what thematically related insights do scout and dill receive outside the courtroom? |Chapter 20

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teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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In terms of prejudice and tolerance, when Scout and Dill realize that Mr. Raymond isn't really the town drunk (drinking Coca Cola instead), they are shown a new insight into his character.  They realize that he is giving the white community the impression he is a drunk because then they will make life so difficult because he prefers to live with African Americans.  Indeed he has several bi-racial children.  He advises them to not cry over the trial but to cry over the evil people practice upon each other - regardless of race - each and every day.  Once we can conquer that evil, then we won't have to worry about racism and intolerance.

This little scene also ties into the role of innocence and experience.  There are several examples in the book where Scout has her innocent world view challenged, such as when she sees Atticus shoot the rabid dog, when she sees how Calphurnia acts differently at the black church, when she sees Miss Maudie's attitude after her house has burned down, when she feels sorry of Mayella Ewell during her testimony.  This is just another moment in their lives where they realize that the people are not always what they appear to be.

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