What were the four groups of people in Maycomb that Jem sorted out in To Kill a Mockingbird? 

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Following Aunt Alexandra's refusal to allow Walter Cunningham Jr. to come and play with Scout at the Finch's house "Because--he--is--trash...  (in Chapter 23)," Jem calms his sobbing sister with a Tootsie Roll. After Scout feels better, the two siblings discuss the social ramifications of their aunt's decision. Scout eventually decides that there is just one kind of folks--"Folks"--but Jem believes there is a different social hierarchy in Maycomb. Jem decides that there are "four kinds of folks":

  • The "ordinary kind" that includes the Finches and their neighbors;
  • The country folks "like the Cunninghams out in the woods";
  • The Ewells; and
  • Negroes.

Jem says he used to believe there was only one kind of folks, but the inability for people to "get along with each other" made him change his mind.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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