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What is the book the giver about

Scout (who is eight-years-old by now) and Jem are witness to a vast number of people coming into town for the high-profile trial of Tom Robinson. Against Atticus’ instructions, Scout, Dill and Jem decide to go to the courthouse and witness the proceedings. There is little room, but they are given a place to sit in the black-designated balcony, where they are welcomed.

We hear testimony from Sheriff Heck Tate, and learn that due to supposed-victim Mayella Ewell’s injuries, her attacker was most likely left-handed. We also discover that her own father is left-handed.

Mayella testifies. She is 19 years old, and Atticus is able to make it clear to the jury that she is lying.

We also find that the accused, Tom, does not possess a functional left arm, having suffered a crippling injury many years ago.

Tom is called to the stand. He testifies that he has been to the Ewell residence many times, helping Mayella with difficult tasks. He never asked for or accepted payment, but only did so because he felt pity for the girl. He testifies that on the date in question, he was invited into the house by Mayella, who then tried to seduce him. In fear, he ran away, but not before being seen by Mayella’s father, Bob.

It becomes clear that Tom is innocent, that Bob assaulted his own daughter in anger after seeing her attempting to woo Tom, and that both Ewells are lying. Scout, Dill, and Jem are ecstatic, feeling very confident that their father’s defense will save innocent Tom from being put to death.

Dill becomes overwhelmed during the proceedings, so Scout takes him outside. There, they meet Mr. Dolphus Raymond, a white man known for preferring the company of black people. He offers Dill a sip of his beverage, which is concealed in a paper bag. Dill discovers that the beverage is Coca-Cola, to the contrary of popular opinion that his beverage was alcoholic in nature. Mr. Dolphus reveals that he enjoys letting people mistakenly think that he is an alcoholic, when in fact, he is not.

The two return to the courthouse, and see Calpurnia enter, with a message for Atticus.

Calpurnia tells Atticus that the children have been missing all day. They are then revealed as being in the courtroom. Atticus is dismayed, but grants that since they’ve already seen the testimony, they may as well see the trial through until the end.

There is a dinner break taken in the late afternoon, but court is reconvened that evening.

At some time after 11PM, the verdict of guilty is read, bewildering the children. Many of the adults, however, simply accept this as inevitable, since even though Tom is obviously not guilty, he is still a black man after all, so a guilty verdict is essentially automatic.

The children are very upset at the verdict, but cool-headed Atticus simply explains that this was expected. He assures them that an appeal holds some promise for Tom’s release.

The following morning, mountains of food have been delivered to the Finch household, by a grateful black community.

Miss Maudie also has cakes for the kids when they visit her. She discusses the verdict with them, and explains that many people are good, even if juries are sometimes not.

Dill announces his intent to become a clown someday, only one who points and laughs at people. He is disgusted at the failures of man, in light of the clearly unfair verdict.

Bob Ewell spits in Atticus’ face. In spite of the guilty verdict, Bob is humiliated by the truth elicited by Atticus’ questioning. Bob vows revenge on Atticus.

Analysis:

The children’s wonder at the contradictions within the minds of certain adults is changed to anger at the conviction of Tom. It is clear to the children that Tom’s innocence should set him free, but when the jury convicts him instead, the children are stunned. They are disgusted, shocked, and disappointed.

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