Chapter 25

This is information on chapter 25 - questions and answers about the chapter.

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  • Created on: 11-09-11 10:04
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Chapter Twenty Five
1. How does the incident with the roly poly link in with ideas about justice in the novel? What
comparisons might we draw to the description of Helen's reaction to the news that Tom has
been killed at the end of the chapter (just fell down in the dirt, like a giant with a big foot just
came along and stepped on her')?
Jem prevents Scout from killing the roly poly `because they don't bother you'. This connects with the
fact that you should not discriminate against or kill a Negro because they do nothing to anybody else.
Jem was referring to Tom Robinson here. Tom Robinson should not have been killed because he
didn't do anything wrong either. The roly poly received justice but the opposite happened to Helen
and Tom Robinson who received the fate that the roly poly might have received if Jem hadn't
stopped Scout. Tom Robinson was killed like a roly poly ­ helpless without a left arm and being a
Negro. Helen acted the role of a roly poly when she heard the news of Tom Robinson's death ­ it was
as if she died too. It was `like a giant with a big foot just came along and stepped on her.'
2. What does Mr. Underwood's response to the news of Tom's death suggest about his
attitude towards recent events?
Mr. Underwood's response to the news of Tom's death suggests that his attitude has rather changed
towards recent events. He used to be known as being a racist white man too. However, in the
editorial that he had written in the newspaper there was a different kind of attitude being revealed
from his words. He `was writing so children could understand.' He sided with Tom and the Negroes
that it was wrong to kill him even though he did have a different skin colour ­ `He likened Tom's
death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children'. The words `senseless
slaughter' show his disapproval of the death.


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