In "To Kill a Mockingbird", why does Jem think that it's okay for Scout to stay in the courtroom?

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dbrooks22's profile pic

dbrooks22 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In chapter 17, Bob Ewell is on the stand. He is explaining to Mr. Gilmer what happened to his daughter Mayella. He begins to talk about Tom Robinson attacking Mayella. When he states that he saw Tom “ruttin’ on…Mayella,” Reverend Sykes feels that it is inappropriate for Scout to hear. He tells Jem that he "better take Miss Jean Louise home" because he feels that she is too young. Jem tells Reverend Sykes that she "doesn't understand it...she ain't nine yet." Although Scout objects to Jem’s statement and exclaimes that she most certainly does understand, Jem doesn’t want to leave the court and assures Reverend Sykes that Scout will be fine as will he.

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kmullen | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Jem thinks its okay for Scout to stay in the courtroom because she is so young she can't understand what's going on and she would not understand what rape was. As well, he doesn't want to miss what's going on in the courtroom by having to take her outside.

alka's profile pic

alka | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Jem thinks its ok for Scout to stay in the courtroom because he says that she doesn't understand half of what is being said

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