In To Kill a Mockingbird, why do grown men stand in their front yards, and what does this say about the South?
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When Sheriff Tate and the other men met in the Finch's front yard, Scout recognized that something important was going on.
In Maycomb, grown men stood outside in the front yard for only two reasons: death and politics. I wondered who had died.
But no one had died. The men were meeting to discuss Tom Robinson's move to the county jail, and the problems that might arise from troublemakers who would prefer to not see Tom go to trial at all. The men probably decided to meet outside because in the Deep South, important matters were often not discussed inside the house--and certainly not in front of women or children. Alexandra, Jem and Scout were all at home, and both Sheriff Tate and Atticus probably realized immediately that the front yard was the best spot for their conversation. The yard was still not far enough away from the prying eyes and ears of Jem and Scout, however.
"In Mayfair, grown men stood outside in the front yard for only two reasons: death and politics."
You can find this quote in Chapter 15.
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