Chapter 26

Questions and answers on chapter 26

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  • Created on: 11-09-11 10:06
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Chapter Twenty Six
1. `So many things had happened to us, Boo Radley was the least of our fears'. What does Scout
mean here? How has she matured over the course of the novel so far?
Scout means many things here. She mainly means that in comparison to the case the mystery of Boo
Radley was a trivial matter. From the beginning of the novel, Scout has been through so many things
that she has had some difficulty in understanding and coping with. There has been the situation with
school and interpreting the ways of Miss Caroline, Mrs. Dubose and her morphine addiction which led
to her death, Miss Maudie's house fire, dealing with her father being called names in front of her,
going to a Negro church and the most important thing which was Tom Robinson's trial, conviction and
killing. In comparison to these many events Boo Radley was too unimportant to have a serious effect
on her life. All the past events except for Boo Radley have somehow had a serious and an important
effect on her from which she had learned from and coped with. Boo Radley is just a mystery which
has no effect on the way in which she runs her life. Therefore, Scout has matured over the course of
the novel. She has changed from being a carefree little girl to being a more confident, respectable
and thoughtful girl who has learnt to cope in even the most difficult situations. She is now mature
enough to understand the differences between Negroes and white people and can act towards
making a change just the way she unknowingly made a change the night she made Mr. Cunningham
realise that he was a human and not a mobster.
2. What does Miss Gate's comment on the courthouse steps reveal to us about how
contradictory Maycomb attitudes can be? Why is Jem so furious when Scout questions him
about it?
On the courthouse steps Miss Gates was talking harshly about Negroes in a racist way. However, in
class she expressed that she hated Hitler because he was racist towards Jews. She has totally
contradicted herself here ­ she is racist herself and hates other racist people. This shows how
contradictory Maycomb attitudes can be. Jem becomes furious when Scout questions him about what
Miss Gates said on the courthouse steps as soon as she mentioned the word `courthouse'. Jem
becomes furious because he cannot stand the injustice that occurred in the courthouse that day.
When Tom Robinson was absolutely innocent he was still charged with the offence and Jem just
cannot get his head around this wrong decision. Jem was very shocked and upset that day and still
needs time to recover from that initial shock, anger and sadness.


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