What's a chiffarobe ?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

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

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A chiffarobe is mentioned several times in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. During the Tom Robinson trial, Mayella Ewell testifies that she asks Tom to come in and "bust up" an old chiffarobe for her. Bob Ewell has been keeping it in the yard to used for fire wood. Mayella promises Tom a nickel for his trouble. Atticus also questions Mayella about the chiffarobe, and she even clarifies the definition for him. A chiffarobe (also spelled "chifforobe") is a type of dresser with drawers that usually has space for hanging clothes as well. It is a combination of the words "chiffonier" and "wardrobe."

jmtgr1's profile pic

jmtgr1 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on

During my Grandmother's Era, a chiffarobe was a large piece of furniture with two open doors. When opened, one side was used to hang clothes etc... and the other side was used to fold and put quilted blankets and accessories. Below were dresser draws to place clothes and other personal items. One could hide in them if they so chose to do. We did and Grandma did not like us to do that.  My Grandmother lived in Alabama. The author is from Alabama so her meaning had to be quite close to my Grandma's chiffarobe.

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