There is plenty of tension in this chapter and Harper Lee expresses this very well through the setting, the discomforting and yet calm dialogue between the characters and how scout reminds us of her concern for the safety of her father. Chapter XV is split into two parts really and both of these parts are set both in the evening and very late at night. This is very effective in any novel or film as darkness shows suspense. It also gives the reader an eerie sense of the environment surrounding and how characters’ moods differ from their usual daily attitudes.
“The south side of the square was deserted. Giant monkey-puzzle bushes bristled on each corner… ” Alliteration was clearly used during this sentence which also proves very effective when creating tension. For example: “He swept silently across the floor. ” As previously mentioned, the eerie darkness does change people’s moods and in this chapter especially, proving successful when maintaining the suspense so in order to keep the reader glued to the page.
This chapter is basically just about the transferring of black defendant Tom Robinson to the county jail to which nobody agrees is the right course of action to take. The dialogue to express their concern for the safely guarded whereabouts’ of Tom Robinson is all but aggressive. It’s night time in the quiet town, so the occupants involved in the attempt to get Tom Robinson find it In their instincts to stay discreet, which is quite a lucky advantage in Atticus’ favour who is guarding the county jail and who also maintains a calm attitude towards the unfair predicament he is placed under.
Regardless of this discreteness, the language towards Atticus from the towns’ folk is still quite threatening. “You know what we want, get aside from the door Mr Finch. ” Atticus’ stern and risky acknowledgement clearly shows a build up to some violence. Even though Atticus knows this, he still doesn’t retreat from his post. “You can turn around and go home again, Walter… ” This episode builds up tension to a great degree of anticipation and reluctance towards the harming of Atticus or Tom Robinson.
Scout feels the same way when watching which explains her unauthorised interruption just before things get “ugly”. She breaks the ice completely simply by just saying one short sentence: “Hey, Atticus! ” the presence of a young child brings the overpowering mob to consider their future actions and thus forcing them to back down grudgingly for the child’s sake. What Scout does is really interesting and relieves the rock solid tension between Atticus and the towns’ folk.
She singles out Walter Cunningham and starts talking to him rationally, all the while bringing the crowd to realise that they are individuals just by what she’s saying to Mr Cunningham. ” Entailments are bad,” I told Mr Cunningham, when I slowly awoke to the fact that I was addressing the entire congregation… Then he squatted down and took me by my both shoulders “I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady… let’s go boys. ” And they left swiftly and quietly with no hassle. This entire chapter shows Scout’s great respect and love for her father.
The big interruption was a prime example for this. She shows a great deal of concern when she notices how everybody looks at him and refers to him when scout is at school as “nigger lover etc. ” But the one line that summed Jem and Scout’s love and concern was: “I’m scared for Atticus, somebody might hurt him. ” Chapter XV ends happily though with Scout’s delight of seeing Atticus’ affection for Jem who really needed it at his “difficult” age, simply by him messaging once through Jems’ hair.