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In Chapter 17 of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Reverend Sykes ask Jem to take Dill...

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fsdss | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 28, 2009 at 9:46 PM via web

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In Chapter 17 of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Reverend Sykes ask Jem to take Dill and Scout home from the trial?

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afi80fl | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted March 6, 2009 at 2:56 AM (Answer #1)

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This is because of the mature content being discussed in the trial.  This is a rape trial, and as such, the reverend felt that the subject matter was inappropriate for young children, perhaps even Jem, to hear. 

Due to Southern politeness, the reverend doesn't order them out of the room.  Rather, he asks Jem politely to escort them home.  This is designed to protect the children's sense of worth, yet at the same time, protect them from hearing things that may not be exactly appropriate for children their age. 

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