To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 30

Heck Tate tells Atticus: “Let the dead bury the dead.” Explain what he means by this statement. Be sure to use specific evidence from the text to support your ideas.

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In Chapter 30, Atticus is trying to uphold the law by demanding that Jem be brought to trial for the crime of murdering Mr. Ewell, not realizing that the sheriff is trying to protect Boo. As seen before in the case of the Ewell's, who are allowed to hunt in season, the law must be bent in order to protect certain people; in this case Boo needs protection. When Atticus understands the sheriff's motivation, he relents, realizing that it is in everyone's best interests to allow Boo to unofficially punish the Ewell's for the crime of trying to send Tom to his death. By this point, the "mockingbird" theme has already been made clear, but this chapter rehashes the idea that the innocent should not suffer in the hands of the powerful.