To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Near the end of Chapter 10 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus cuts off Heck Tate as he is speaking to Jem. What might Heck have been about to say and why would Atticus want to stop him from saying it?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Heck Tate, the sheriff of Maycomb, was probably about to give Atticus even more accolades in regards to his shooting ability, something that Atticus wants to downplay (for good reason).  An important precursor to these comments is the fact that Atticus has just saved the town from a very dangerous rabid dog (named Tim Johnson).  As the dog wanders listlessly closer and the townspeople hide, Heck Tate calls the situation a "one shot job" while he hands the gun to Atticus (95).  Both Jem and Scout are surprised.  In fact, their surprise turns to shock when Atticus kills the dog in a single, accurate shot to the head.  Afterwards, Jem tries to find a way to bring up the subject.  It may help us here to review the actual passage:

"Yes sir," said Jem.  "Atticus--"

"What, son?"

"Nothing."

"What's the matter with you, boy, can't you talk?"  said Mr. Tate, grinning at Jem.  "Didn't you know your daddy's--"

"Hush, Heck," said...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 582 words.)

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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lucia12rl | Student

heyyyy i need simple answers please :/ and please not that long

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