How does Atticaus explain 'mobs' to the Children?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus discusses mobs with Jem and Scout in a way that causes them to see a group such as that in a way that is much different that it might first appear.

"...A mob's always made up of people, no matter what.  Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man.  Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know--doesn't say much for them, does it?"

"I'll say not," said Jem.

"So it took an eight-year-old child to bring "em to their senses, didn't it?" said Atticus.  "That proves something--that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human.  Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children last night made Walter Cunningham stand in my shoes for a minute.  That was enough."

In teaching his children to view people as individuals, rather than groups, Atticus taught his children a valuable life lesson.  He also taught them how powerful even a child can be.  By showing them these aspects of a mob, Atticus taught Jem and Scout that they did not need to fear it.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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