To Kill a Mockingbird

why is scout confused after overhearing remarks about her father's defense of Tom Robinson?

Chapter 16

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Scout doesn't understand why men who've been her father's friends suddenly want to hurt him. 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.