Provide evidence for three themes that are found in Chapters 13 and 14 in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the main themes throughout the novel deals with relationships amongst family members and the importance of maintaining those relationships despite adversity. In Chapter 14, Aunt Alexandra expresses her displeasure with Calpurnia and tells her brother, Atticus, that he needs to let her go. Atticus stands up for Calpurnia and argues with his sister by telling her that Calpurnia is here to stay. Later on in the chapter, Jem gets on Scout's nerves, and she ends up losing her temper and punching him. The two continue to fight before Atticus breaks them apart. After the fight, Jem and Scout acknowledge each other by saying, "Night" before they go to bed. Atticus ends up smoothing things over with his sister, and the two recognize that despite their differing opinions, they both want what is best for the family.

Another theme throughout the novel deals with the social caste system of Maycomb County and the prejudiced feelings toward members of the lower castes. In Chapter 13, Scout describes how Aunt Alexandra judges individuals based on their family's history and social status rather than on merit and character. Alexandra is a member of the upper class and views individuals from the lower castes with contempt. She maintains that each family has a specific "streak" passed down from generation to generation.

On the most relevant themes throughout the novel is that of childhood innocence. In Chapter 14, Scout displays her innocence by asking Atticus what "rape" is. Scout is too young to understand the meaning of the word rape, and Atticus gives her the definition in an erudite manner which she does not understand. At the end of the chapter, Dill and Scout are having a discussion regarding where babies come from. Dill maintains that an old man rows his boat to a foggy island where he breathes life into the sleeping babies. Their discussion portrays their childhood innocence.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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