Chapter 16 how is the setting of the courthouse described? What details are most important? What do they tell the reader about the trial and about the community?
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From the description of the courthouse in chapter 16, we know that the columns on the courthouse were all that remained of the original courthouse that had been burned down in 1856. Those columns dated back to pre-civil war days and they symbolize the glory days of the south: the days when blacks had been slaves. This was in juxtaposition to the Victorian courthouse that had been built around the older columns. They attempt to preserve the columns of the old courthouse also symbolize the desire of Maycomb inhabitiants to hold on to the past, even when the past was useless or not needed any more, just as the columns were not needed to hold up the court house. I also find it interesting that the big Greek revival columns also mirror the type of column found on the White House, The Capitol and the Supreme Court buildings. Perhaps they also symbolize America and justice which will be denied in that courtroom which is reflected in the fact that the original courhouse burned down in 1856, when there was no justice for Southern slaves.