How does Harper Lee create atmosphere during the trial scenes of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?
In Chapter 17 with detailed and vivid description, Harper Lee creates a tableaux of the momentous event that the trial of Tom Robinson becomes for the residents of Maycomb County; Scout describes the occasion as "like Saturday":
People from the south end of the county passed our house in a leisurely but steady stream.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond lurched by one his thoroughbred.... A bearded man in a wool hat drove them. "Yonder's some Mennonites,"...A wagon load of unusually stern-face citizens appeared. When they pointed to Miss Maudie Atkinson's yard, Miss Maudie herself came out on the porch...standing with arms akimbo,...We knew she wore a grin of uttermost wickedness.
When the driver quotes scripture, Miss Maudie returns with scripture; Scout remarks that they must have thought she quoted the Devil as they sped up.
With this description, Lee paints hypocrisy into her tableau as a strict religious sect that shuns the way of the world by not wearing buttons and by living a simplified life who,...
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