin' us." Besides, Jem had his little sister to think of.

When he said that, I knew he was afraid. (1.72-75)

For Jem, fear is something to be ashamed of. Maybe this is why kids are obsessed with Boo: acting like they're not scared of him is a way for them to show off to each other.

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