In "To Kill a Mockingbird" what does Atticus say about Bob Ewell's threat, and in chapter 24, how does Aunt Alexandra behave?  

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus seems unruffled by the threats.  His first reaction is a funny commentary, saying, "I wish Bob Ewell wouldn't chew tobacco."  But then he pulls a classic Atticus move and tells Jem to put himself into Bob Ewell's shoes for a moment, and realize that "I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial...the man had to have some kind of come-back, his kind always does...He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there."  So, Atticus is sympathetic to Bob Ewell, something that is pretty darn hard to be, in my opinion.  His sympathy for others is one of his defining traits, but in this case, it backfires on him later on, unfortunately.  He ends the discussion by telling Alexandra that "We don't have anything to fear from Bob Ewell, he got it all out of his system that morning."

In chapter 24, Aunt Alexandra has another missionary meeting and uncharacteristically invites Scout to eat refreshments with them.  For the most part, Alexandra plays the graceful host, keeping conversation going, mediating disagreements, passing out treats.  When she finds out about Tom's shooting, she is wearied by the news, and how it is tearing Atticus to pieces.  She is upset that the town is willing to let him do all of the hard things while they stand by and watch.  But, she collects herself and steps back out to play the perfect hostess again, smiling kindly at Scout, letting her help.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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