Read the final sentence of chapter 9. Explain in your own words what it means and why it might be important to the story.

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When Atticus deliberately allowed Scout to overhear his conversation with brother Jack in Chapter Nine of To Kill a Mockingbird, he was attempting to teach her another of his life's lessons. He knew Jem and Scout had level heads on their shoulders and hoped they would not be among the "reasonable people (who) go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up." He hoped that his children would "trust me enough" to follow the example he tried to set as a father. He wanted them to become responsible adults, and he apparently succeeded.

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What Scout is saying here is that she did not really understand that her father was trying to teach her a lesson.  He was trying to get her to hear the things that he was saying.

The reason that this was important is that the rest of the story is going to have a lot to do with the way that black people are treated in Maycomb.  Atticus dislikes the way that black people are treated in Maycomb.  Over the course of the story, he will expose his kids to his ideas.  He is hoping here that they will pay more attention to his ways and less to the ideas of the rest of the people of Maycomb.

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