To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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How do the people of Maycomb treat Atticus and the children after the news that Atticus is defending Tom Robinson gets out in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As Atticus expects, the white community reacts badly to the news that he is defending Tom Robinson. Atticus prepares for this in several ways. He tells Scout and Jem that they should not get into fights with children at school who might insult him. He tells the children, too, that they should be prepared to be insulted and hear Atticus being called names by local adults. Mrs. Dubose, for example, denigrates Atticus to the children for defending Robinson. Even Scout's cousin, Frances, a child, attacks Atticus, resulting in Scout beating him up for insulting her father. However, there are some exceptions to this community outrage, such as Miss Maudie, who believes in what Atticus is doing.

To increase the respectability of his household, Atticus calls on his sister, Alexandra, to come live with them during this period. She is a very conventional and respectable Southern woman who gets along well with the white ladies of Maycomb. She shares, for instance, an interest in joining their clubs, as...

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