How is Scout able to diffuse the situation in front of the jail?
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Scout diffuses the situation by talking.
More specifically, she talks directly to Mr. Cunningham, who she recognizes. By talking about his legal business and his son Walter, who is in her grade, and by being polite in general, she brings him back to their shared humanity.
She talks about what Mr. Cunningham (one of the rioters) is interested in, his son Walter. She talks about how he's a nice guy and how he went to dinner with them once. She reminds him that he's just like Atticus. She reminds him that he has a child at home, just like Atticus has two. They all need to be taken care of. She reminded him that he was human and since he was most in charge, he told everyone to leave.
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