Study Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 21

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Chapter 21

  • The judge allows Cal to hand Atticus a note from Aunt Alexandra, which says that the kids are missing.
  • Uh, they're in the balcony and have been there all afternoon.
  • Atticus sends the kids home with Calpurnia, but after some strategic whining he agrees that they can come back once they've had their dinner.
  • Aunt Alexandra is ready to faint from horror when she hears where they've been, but they head back anyway.
  • Scout and Jem are surprised that hardly anyone has left—usually everyone heads out once the jury leaves to deliberate.
  • Jem says that they've won the case, but the Reverend says that he's never seen a jury support an African-American man over a white one.
  • The court audience waits patiently. For over three hours. Without a single piece of technology in sight.
  • If you're wondering how people killed time before smartphones, they apparently slept a lot more: Scout dozes off, and when she wakes up she's thinking about the morning when Atticus shot the mad dog.
  • Finally, it's time for the (unanimous) verdict: guilty.
  • Atticus whispers something to Tom Robinson, packs up his papers, and leaves.
  • As he walks down the aisle alone, the African-Americans in the balcony silently stand up to honor him.

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