TKAM #2: Atticus’ Evolution

Since my last post, the novel has really gotten good. The plot has drastically changed from a very slow, not entirely focused flow, into a story better than almost any movie.

Jem and Scout go on a search to find out something interesting about their father that they can be proud to tell kids at school. Their finds are not quite what they were expecting. He can play the Jew’s Harp like it’s nobody’s business and “he can make somebody’s will so airtight can’t nobody meddle with it” These facts only serve to make Scout more ashamed of her father. However, a storm was brewing in Maycomb.

Atticus, who was previously a fairly flat and not very dynamic character has suddenly been the center of attention. When Jem and Scout see the “town pet”, a dog named Tim Johnson acting “mad”, they rush home to alert Calpurnia. Calpurnia, upon seeing how Jem described the dog’s behavior then phoned just about everyone in town, letting them know about the supposedly rabid dog. Heck Tate, Maycomb’s sheriff sees the dog, draws his gun and  does something surprising: rather than shoot it himself, he hands Atticus the rifle and after a short argument, Atticus takes the shot. It was a perfect shot and it seemed to surprise the kids a lot.

This abrupt and unexpected event serves to impress the kids and the reader as well. Our discussion this week on chapters ten through fourteen were focused highly on Atticus, mainly his impact on his children.

In our next discussion, I hope to touch on Boo Radley and his role in the story


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