To Kill a Mockingbird
Scout's class in school is studying current events, and one of the children brings
in a newspaper clipping about Adolf Hitler's persecution of the Jews of Germany.
The teacher, Miss Gates, gives a lecture on the difference between a dictatorship
such as Nazi Germany and the democratic system of the United States, and she goes on to tell
the class how bad Hitler is, and how lucky they are to live in a democracy.
Scout is disturbed by this. At home that evening she mentions to Jem that after the
trial she heard this same Miss Gates telling Stephanie Crawford that the decision
against Tom Robinson was a good thing because it would teach the blacks in town their
proper place. How can anyone be so hypocritical, Scout wonders aloud.
Jem is furious. He orders Scout to stop bringing up the subject of the
trial and people's reactions to it. He doesn't want to think about the
episode ever again, he says angrily. From now on, Jem is determined to
think about himself, and to concentrate on his ambition to play football
in high school.
Hurt and bewildered, Scout goes to Atticus for comfort. Her father assures her that
Jem has not really put the trial out of his mind, he is just storing the memory
away for a little while until he is better prepared to deal with it.
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© Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
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