To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

What are the expectations for the spectators( WATCHERS IN THE COURT) and how do some spectators disregard them? Do you think that it was courageous or cowardly to go against the expectations of the court?

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

The court spectators were expected to be silent and respectful of the setting. The spectators disregarded this expectation when Bob Ewell publicly testified that he witnessed Tom Robinson "ruttin" on his daughter Mayella.

As Judge Taylor banged his gavel, Mr. Ewell was sitting smugly in the witness chair, surveying his handiwork. With one phrase he had turned happy picknickers into a sulky, tense, murmuring crowd, being slowly hypnotized by gavel taps lessening in intensity until the only sound in the courtroom was a dim pink-pinkpink: the judge might have been rapping the bench with a pencil.

“There has been a request,” Judge Taylor said, “that this courtroom be cleared of spectators, or at least of women and children, a request that will be denied for the time being. People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for, and they have the right to subject their children to it, but I can assure you of one thing: you will receive what you see and hear in silence or you will leave this courtroom, but you won’t leave it until the whole boiling of you come before me on contempt charges. Mr. Ewell, you will keep your testimony within the confines of Christian English usage, if that is possible. Proceed, Mr. Gilmer.”

In this case, the spectators defying the rules of the court did so in response to Bon Ewell's lies. Those who believed his lies reacted in anger.... those who didn't believe them were horrified. I don't believe their reactions were courageous or cowardly.... they were spontaneous.

Please place your questions in the proper category.


To Kill a Mockingbird