To Kill a Mockingbird
On Monday morning the trial of Tom Robinson is scheduled to begin. Atticus tells the
children to stay home, but when they see the crowds heading in the direction of the
court they are overcome with curiosity and sneak out of the house.
For the most part, this chapter gives you another look at the kinds of people who
live in Maycomb County and a glimpse of their attitudes toward the trial. At one
extreme is Scout's Aunt Alexandra, who does not even want Atticus to mention Braxton
Underwood's hatred of blacks in front of Calpurnia. Alexandra believes in putting up a false
front, and it makes her nervous to think that a black servant may be judging her
At the other extreme is Dolphus Raymond, a wealthy, white eccentric who has married
a black woman. Mr. Raymond can get away with this only because he is rich and is
rumored to be a drunkard whose judgment is clouded by whiskey.
Miss Maudie is one of the few people in town who have decided to stay
away from the trial. Even Miss Maudie's nemesis the "foot-washing
Baptists"- the same sect that thinks that gardening is sinful- have
turned out in force. There is a carnival mood in the air, and most of
the white spectators behave as though they have come out to see an entertainment.
The courtroom is so crowded that Scout, Jem, and Dill find it impossible to squeeze
inside. Finally, they decide to sneak into the balcony to sit with the black spectators.
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