Study Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 25

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Chapter 25

  • September has arrived, but autumn coolness hasn't, so Scout and Jem are still sleeping out on the back porch.
  • There Scout finds a roly-poly bug, and amuses herself by poking it so it rolls up, waiting for it to unroll and start walking, then poking it again.
  • She's about to squish it when Jem stops her, and she makes fun of him for being so sympathetic towards bugs.
  • Scout thinks that Jem is the one who's getting more like a girl, not her.
  • Dill has gone back to Meridian for the school year, and thinking about Dill sends Scout onto thinking about what Dill told her before he left town.
  • Cue memory flashback: On the day of the missionary tea, Jem and Dill had been walking back from the swimming hole trying to hitch a ride when they saw Atticus driving somewhere with Calpurnia.
  • Atticus wanted them to try to get another ride since he wasn't going to go home for a while, but the boys convinced him to let them come with him.
  • Tough ride: they went with Atticus to see Helen Robinson and watched her crumble at the news that her husband had died.
  • On their way back, they passed the Ewell place, they heard voices shouting at them, but Dill couldn't tell what they were saying.
  • And that's the end of Dill's story of that day.
  • Tom's death is the hot topic in Maycomb gossip for a few days, mostly as a way to reinforce pre-existing stereotypes as to the foolishness of black people.
  • The story seems well on its way to dying a quick death until Mr. Underwood comes out with an editorial on the topic in The Maycomb Tribune. Since it's the only paper in town, he can say whatever he wants and not lose subscribers or advertising.
  • Mr. Underwood's editorial is about how, basically, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird (in this case, a crippled man), and that the justice system didn't stand a chance: "Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed."
  • Miss Stephanie, ever the joyful bearer of bad news, tells Aunt Alexandra and Jem that when Mr. Ewell heard of Tom's death, he said one down, two to go.

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