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What subtle change does Scout notice in her father in Chapter 16 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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toomuchbrainf... | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 24, 2011 at 7:56 AM via web

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What subtle change does Scout notice in her father in Chapter 16 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted May 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM (Answer #1)

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Stress is beginning to get to Atticus in Chapter 16 as the trial of Tom Robinson begins. Besides the important court case, Atticus has to deal with the everpresent addition of his sister, Alexandra, under the same roof. The two siblings had already verbally battled about the continued employment of Calpurnia, and Atticus had plainly told his sister that Cal was a member of the family and would be staying permanently. Everyone was still on edge about the lynch mob which had visited Atticus at the jail the night before. Alexandra was still complaining about their housekeeper; this time she was nagging Atticus about speaking so plainly about Mr. Underwood's dislike of Negroes in front of Cal. Alexandra thought Cal would spread the gossip to her friends.

"Everything that happens in this town is out to the Quarters before sundown."

The subtle change in her father, according to Scout

... was a quiet digging in, never outright irritation.

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