What was the purpose of the Halloween pageant? What practical joke had persuaded the grown ups to have an organized event? Chapter 27 " To Kill a Mockingbird"

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parkerlee's profile pic

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The Halloween pageant's theme was not along its usual lines (witches, ghosts, etc...) but that year it was to show the diversity of agricultural products from the region. This is why Scout was attributed the "role" of a ham.

As for the practical joke you mentioned, I suppose you mean the prank where some neighbourhood children hid some furniture belonging to two old ladies, Tutti and Frutt Barber.

kipling2448's profile pic

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In Chapter 27 of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout explains that, in the past, the town of Maycomb made no effort to organize Halloween activities for the children, leaving them to their own devices.  As Lee’s narrator, Scout, explains, the change from previous years to an organized event this year was precipitated by a practical joke played at the expense of two elderly, deaf women:

“The second change in Maycomb since last year was not one of national significance. Until then, Halloween in Maycomb was a completely unorganized affair. Each child did what he wanted to do, with assistance from other children if there was anything to be moved, such as placing a light buggy on top of the livery stable. But parents thought things went too far last year, when the peace of Miss Tutti and Miss Frutti was shattered. . .some wicked children had waited until the Misses Barber were thoroughly asleep, slipped into their living room (nobody but the Radleys locked up at night), stealthily made away with every stick of furniture therein, and hid it in the cellar.”

In an effort at preventing a recurrence of such mischief, the school organized a play produced for the parents with the children each dressed-up to look like agricultural products.  Again, as Scout describes the scene:

 “Mrs. Grace Merriweather had composed an original pageant entitled Maycomb County: Ad Astra Per Aspera, and I was to be a ham. She thought it would be adorable if some of the children were costumed to represent the county’s agricultural products . . .”

So, the practical joke that resulted in an organized pageant involved some children breaking into Tutti and Frutti Barber’s home and moving their furniture into the basement.  The women were deaf, so didn’t hear to the sounds emanating from their living room, as the juvenile delinquents went about executing their plan at these two elderly women’s expense.

applejacker's profile pic

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No, the pageant showed diversity, like parkerlee said. scout played the role of the Ham, and the other children played other food. this shows and recognizes that all of the children are different and unique.

vicky721's profile pic

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So pretty much the purpose of the Halloween pageant was to control the children? And the practical joke was hiding the furniture correct?

gianna14's profile pic

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yes i think it was when some of the neighbourhood children hid some furniture belonging to two old ladies, Tutti and Frutt Barber.

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