To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, why does the Old Sarum bunch  come to the jail?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 15, Atticus travels to the Maycomb jailhouse and sits outside of Tom Robinson's cell because he expects that the Old Sarum bunch might attempt to harm Tom the night before the trial. Jem, Dill, and Scout follow Atticus and watch him silently read a newspaper outside of the jailhouse until the Old Sarum bunch arrives. The Old Sarum bunch eventually shows up to the Maycomb jailhouse and attempts to lynch Tom Robinson.

Fortunately, Atticus stands in their way, and the children...

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the South back in the days of the Tom Robinson trial it was not uncommon for justice to be taken into the hands of an angry mob resulting in the hanging of a poor black man or boy.  There was also very little consequences placed on the persons who would commit such a crime.  The mob that gathered at the jail had this intention when they first arrived.

Atticus was well aware that the people would probably behave in this manner and that was why he was at the jail that night.  Since the sheriff was not able to be there someone had to protect Tom from the mob.  In the end, it was Scout's words that dismantled the mob.

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