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In "To Kill a Mockingbird" how does Maycomb react to the news of Tom's death?

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queenfi | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 13, 2009 at 9:59 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird" how does Maycomb react to the news of Tom's death?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 13, 2009 at 2:40 PM (Answer #1)

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How Maycomb as a whole reacted was much different than how Atticus and his family reacted.  Atticus was devastated; Aunt Alexandra even said that "it tears him to pieces."  Near the end of chapter 25, it describes Maycomb's reaction.  Maycomb as a whole "was interested by the news of Tom's death for perhaps two days" which was long enough for the news "to spread through the county."  So, they took it as in interesting and new piece of gossip to prattle about for a couple days, and then they promptly forgot about it.  It was just fodder for juicy gossip sessions, and a chance for people to air their opinions about the entire thing.  But, they weren't personally impacted by his death, so they moved on with their lives and didn't think twice.

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