To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Calpurnia enters the courtroom. She tells Atticus that Jem, Scout, and Dill are missing. Mr. Underwood says they're sitting in the balcony. Atticus tells them to go home and eat lunch, but relents and says they can come back for the verdict if it hasn't already been delivered.
Atticus wanted to protect Jem and Scout from the anger and racism of the trial. But now he sees they can't be protected, and so he lets them return.
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An hour later, Scout, Jem, and Dill get back to the silent, tense courtroom. The jury is still deliberating. Jem is confident of victory because all the evidence is in Tom's favor.
Jem continues to naively believe in the impartiality of the court.
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Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
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Heck Tate calls the court to order. The jury comes back and does not look at Tom. Scout knows this means the verdict is guilty. It is.
Racism triumphs over evidence.
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Prejudice Theme Icon