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There are a variety of answers to your question, depending on which characters your asking about. It almost seems like the trial is a spectacle now, with the way that people from all over the town and county make it to the courthouse to see the happenings. Many people pass by the Finch house on the way to the courthouse, and Jem comments on them, telling Dill and Scout about each person and the gossip he knows.
When the children sneak to the courthouse, they find it packed with people. It is here that Scout learned from the Idlers' Club (a group of men who hang around the courthouse) that Atticus was assigned the trial--he didn't choose to take it.
Because the main level of the courthouse is so full, Scout, Jem and Dill sit with the black people in the balcony. The audience of the trial acts just like the audience in a movie or at a play--they laugh, "ooh and aah", and there is even an outburst from Link Deas. For all of its seriousness, the trial is almost portrayed as a theatrical event, which is probably was to some of the people in attendance.
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