What is revealed from Jem and Maudie's conversation in Chapter 22?
In Chapter 22, Miss Maudie invites the children over to her house for cake the day after the trial. Maudie can sense that Jem is upset and says, "Don't fret, Jem. Things are never as bad as they seem" (Lee 288). She then tells Jem that Atticus is one of the few men who was born to do the community's unpleasant jobs, and Jem simply says, "Oh...Well" (Lee 288). Jem is jaded about Maycomb after witnessing Tom's injustice and has a hard time coping with the overwhelming prejudice. When Jem laments over his father being the only person who stood up for Tom, Miss Maudie corrects him and tells Jem that there were plenty of folks who supported Tom. She explains to Jem that the entire African American community helped Tom, as well as people like Heck Tate and Judge Taylor. She asks Jem, "Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident?" (Lee 289). Scout mentions that Court-appointed defenses were usually given to the inexperienced Maxwell Green. This piece of information is significant because Judge Taylor knew that Atticus was an experienced lawyer with integrity and morals. Taylor wanted Atticus to challenge the prejudiced views of the community and knew that he was the only person who he could count on. Maudie goes on to say that while she sat on the porch and waited for Atticus to walk down the sidewalk, she thought to herself, "we're making a step---it's just a baby-step, but it's a step" (Lee 289). Miss Maudie realizes the importance of Atticus being chosen to defend Tom Robinson and is hopeful about Maycomb's future.