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In addition to being a lawyer, Atticus enjoys being a father to Jem and Scout. When Jem and Scout found out that their father would be defending a black person, they knew immediately that there would be much controversy, humiliation from the people of Maycomb and great difficulty keeping Tom alive for the trial. It was not long when Atticus had to leave the house very late to go to jail, where Tom was kept because many white people wanted to kill him. Worrying about their father, Jem and Scout sneak out of the house to find him. A self-appointed lynch mob has gathered on the jail to take justice into their own hands. Scout decides to talk to Walter Cunningham, one of the members of the mob. She talks about how her father Atticus thought that "entailments are bad "(154 ) " and that his boy Walter is a real nice boy and tell him I said hey"(154). Upon hearing this, the mob realized that Atticus cannot be all bad if he has such a nice daughter as Scout. Atticus, with some unexpected help from his children, faces down the mob and cause them to break up the potential lynching of the man behind bars. Having gone to a black church earlier, the children found out that Tom is actually a kind person, church-going and a good husband and father to his children.
The town of Maycomb in the 1930's was split into two sections, the white section and the black section. This was a time of racial segregation, where blacks were not permitted to go to the same schools as the whites.
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