What hopes and what fears are expressed at the end of Chapter 22 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several different hopes and fears expressed during the latter stages of Chapter 22. Jem is fearful that his father has few friends and little support in the town, but Maudie tells him that

"... there are some men in this world ho were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of those men...
"We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."

Maudie assures Jem that Tom has friends beside Atticus, particularly Judge Taylor, who assigned Atticus to defend Tom because he knew Atticus was the best lawyer in town. The greatest hope comes from the lips of Miss Maudie, who sees the long deliberation by the jury as a good sign of things to come when it comes to racial relations and fair play.

"And I thought to myself, well, we're making a step--it's just a baby-step, but it's a step."

Meanwhile, Dill fears that when he is grown, there won't be

"... one thing in this world I can do about folks is laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off."

Dill has decided to become a "new kind of clown," not a sad one, but one who will do the laughing at others. Yet another fear arises at the very end of the chapter when Miss Stephanie brings the news that Bob Ewell has had an altercation with Atticus, promising that

... he'd get him if it took the rest of his life.  

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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