To Kill A Mockingbird: Novel Summary: Chapters 25-26

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Chapters 25-26

Chapter 25: On their way to Helen Robinson's place, Calpurnia and Atticus find Dill and Jem by the side of the road on their way from Barker's Eddy where they had been swimming.  Atticus allows Dill and Jem to accompany them to Helen's house so the two boys describe that afternoon's events to Scout when they return.  Dill recounts, "she just fell down in the dirt.  Just fell down in the dirt, like a giant with a big foot just came along and stepped on her.like you'd step on an ant" (253).  Dill also says that "Calpurnia and Atticus lifted Helen to her feet and half carried, half walked her to the cabin.  They stayed inside a long time, and Atticus came out alone.  When they drove back by the dump, some of the Ewells hollered at them, but Dill didn't catch what they said" (253).
Scout resents the fact the Maycomb's townspeople stayed interested in the news of Tom's death for only two days but she finds solace in an editorial written by B.B. Underwood in The Maycomb Tribune.  "Mr. Underwood didn't talk about miscarriages of justice, he was writing so children would understand.  Mr. Underwood simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, by they standing, sitting, or escaping.  He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.Mr. Underwood's meaning became clear: 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" (254).
Chapter 26: In this short chapter, Scout describes a day in her third grade class when Cecil Jacobs gives a presentation on Adolph Hitler.  The ensuing class discussion reveals yet another example of hypocrisy and the randomness of the distinctions people make between people.  In this case, Scout's teacher defends the Jews and proclaims how lucky they all are for living in a democracy.  She states, "That's the difference between America and Germany.  We are a democracy and Germany is a dictatorship.Over here we don't believe in persecuting anybody.  Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced" (258).  How can her teacher, Miss Gates, possibly think that Americans aren't prejudiced and do not persecute anyone? Scout is confused by the class discussion and follows up with Atticus on several of the issues.