Chapter 30 Notes from To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 30

As Heck stared at Boo, Atticus had suggested they sit out on the porch to discuss what happened, and Scout realized that he took them to the porch because it was dark there and Boo's eyes were more accustomed to the dark. Scout led him politely to the front porch and to a rocking chair in a dark corner and then sat beside him. She was living out her fantasy in a way. While they were on the porch, Heck and Atticus argued about what must have happened to Bob Ewell. Heck insisted that Ewell fell on his own knife, but Atticus was adamant that Jem had killed Ewell in the struggle. Heck refused to believe that a boy with such a severely broken arm could possibly have overpowered a grown man, so Ewell must have fallen on his knife.

When Heck began to demonstrate the way he believed it happened, he pulled a switchblade from his jacket to use as a prop. Atticus suspected that it was Bob Ewell's knife, but Heck insisted that he'd taken it from some drunk in town earlier that night and that Ewell was carrying the kitchen knife that killed him. He justified his belief with this statement: "'There's a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it's dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time....'" Chapter 30, Pg. 278

Heck insisted that he just couldn't bring himself to drag into the limelight a man as shy as Arthur Radley although Arthur had done the whole town a favor by killing Bob Ewell. He'd killed the man to save Scout and Jem, but if Heck had aired that to the whole town, the man's privacy would have been destroyed and Heck didn't want to do that to him. He would have considered it a sin to do such a thing. When Atticus asked if Scout understood that Ewell fell on his knife, she assured him that Heck was right. She explained to Atticus that exposing Boo would be like shooting a mockingbird. Atticus thanked Arthur for saving his children and then went in the house.

Topic Tracking: Benevolence 10
Topic Tracking: Courage 10

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