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This chapter not only introduces Scout to the real world where racism is prevalent during this time period, but it also gives the reader clues about the trouble to come. Scout gets an education regarding the social values of Maycomb, one that Atticus wishes she and Jem didn't have to learn.
The two main events that foreshadow what will happen have to do with Scout learning about how the town feels about Atticus defending Tom Robinson. The other kids at school say terrible things about Atticus, and Scout learns the "n" word from them. Then at Christmas, her cousin says basically the same thing to Scout, and she responds with her fists. Then she gets in trouble with her uncle and gets a spanking from him. Scout's world is turned upside down in this chapter, and the reader is given clues that the same things will happen once the trial begins.
In chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout faces criticism of her father everywhere she turns. At school the children, especially Cecil Jacobs, tease her and make snide comments about Atticus. Even Atticus' sister, Scout's Aunt Alexandra, was reported to have said that Atticus was ruining the family name by defending Tom Robinson. Scout's cousin Francis throws Alexandra's comments in her face, and Scout cannot hold back her anger any longer. She fights Francis only to end up being punished by her Uncle Jack. These events foreshadow the further criticism Atticus will face in his home town as well as the violence that will be unleashed as a result of the trial. Scout's struggle with doing what is right in the face of adversity is a direct contrast to Mayella's lying to save herself from her father's wrath that put Tom Robinson on trial.
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