In To Kill a Mockingbird, what is Miss Stephanie Crawford's reaction to the death of Tim Johnson?

3 Answers | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Stephanie Crawford does not directly comment upon Tom Robinson's death; however, earlier in the narrative (Chapter 6), she does employ the pejorative term of n****r.

When Nathan Radley fires his shotgun and says that he shot at "a Negro" in his collard patch, Miss Stephanie makes a bad joke in reference to Mr. Nathan,

"Scared him pale. Says if anybody sees a white nigger around, that's the one." 

In Chapter 24, she taunts Scout at the Missionary Tea, asking her if she wants to become a lawyer after the Tom Robinson trial and Atticus's being spat upon by Bob Ewell. This taunt would indicate that, perhaps, she feels that Atticus should not have bothered to defend Tom. 
Also, in Chapter 25 Miss Stephanie, that "English channel of gossip" is quick to pass on the word that Mr. Ewell said that Tom's death "made one down and about two more to go." This eagerness to pass on such gossip indicates that she disapproves of Atticus's having defended Tom.

Sources:
beateach's profile pic

beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

In to Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Stephanie Crawford reacts to Tim Johnson's death in Chapter 10.

Miss Stephanie said,

Uh, uh, uh, who'da thought of a mad dog in February? Maybe he wadn't mad, maybe he was just crazy. I'd hate to see Harry Johnson's face when he gets in from the Mobile run and finds Atticus Finch's shot his dog. Bet he was just full of fleas from somewhere-

She slowly walks out onto her front porch to make this observation and proclamation. She questions whether the dog was really a "mad dog" because it is not the usual time of year when dogs are overtaken in that way. It would be more common to see that happen in the hot summer months, usually August. She speculates that the dog simply had fleas but the reader knows the reason he was walking a bit erratically as it is explained by the previous action in the same chapter.

Of course, in character, she states that she would not like to see Harry Johnson's face when he returns to see his dead dog but she would love to be a "fly on the wall" in such a situation.

Sources:
junebug614's profile pic

junebug614 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Miss Stephanie is concerned that perhaps Tim Johnson (a rabid dog) wasn't rabid at all and says, "maybe he was just crazy." She goes on to worry that perhaps Harry Johnson, the owner of the dog, will return from Mobile and be upset when he hears of Tim's fate.  Miss Maudie argues that Miss Stephanie would be "singing a different tune" if Tim Johnson were not killed and still walking around the town. Miss Maudie also informs her that Tim Johnson's head will be sent away so that they will know for certain if he was rabid.  

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question