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Why does Reverend Sykes order the doors of the church shut in Chapter 12 of To Kill a...

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shawty2011 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2011 at 6:23 AM via web

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Why does Reverend Sykes order the doors of the church shut in Chapter 12 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted December 31, 2011 at 4:48 AM (Answer #1)

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Following Reverend Sykes's sermon, which "was a forthright denunciation of sin"--not unlike many sermons heard in Jem's and Scout's own church--the pastor "requested the morning offering." Instead of passing the collection plate around, the congregation approached the pulpit one-by-one and placed their coins in the coffee tin that held the offering. Afterward, Reverend Sykes emptied the contents on the table and then ordered the doors to the church closed. "This is not enough... Nobody leaves here until we have ten dollars," he announced. He then singled out one man who had not yet contributed, and the church members "painfully" began digging for more change. The money donated was going to help Tom Robinson's family and his wife, Helen, and the doors were reopened when the ten dollars was finally collected.

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