Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What are the main sources of conflict in chapters 23 & 24? For example: person vs. person

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In chapter 23, the main sources of conflict are person versus person and person versus society. For example, Atticus has to contend with Bob Ewell after the trial (person versus person). Despite the latter's provocative behavior, Atticus refuses to engage him. He tells Scout and Jem that he would rather Bob Ewell take out his rage on him than on Mayella.

Meanwhile, Aunt Alexandra forbids the children from socializing with the Cunningham family. She tells Scout and Jem that the Cunninghams are "not our kind of folks." Aunt Alexandra's words demonstrate that there is another divide in Maycomb, one based upon socioeconomic factors (person versus person). Last, but not least, Scout finds herself in conflict with Aunt Alexandra (person versus person). For her part, Aunt Alexandra is committed to making Scout into a "lady." However, Scout finds it difficult to subscribe to the latter's narrow definition of ladylike behavior.

In the chapter, Atticus also has to contend with the society in which he lives (person versus society). Because he is defending a black man, he must face extreme wrath from many citizens in his town. In court, the jury is made up of Maycomb citizens, and they are unanimously allied against Tom Robinson. Once again, racism has reared its ugly head. For his part, Atticus is frustrated that the jury has delivered a guilty verdict (which results in the death penalty), based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. This means that Mayella never corroborated her story with medical evidence of her rape at Tom Robinson's hands.

In chapter 24, the main sources of conflict are person versus self and person versus person. In this chapter, the person versus person conflict shows up as girl versus woman (Scout and Aunt Alexandra) and girl versus women (Scout and the missionary ladies). Meanwhile, the person versus self conflict shows up as girl versus self (Scout and her personal beliefs about femininity). In the chapter, Scout is again at odds with Aunt Alexandra. She feels uncomfortable dressed up in a starchy pink dress, but she knows that this is what her aunt expects. Others like Miss Stephanie also make pointed comments about Scout's habit of wearing pants. So, Scout has to contend with Aunt Alexandra and the ladies in the missionary circle who agree with her aunt.

During the social event, the ladies chat about everything from converting people in Africa to the Robinson trial. Mrs. Merriweather suggests that Atticus is one of those "good but misguided" people who have "stirred" up trouble in Maycomb. Miss Maudie responds with an acerbic comment, prompting Scout to conclude that she prefers the company of men to women.

But I was more at home in my father’s world. People like Mr. Heck Tate did not trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you; even Jem was not highly critical unless you said something stupid. Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men, seemed unwilling to approve wholeheartedly of them. But I liked...

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them. There was something about them, no matter how much they cussed and drank and gambled and chewed; no matter how undelectable they were, there was something about them that I instinctively liked...

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In Chapter 23 of To Kill a Mockingbird the main sources of conflict are as follow:

Man vs. Society (Legal System): Atticus is against a biased white jury system

Man vs. Man: Aunt Alexandra forbids the kids to play with little Walter Cunningham.

Man vs. Society (re: Racism): Scout must learn to accept people not based on a learned system of prejudice.

Man vs. Himself: Each of the Finches must confront their fears of losing the trial and facing a hostile society.

In Chapter 24, it's

Woman vs. Woman: Miss Maudie (open-minded) vs. Aunt Alexandra (closed-minded) in their criticism of society

Social Institution vs. Social Institution: the missionary circle is juxtaposed with Scout's memory of Calpurnia's church.  The former only wants to "help" people from afar, but the latter helps its own, those who are suffering here and now.

Girl vs. Herself (Emotions): Scout learns to control her emotions through her learning experiences from Miss Maudie and Cal.

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