How do the Finch women (Scout and Aunt Alexandra) show moral courage upon learning of Tom Robinson's death?

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skolrgipsy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout and Aunt Alexandra hear of Tom Robinson's death from Atticus Finch in the Finch family's kitchen.

Scout hears the news and watches the reactions of her father, Miss Maudie, Calpurnia, and her aunt, commenting that "...I found myself shaking and couldn't stop."

Scout's aunt Alexandra, Atticus' sister, initially "put her hands to her mouth" in shock, and later sat down at the kitchen table. Alexandra summarily engaged Maudie in an appeal that revealed that Alexandra was disapproving of her brother's efforts to defend Tom, saying to Atticus, after he revealed Tom's death, "This is the last straw." Maudie, however, rebukes Alexandra's failure to recognize the moral courage Atticus showed in ably defending Tom, telling her:

"Have you ever thought of it this way, Alexandra? Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we're paying the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It's that simple."

Scout shows moral courage by gathering herself to return with Maudie and her aunt to the meeting of the Missionary Society ladies in her living room, a lesson perhaps in courage in the face of deep distress.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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