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Comment on Atticus's explanation of rape in Chapter 14 of To Kill a Mockingbird. How...

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marster1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM via web

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Comment on Atticus's explanation of rape in Chapter 14 of To Kill a Mockingbird. How suitable is this as an answer to Scout?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM (Answer #1)

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When Atticus is forced to answer a very adult question delivered by his daughter in Chapter 14 of to Kill a Mockingbird, he gives her a forthright answer, just as he has preached to his brother, Jack. Scout doesn't seem to have a clue what Atticus's explanation of rape meant since she couldn't understand why Calpurnia wouldn't answer her question in the first place. Scout already knew that Tom Robinson had been charged with rape--she just didn't know what the word meant. When she asked Calpurnia, the housekeeper told her to ask Atticus. When Scout finally got around to questioning Atticus,

     He sighed, and said rape was carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent.
     "Well if that's all it is why did Calpurnia dry me up when I asked her what it was?"

 

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