In the trial chapters we see that racism and prejudice of the townspeople come violently and shockingly into the open
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In chapter 16 Scout cries that night and Jem consoles her. Atticus says that Mr. Underwood despises black people, but was still willing to defend Atticus. Aunt Alexandra urges Atticus not to speak like that in front of Calpurnia, but Atticus protests as usual, claiming fairness and honesty are important. Scout wonders out loud why Mr. Cunningham wanted to hurt Atticus when he usually is Atticus's friend. Atticus explains that some people can forget that they are human beings when they become part of a mob. Clearly moved by the situation, Atticus explains to her that it took an eight-year-old girl to bring them to their senses.