Monday, 10 April 2017

To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 16-21 Summary

Image result for to kill a mockingbirdChapter 16

Everybody from Maycomb heads downtown so that they Atticus suspiciously leaves that evening. The children decide to follow him. They find him in a chair outside of the jail reading a book. They continue to watch him when a group of men approach the courthouse. The group demands that Atticus let them get to Tom, but Atticus won't give in. Jem, Scout, and Dill burst into the scene, much to the shock of Atticus. Scout recognizes one of the men as Walter Cunningham and tries to strike up a conversation. Eventually this awkwardness breaks the group up and they leave. Tom calls out from his cell asking if the men have left. Atticus tells him everything is fine now. Mr. Underwood, editor of the local newspaper next door, calls out to them and says that he had his eye, and his gun, on the situation the whole time from his window above. Atticus takes the children home. Later in the afternoon, the children decide to head into town as well. The children see Dolphous Raymond, a white man sitting with all of the black citizens. Scout and Dill are confused as to why he would keep such company when it goes against most social rules. Jem explains that Mr. Raymond is gossiped about in town and prefers the company of the black community.

The court is uncharacteristically crowded and the children cannot find anywhere to sit. Reverend Sykes, the minister from Cal's church, takes them to where the black citizens are sitting and finds them seats. When they are all seated, Sheriff Heck Tate is the first to take the stand.

Chapter 17

Sheriff Tate testifies that Bob Ewell came to him saying that his daughter Mayella had been raped by Tom Robinson. Atticus questions Bob Ewell and asks him about why a doctor was not called. Ewell says that it was plain enough to see what had happened to Mayella. Throughout the testimony Bob also explains that Mayella received a black right eye in the attack. Atticus gets Ewell to admit that he is left handed, part of his plan to make the jury realize that it was Ewell who probably beat Mayella.


Chapter 18

Mayella takes the stand. She testifies that she asked Tom into the house to do some chopping. Once they were in the house alone she says that Tom beat and raped her. Atticus makes her clearly state that it was Tom who choked her, beat her and raped her. When she does, Tom stands up to reveal an almost useless left arm. It was badly injured in a farming accident leaving it damaged and much shorter than his right arm. Atticus finally asks Mayella if it was her father, not Tom Robinson, who attacked her that evening. After the intensity of the testimony, the court takes a small recess.

Chapter 19

After the recess, Tom takes the stand. According to his testimony, he had been on the Ewell's property many times, helping Mayella with different chores. The evening of the accused crime, he said that she asked him in the house to fix a door. While his back was turned, she wrapped herself around him. He shook her free and she tried to kiss him. Bob Ewell saw them from the outside and called his daughter a whore. Tom testifies that he was very afraid of what would happen to him and so he ran. Link Deas, Tom's employer for many years, suddenly stand up in the courtroom and says that Tom Robinson has never been a problem for him and has never done anyone harm, which causes a stir in the courtroom.

When the prosecution questions Tom, they ask him about his previous conviction for disorderly conduct. He had been in a fight with a man and spent a month in jail for it. The prosecution also asks Tom about why he was always helping out Mayella and what his motives were. Dill finds the prosecutor's attitude to Tom so upsetting that he and Scout leave the courtroom.

Chapter 20

Dolphous Raymond calls over Scout and Dill. He says that he has something that will help Dill's stomach. He gives Dill a sip of the drink in his paper bag, which the town has always believed to be alcohol. It turns out to be Coca-Cola, which surprises the children. Dolphous explains that he leads the town to believe that he is a drunk so that they have a reason to dislike him. After Dill's stomach improves the children head back into the court for final arguments. When Atticus finishes his closing arguments, Cal enters the courtroom.

Chapter 21

Cal has brought a note for Atticus. It is from Aunt Alex stating that the children have been missing all day. Mr. Underwood points out that the children have been in the colored gallery of the courtroom. Atticus tells them to go home for dinner, but that they may return to here the jury's decision. The children go back home with Cal, who chastises them the whole trip home. After a long dinner, the children return to court to find the jury still deliberating. Later the jury returns with a guilty verdict.

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