During his closing statement, Atticus pauses and does something that astonishes Scout and Jem. What does he do?  Part Two, Chapter 20.

1 Answer | Add Yours

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

Posted on

When Scout and Dill returned from their break outside with Dolphus Raymond, Atticus had already begun his summation to the jury. It was then that she saw something she had never seen her father do

... before or since, in public or in private:

In an attempt to show that he was a common man to the jury, he first placed his watch and chain on his table. Then,

... he unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat.

This was unusual for Atticus, since "he never loosened a scrap of his clothing" until bedtime. To Jem and Scout, it "was the equivalent of him standing before us stark naked." Later, Jem and Scout witnessed another "first" when he wiped his glasses with a handkerchief. Atticus was a man who "never perspired," but he was sweating now.


We’ve answered 319,816 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question