In "To Kill a Mockingbird," explain what Atticus means when he says a mob is always made up of people.  

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lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is referring to the fact that despite the mob mentality that develops, even the most dangerous mob is constructed of individual people, people who can sometimes be reasoned with when reminded who they are.  For example, outside the jail where Tom Robinson is being held, Scout engages Walter Cunningham's father in friendly and innocent conversation about Walter, and about the money owed her father, even as the mob around him prepares to possibly harm her father, who is there to protect the prisoner Tom.  As Scout continues to chat, she is reminding Mr. Cunningham of the friendly relationship between Atticus and Mr. Cunningham even as Mr. Cunningham is unable to pay his bill with Atticus:  "Let that be the least of your worries," is how Atticus put it.  When one is forced to look at oneself as an individual, it can break through the mob mentality that can cause a person to forget him or herself and do things he or she wouldn't normally do. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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