The theme of social realism is the dominant theme in this chapter. The complicated workings of family is shown with Scout's interactions with members of her family. The differing reactions on the issues of prejudice are show, as well. Francis, Scout's cousin, has an angered reaction to Atticus taking Tom Robinson's case, and Scout has an argument with him over it. Scout also gets into a fistfight over the issue at school, and gets spanked by Uncle Jack. Aunt Alexandra and Uncle Jack try to stress to her the importance of being a lady.
All of the interaction causes Uncle Jack to doubt his need for kids and family. This chapter shows the complicated workings that exist within a family. Atticus's decision affects everyone in the family, and they all have something to say about it.
The theme of prejudice is also apparent in the chapter. Atticus's controversial decision to defend a black man accused of attacking a white woman causes an uproar in the town.