What events in Maycomb happen on the morning of the Tom Robinson trial in Chapter 16?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Chapter 16 of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingird, the family is discussing the near-lynching of Tom Robinson the previous night. Scout notices that while he is not overly obvious about it, Aunt Alexandra's interference is starting to wear on him. Atticus is able to still find some humanity even in a lynching mob—changes brought about by eight-year-old Scout.

Dolphus Raymond is mentioned for the first time, passing by on a horse (allegedy drunk...as the kids see it). Menonites pass by, identified by their manner of dress and lack of buttons, and the "foot washers" pass Miss Maudie's yard and scold her for her beautiful flowers. Various people are traveling into town for the court session of Tom Robinson (though not Miss Maudie). The children dicuss Dolphus Raymond's drinking habits, and ultimately why he sits with "the colored folks." He is a landowner who lives with a black woman and they have several children. We learn about mixed-race children and how hard it is for them to fit in, especially in the South. The kids sneak into the court house, and Scout hears Atticus' "legal peers" speaking about Atticus being "assigned" to the Tom Robinson case—the men's racist attitudes are a surprise to Scout—for Atticus intends to defend Tom like any other client. There are a large number of spectators and the kids are lucky to get seats in the balcony with Rev. Sykes and other members of the black community. Judge Taylor is presiding over the court, and as the children sit, Sheriff Heck Tate is already on the stand.

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Harper Lee's chapter sixteen of To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus, Aunt Alexandra and Jem and Scout are having breakfast. It is day one of the trial. They discuss the mob incident that happened last night at the jail. Atticus could have been hurt, but Scout actually came to his rescue. Atticus is thankful that the children showed up last night. A mob of angry white men had come to get Tom Robinson before he could stand trial. When Jem and Scout showed up, the mob was shamed and left the courthouse.

During breakfast, people from all over Maycomb are passing by the Finch's house, heading to the courthouse, awaiting Tom Robinson's trial.

During the morning session of court, the jurors are chosen.

At lunch, the square is filled with all walks of people. Miss Stephanie is there. Raymond is there with his negro woman and mulatto children. The Menonites are there. Everyone is having lunch, awaiting the afternoon part of the trial.

After lunch, Jem, Dill and Scout go into the courthouse. They have to sit upstairs with the blacks because all the white section is filled up with people. From the balcony, Jem, Dill and Scout watch the trial.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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