To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In To Kill a Mockingbird, who were the group of men who visited Atticus's house before the trial in Chapter 15?

Expert Answers info

lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,184 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In To Kill A Mockingbird, a group of men led by Sheriff Tate visited Atticus. According to Scout, the group of men were ordinary folks that she saw everyday:

They were people we saw every day: merchants, in-town farmers; Dr. Reynolds was there; so was Mr. Avery.

The men had gathered at Atticus's house because they were uneasy about Tom Robinson being in the jail. They sensed trouble from the "Old Sarum" bunch. They had come to warn Atticus of imminent danger.

Mr. Link Deas was there as well. He was Tom Robinson's employer. He believed in Tom Robinson. Mr Deas made it clear that he was not up to something against Tom Robinson. It was that "Old Sarum" crowd he was worried about. He asked Sheriff Tate if he could get a change in venue for Tom Robinson:

Mr. Link Deas said, "Nobody around here's up to anything, it's that Old Sarum bunch I'm worried about . . . can't you get a-what is it, Heck?"

"Change of venue," said Mr. Tate. "Not much point in that, now is it?"

Clearly, Mr. Deas was requesting that they move Tom Robinson before the crowd he was referring to would have a chance to hang Tom Robinson.

Atticus did not seem to think that there would be a problem, but he spent the next night with Tom Robinson to be sure.  

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write8,961 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

At the beginning of Chapter 15, a group of concerned citizens arrives at Atticus's home. Sheriff Tate, Link Deas, Mr. Avery, and Dr. Reynolds are among some of the men who engage in a conversation with Atticus in his front yard. Scout and Jem watch the men talk from the living room window and attempt to hear their conversation. Scout describes the men standing in her yard by saying,

"they were people we saw every day; merchants, in-town farmers..." (Lee 91).

The concerned citizens are Atticus's friends who warn him about the possibility of the Old Sarum bunch causing trouble before the trial. Atticus dismisses their concerns and walks into the house after Jem says the phone is ringing. When Atticus enters the house, Jem asks his father if the men standing in the yard belonged to a gang that wanted to harm him. Atticus mildly responds to Jem's concerns by saying, "No son, those were our friends" (Lee 91). Unfortunately, Atticus does not share their concerns, and the Old Sarum bunch attempts to harm Tom Robinson later on in the chapter. 

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial