Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

How has Harper Lee managed to prepare Scout and Jem for the upcoming trial in the second half of To Kill a Mockingbird? These are the notes that I have so far:  - what Scout learns on her first day of school- the children's various experiences with Boo Radley- what the children learn from Atticus- Miss Maudie's house catching fire- the symbolism of the mockingbird- Atticus experience with the mad dog- Calpurnia's presence in the children's house- Maycomb's traditional and prejudiced society- what the children learn about the blacks in their church, and what they learn about Calpurnia- Jem's growing up process and his experience with Mrs Dubose

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would add to your list the experiences the children have with Boo Radley, for here the children begin to learn about difference and treating people unfairly because of it (which parallels the plot about Tom Robinson).  Boo becomes a recluse after his encounter with the law and a cruel father, and as the kids later figure out, he stays inside his house because outside of it people can be so cruel.  Atticus' defense of Tom when the lynch mob comes for him also prepare them for the trial in that they again see the quiet courage of their father. This also foreshadows Cunningham's later behavior on the jury, when he at first resists the guilty verdict.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team