To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 26

When school restarts, the children start passing by the Radley house, and Scout finds herself regretting having been obsessed with Boo Radley matters since she thinks it may have tormented the poor boy. In school, Scout has a current events period once a week and this week one of her classmates, Cecil Jacobs brings an article on Hitler's prosecution of the Jews which is particularly about forcing them into camps. Once the article is read, someone asks how Hitler can get away with his actions and why the government cannot stop him, and this brings up a discussion on democracy where the teacher explains that democracy brings the difference between the United States and Germany. She adds that prosecution is not allowed in the United States.

Scout brings the conversation home and asks his father and brother; she wanted to get the idea of hate and persecution. She, however, recalls seeing her teacher, Miss Gates, on the courthouse door on the night of Tom Robinson's trial and she was talking about how black people were getting a little too above themselves, and it was time someone taught them a lesson. Scout could not understand why Miss Gates hated Hitler for the way he treated Jews, people very far away from them, when she treated people she knew so poorly. She asks Jem, but he refuses to answer because of his annoyance at the court's decision.


Scout has evolved in with regard to her understanding of the concept of persecution but is confused by Miss Gates’s statement concerning Tom Robinson’s trial and Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. She struggles to understand how it is considered wrong to persecute one group of people but right to persecute another group. She turns to Jem for insight thinking he might know more about the issue, but gets further confused when the question enrages him. Boo Radley is brought back into the story, and Scout now refers to him by his real name, Arthur. She feels ashamed for the role she played in trying to lure Boo out of the house and vows to heed Atticus’s advice about trying to walk in another person’s shoes.

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