In "To Kill a Mockingbird" who does Scout recognize in the mob at the jail?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As the mob gathers at the jail, Scout is surprised to discover that she knows some of these men.  She recognizes Mr. Cunningham, the father of little Walter Cunningham, who she had over to her house for lunch one day.  So, being innocent, and recognizing a face in a crowd, she starts talking to him.  "Hey, Mr. Cunningham.  How's your entailment gettin' along?"  She is making small talk with an angry mob that had come to take Tom Robinson from the jail and do who-knows-what to him.  This throws the entire feeling of the mob off; Mr. Cunningham is embarrassed.  He is transformed from a faceless mobster who will set aside any morals or principles to act with the crowd on his fears, to a real human being that a small girl knows and is concerned about.  This humanizing of the mob immediately has an impact, and the end result is that the mob disperses, with no harm done.  Scout, through her child-like innocence and polite concern, saves the moment.

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gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous posts, Scout recognizes Walter Cunningham, the leader of the Old Sarum bunch, in the mob scene. In Chapter 15, the children end up searching for Atticus and find him sitting outside of Tom Robinson's jailhouse. Suddenly, a group of men arrives and surrounds Atticus. Scout cannot help herself and sprints towards her father after she hears Atticus say, "Do you really think so?" (Lee 90). Naively, Scout has no idea that she has just entered a dangerous situation. Jem and Dill end up following her out of hiding, and Atticus instructs Jem to take the children home. However, Jem refuses to leave his father alone surrounded by the mob. As Scout is standing in the middle of the group of men, she ends up recognizing Walter Cunningham Jr.'s father and attempts to have a conversation with him. Fortunately, Walter Cunningham acknowledges Scout and tells his men to leave the jailhouse. 


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zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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She recognizes Mr. Cunningham who is Walter Cunnigham's father. When she realizes this she calls out to him and singles him our from the crowd. This makes him realize that he can't simply be bound by the racist society, but that he is an individual who cares and once he realizes the mistake he is making he feels ashamed and disperses the crowd.