Homework Help

Why does Heck Tate does not want to shoot Tim Johnson in Chapter 10 of To Kill a...

user profile pic

hjzhou | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:23 AM via web

dislike 2 like

Why does Heck Tate does not want to shoot Tim Johnson in Chapter 10 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

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

Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:08 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

The sheriff of Maycomb County, Heck Tate is an old friend of Atticus Finch. Atticus always addresses the sheriff as "Heck," but Tate respectfully defers, calling Atticus "Mister Finch." Tate does not have a problem killing Tim Johnson, the rabid dog; it was probably not his first encounter with rabies. However, knowing that Atticus was once known as "Ol' One Shot... the deadest shot in Maycomb County," Tate decides to hand the rifle over to a better shooter--a skilled marksman. Atticus objects, but "Tate almost threw the rifle at Atticus," who responds by calmly putting a single shot between Tim's eyes. It is all a surprise to Jem and Scout, who never knew about their father's hidden talent. Sheriff Tate later tells Atticus that

"You haven't forgot much, Mr. Finch. They say it never leaves you." (Chapter 10) 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes