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This is a rich chapter on how people responded to the trial.
First, Jem knew at the core of his hear that the outcome was not right. He could not believe the injustice.
It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. “It ain’t right,” he muttered, all the way to the corner of the square where we found Atticus waiting.
Aunt Alexandra commiserated with Atticus. She knew the truth as well.
She was in her dressing gown, and I could have sworn she had on her corset underneath it. “I’m sorry, brother,” she murmured.
The black townspeople knew that Tom was innocent and was judged wrongly, but they really appreciated Atticus. They knew that Atticus was a heroic man who sacrificed much. They brought so much food for him in a very touching way. It was their way of honoring him.
Calpurnia said, “Tom Robinson’s daddy sent you along this chicken this morning. I fixed it.”
We followed him. The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs. Atticus grinned when he found a jar of pickled pigs’ knuckles. “Reckon Aunty’ll let me eat these in the diningroom?”
Calpurnia said, “This was all ‘round the back steps when I got here this morning. They—they ’preciate what you did, Mr. Finch. They—they aren’t oversteppin‘ themselves, are they?”
Finally, Miss Maudie helped Jem to see that there were others in the town who were on Tom's side. She says:
“His colored friends for one thing, and people like us. People like Judge Taylor. People like Mr. Heck Tate. Stop eating and start thinking, Jem. Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons for naming him?”
So, even if the town was still racist, there were a few good people.
Aunt Alexandra displays a sympathetic, kind disposition to her character that we haven't seen before Chapter 22. She seems to be truly genuine when she expresses how sorry she is to Atticus.
Mr. Avery and Miss Stephanie represent those in society who are so prejudiced that they refuse to see the good that Atticus has accomplished. They taunt the kids about the trial and even berate them for sitting with Calpurnia and the other blacks at the trial. Mr. Avery and Miss Stephanie want the social order to stay the same as it has always been, so they cannot be anything but vindictive and hateful.
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