To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does this quote reveal about character, theme, and conflict? "A mob's always made up of people, not matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man."

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Atticus tells his children to respect everyone, which demonstrates that he is an honorable man.  This quote demonstrates the theme that people should empathize with one another.  It is an example of the main conflict of the story, the character vs. society conflict with racism.

Atticus is a man of high moral character who tries to teach his children to be good people.  He also leads by example.

When Atticus finds out that there is a lynch mob trying to kill Tom Robinson, he goes down to the jail to protect him.  When the mob arrives, Atticus stands his ground.  Scout and Jem are able to shame the men into coming to their senses and leaving.

This quote exemplifies the main theme of the story, that you should empathize with all people even if you are very different.  This is a lesson that Atticus teaches his children early on.  He gives Scout a simple trick for getting along with people.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-…-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." (ch 3)

Atticus’s point when he says that a mob is made up of men is that people are people.  He tells Scout that they are not fighting soldiers, but friends.  The conflict with friends is also a conflict with society.

"This time we aren't fighting the Yankees, we're fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they're still our friends and this is still our home." (ch 9)

Since everyone has to take a side, it is difficult because people also have to live with one another.  After the trial is over, people will still be neighbors.

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