What is Atticus doing in jail, and what happens when he is there? If there is anything else that is important in chapter 13, let me know.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, Atticus is not in jail.  Atticus is spending the evening at the jail to protect Tom Robinson.  Atticus is afraid that some of the town's men will be so angry about the accusations against Tom that they will try to take him from the jail and hang him without a trial.  While he is there a group of men do show up and try to convince Atticus to turn Tom over to them.  The situation grows more and more tense until Scout steps forward and starts speaking to the men.  She is very casual and cool.  She talks about how she remembers them visiting her house and such.  The men seem to become embarrassed and finally leave. 

Chapter 13 is mostly covering the visit of Scout's Aunt and her desire to have Atticus teach his children more about their heritage.  Aunt Alexandra is a very stiff woman who believes strongly in where she "came from" and the proper way to do things.

"Aunt Alexandra moves in with Scout, Jem, and Atticus “for a while” in order to give Scout some “feminine influence.” When Atticus returns from Montgomery, he explains to the children why his sister is staying. Scout narrates, however, that Aunt Alexandra’s presence is “not so much Atticus’ doing as hers.”

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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