To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Why did Cunningham and the other men come to the jail in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Link Deas refers to the Cunninghams as the "Old Sarum bunch" because of the area of the county from which they hail. They are a large family who has a reputation for causing trouble when they get drunk together. Atticus asks Deas, ". . . you're not scared of that crowd, are you?" Deas responds with, ". . . know how they do when they get shinnied up" (145). This suggests that there is no evidence that the Cunninghams will cause trouble before the Tom Robinson case, but if they all get drunk together, and get talking about the case, they might.

As a precaution, Atticus takes a light on the end of an extension cord so he can read by the jail the night before the trial. Sure enough, the Cunninghams show up. Since the story is written from Scout 's perspective, it is interesting to note that she does not mention seeing a rope, lighted torches, or even guns in the hands of the mob. Those things would probably be the first things a little girl would notice. The point is, even...

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