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Jem says, “I think I’m beginning to understand something.  I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time…  it’s because he wants to stay inside” (259).  What about the world would make Boo want to stay inside?  What connections are there between what Boo might be hiding from and what killed Tom Robinson? What is Scout learning because of this trial?  Although Atticus didn’t convince the jury to acquit Tom, is there evidence that anything is different because of Atticus’ defense of Tom Robinson?  Why didn’t they end up aquitting him?  Is there anything besides prejudice that factors in?  
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM 9 Comments
  
What message about the way the world works does Scout take away from the trial? What evidence is there that supports that Scout will not be prejudiced as an adult?  Is there any reason to doubt? Think about Mr. Cunningham's role in the story.  What kind of adult do you think his son Walter will become?  What about Burris Ewell?  
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM 7 Comments
  
Did Atticus do any good in taking the case to trial? After reading Mr. Underwood’s editorial, Scout realizes, “Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case.  Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed” (276).  Did Atticus really use every tool available?  Was there anything else that could have been done?  At one point after the trial, Scout is playing with a bug, but when she tries to smash it, Jem stops her.  From the text:  “Why couldn’t I mash him? I asked. “Because they don’t bother you,” Jem answered in the darkness.  (273).                 Where do you think Jem got his soft spot for the bugs?  
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM 12 Comments
  
At several points in the story, we see innocent people get punished for things that are perceived as crimes, but might actually be justified (i.e. Scout reading, Uncle Jack misunderstanding Scout’s fight with Cecil Jacobs, Tom Robinson).  Does this happen in real life?  Why is it easier to punish people like Scout and Tom Robinson, than the people who might actually be guilty like Bob Ewell or Cecil Jacobs?
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM 15 Comments
  
In what way is Atticus courageous?  Tom Robinson?  Do you think of Mayella Ewell as Courageous or Cowardly?  Boo Radley?  Why?  What are your thoughts on Tom Robinson’s decision to try to escape from prison? What does Miss Maudie mean when she says, “he’s the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that?  
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM 10 Comments
  
In an editorial, the news writer Mr. Underwood “likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children” (275).  Considering the book’s title, how is Tom Robinson a mockingbird?  Is anyone else?  Explain.
Posted by sfoglyano  On Oct 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM 25 Comments