Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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How is waiting for the verdict similar to watching the mad dog scene?

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To elaborate on this, Atticus' physical actions are paralleled: "Atticus put his foot on the rung of a chair and rubbed his hand slowly down the side of his thigh" (95) just before he shoots the dog. He performs the same gesture just before the jury enters (210). Perhaps this is what triggers Scout's memory of the event as she watches, waiting for the verdice.

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Suspense! During the mad dog scene, we see Atticus using a skill that not many know he possesses. We watch the dog slowly turn back up the street and begin walking toward Atticus. Of course Jem and Scout have no idea what Atticus is doing (since they think he is more of a coward than he is), and we wait for the moment when Atticus finally pulls the trigger and drops the dog.

We have the same type of suspense during the trial. Atticus has displayed his lawyer skills to the best of his abilities - in fact, has even proved the Ewell testimonies false. We wait on the verdict because we know Atticus is right, but we also know that it would take a very strong show of bravery and conviction on the part of the jury to allow Tom to walk. Although we don't see the same success with the trial that we did with the dog, we do see how Atticus is able to stick true to his character and teach his kids a valuable life lesson.

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