Chapter 22 to kill a mockingbird summary and analysis

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To kill a mocking bird
analysis and summary
Chapter 22
Jem is crying and angry - he thought that the case was clearly in Tom's favor.
Atticus is exhausted and when Jem asks him how the jury could have done it he
responds, "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 like only children
weep." However, the next morning, he explains that there's a good possibility for
the case to be appealed in a higher court. Calpurnia reveals that the black
community has left Atticus all sorts of appreciative gifts including chickens, bread
and produce that have filled the house. Upon seeing this generosity, Atticus's eyes
fill with tears. He says he's very grateful but tells Calpurnia that they shouldn't
give him such things when times are so hard.
Dill comes by for breakfast and tells everyone that Miss Rachel thinks that, "if a
man like Atticus Finch wants to butt his head against a stone wall it's his head."
The children go outside and Miss Maudie saves them from Miss Stephanie's nosy
gossip by inviting them over for cake. Miss Maudie says that Atticus is someone
who does other people's unpleasant jobs for them. Jem is discouraged and
disappointed with the people of Maycomb, who he formerly thought were "the best
people in the world." He thinks that no one but Atticus worked on Tom's behalf,
but Miss Maudie points out that many people helped, including Mr. Tate the sheriff,
the black community, and especially Mr. Taylor the judge, who offered Atticus the
case in the first place. Mr. Tate assigned Atticus to the case because he knew
Atticus would truly dedicate himself to the cause. Miss Maudie says that even
though she knew Atticus couldn't win, he did manage to keep the jury out in
discussion for longer than anyone else could, which is an achievement in and of
itself. She says, "we're making a step - it's just a baby step, but it's a step."
As they leave, Dill says he wants to be a clown when he grows up, because,
"there's ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm
gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." The children see Mr. Avery, Miss
Stephanie, and Miss Rachel discussing something with animation in the street.
Apparently Mr. Ewell saw Atticus by the post office, spat in his face, and told him
that, "he'd get him if it took the rest of his life."
In Chapter 22, Atticus reaches a point of frustration immediately after the trial,
but his usual optimism returns the next day when he begins talking about the
chance for an appeal.
Though he acknowledges that, "they'll do it again," and understands the reality
that evil will always persist in some form, he seems to need to believe that there is
hope for the future and the inherent goodness of mankind in order to keep himself
going. Exhausted and pessimistic the night after the trial, he seems restored the
next morning, as if his ability to exist and his hope are closely intertwined.
Miss Maudie makes Jem aware of an entire network of people who were quietly
working in Tom's favor. Her use of the word "we" to represent them not only
creates the sense that there is a cohesive group with a communal vision, but also
makes the children feel like they are now included as a part of it. The trial has
affected their lives in many ways, and now they are aware that they are by

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Dill's comment about being a clown follows his tendency for escapism. He finds
reality so difficult to manage, that he defines himself in another, separate reality
where he can be safe from the trauma that Jem feels and the confusion that
Scout feels as a result of being so closely intertwined with the town's events.…read more


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