What do Scout, Jem and Dill learn from their encounters with black people in To Kill a Mockingbird (particularly Part 2)?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The children's experiences with black people seem to be limited (except for with Calpurnia) until Jem and Scout join the family housekeeper on their visit to the First Purchase Church. Jem and Scout are treated respectfully by the congregation (aside from Lula), and they discover that the poor church-goers nevertheless worship in much the same way as the children's regular church. They learn about "linin'," and they witness a different side of Calpurnia not seen in their own home. Scout's relationship with Calpurnia improves as she becomes older, and she even hopes to visit Cal at her own home some day. All three of the children are able to see that Tom Robinson's testimony is truthful and that the Ewells are liars. Jem cries after Tom is found guilty, and Dill is reduced to tears himself during the prosecutor's cross-examination of Tom. Dill is particularly affected by the trial and his visit with Dolphus Raymond, and Dill describes in detail how Tom's wife collapses after finding out that he has been killed.

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