To Kill a Mockingbird

How does Atticus exPlain "mobs" to the children?


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Atticus discusses the psychology of mobs in a rational way that his children can understand. He tries to convey that although they seem menacing, they are human beings who chose to remain ignorant,

"...A mob's always made up of people, no matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man. Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know--doesn't say much for them, does it?"

"I'll say not," said Jem.

Atticus goes on to explain that it took an eight year old child to reach the human part of these men (in front of the court house), "So it took an eight-year-old child to bring "em to their senses, didn't it?" said Atticus. "That proves something--that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human.

Atticus is able to convey that people always have truth hidden down deep under the hate that they have learned. Sometimes the innocence of a child is more effective to find their humanity than any reason or punishment.