Chapter 1 Questions:
Chapter 1 Answers:
1. Who is the narrator of the novel? What type of narration is used?
The narrator of the novel is Scout and first person point of view is the narration during the novel.
2. The narrator begins her story by giving the reader background information. What does the narrator reveal about her family history in the first several pages?
The family history is dirty, slow, boring, and tired (gloomy) while there’s nothing to buy and no money to buy it with.
3. The novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression. What indicates that most of the towns people are poor?
Her relative Simon Finch found land, grew cotton, and continued to live on the land until Atticus Finch came along, which indicates that the towns people are poor.
4. How does Scout describe the way she and her brother feel about their father?
Scout says he reads to them and respects them, though he treats them with “courteous detachment” meaning he was polite to them but a little distant.
5. What happened to Scout and Jem’s mother?
She died early of a heart attack.
6. Who is Calpurnia? How does Scout describe her? Identify a simile that she uses in her description.
(simile is compares 2 things that are alike in some way. To identify a simile it uses “like” or “as”.)
(simile is compares 2 things that are alike in some way. To identify a simile it uses “like” or “as”.)
Calpurnia is the house maid and was all angles and bones, slim, near sighted, and African American. On simile was, “her hand was as wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.”
7. How does Jem and Scout meet Dill? How does Scout describe the boy?
Scout and Jem strangely heard a noise coming from Miss Rachel Haverford’s porch. Later they met Dill and Scout characterizes him as very small for his age, with white hair (very bright blond), and blue linen shorts.
8. What is frightening to the children about the Radley’s house? What lives in the house, according to Scout?
Boo Radley is the frightening “malevolent phantom” that lives in the house. An evil ghost.
9. Describe some of the rumors surrounding the Radley’s house and its inhabitant. How does the reader know that some of the rumors are untrue and that fears concerning the house may be unfolded?
Many rumors that go around are that Boo stabbed his father in the leg, that they chain him to a bed, and that small animals are found dead around the house. Boo is said to only go out at night and has been caught peering into people’s windows. He is also said to eat squirrels and cats he catches. The reason readers know that some of the rumors are untrue is because of neighborhood gossip- no one has seen anything that would prove the rumors true.
10. Beginning with the line, “The misery of that house began many years before Jem and I were born,” Scout tells the reader the sad history of the Radley family. Briefly summarize what happened to the family.
It all started when they kept all to themselves and didn’t talk to anyone in the community. They didn’t go to Church and Boo got in trouble and was released to his father on the condition that Boo never caused any trouble again. This is why Boo has never truly been seen.
11. How did the townspeople feel about the Radley family? How did they view Mr. Radley in particular? Provide quotes from the text to support your answer.
Many of the townspeople were scared of him and Calpurnia says that Mr. Radley is the “meanest man God ever blew breath into.”
12. After Dill wonders aloud what Boo Radley looks like, Jem gives a description form his imagination. How does he describe Boo? What image does his description provoke?
Jem depicted Boo to be about 6 feet tall, judging from his tracks. He was usually dining on raw squirrel and any cat he could catch. That’s why his hands were always bloodstained: if you ate any animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten. His eye popped and he drooled most of the time, which to most was characterized as a monster.
13. On what dramatic note does chapter 1 end? What do the kids do, and what is the result of their action?
At the end of Chapter 1 there was a movement in the shutter. Then Dill ran up to the Radley’s house and slapped it. Only later did a shutter move.
Chapter 2 Questions:
Chapter 2 Answers:
1. Describe Scout’s teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher. What is irrational about her teaching methods?
Miss Caroline Fisher is around 21 with auburn hair and rosy pink cheeks. She wears a white striped dress with heels and has crimson nail polish. Her teaching methods are irrational because she tells Scout to stop letting her father teach her how to read because he’s doing it wrong, even though she already knows how to read.
2. How did Scout learn to read and write?
Scout learned to read and write by picking it up by watching her father read, and writing for Calpurnia who made her copy the Bible, then rewarded her with food.
3. Describe the Cunningham clan.
The Cunningham clan are poor farmers who never take anything they cannot pay back with crops.
4. When Scout asks her father if they are as poor as the Cunningham’s, how does he respond? Through Atticus, what does the reader learn about the Great Depression and how it affected different classes of people in different ways?
Atticus says that they are indeed poor, but not as poor as the Cunningham’s. He said during the Great Depression, the farmers were hit first and they did not make enough money to go to lawyers or doctors.
5. Why does Miss Caroline punish Scout?
Scout is punished because she talks back to her teacher because Miss Caroline doesn’t understand the Cunningham’s situation.
Chapter 3 Questions:
Chapter 3 Answers:
1. What does Scout do to make Calpurnia furious? What lesson does Calpurnia teach Scout?
Scout makes a rude comment about Walker Cunningham’s use of molasses and this makes him feel uncomfortable. Calpurnia’s lesson in return is that anyone who enters the house is a guest and should be treated kindly no matter who they are.
2. Who are the Ewells, and why are they treated differently than others? Identify the “certain privileges” they get.
The Ewells are white trash people who are lazy, bad, and dishonest. They can hunt out of season and not have to go to school. People in Maycomb don’t want to deal with them so they allow them not to follow the rules.
3. Compare the education levels to Scout, Walter Cunningham, and Buris Ewell. How do these comparisons emphasize the relationship between the class and education?
Scout can read and write because her family taught her, Cunningham misses school to help his dad on the farm, and Ewell misses because he simply doesn’t want to go and no one can make him.
4. What important lesson does Atticus teach Scout about understanding people? How might this lesson help her?
Atticus tells Scout to put herself in their shoes to understand their point of view. This helps her to not be selfish when thinking about things that happen in her life.
5. What compromise does Atticus make with Scout at the end of the chapter?
The compromise was if Scout kept going to school, Atticus would keep teaching her how to read.
Chapter 4 Questions:
Chapter 4 Answers:
1. What does Scout find in one of the trees at the edge of the Radley’s lot? Several days later, she and Jem find something else in the tree. What do they find? What do they decide to do with the items?
Scout finds a piece of gum and several days later they both find two Indian heads (pennies) in a tin foil. They decide to keep it until school starts, so they could ask if it belongs to anyone.
2. In the beginning of chapter 4, “Summer was on the way…,” Scout describes summer by comparing it to a series of other things that remind her oft he season. What literary term best fits her description?
3. Aside from the Radley’s place, what other house do the kids avoid, and why?
The children also avoid Mrs. Dubose’s house because she is said to have been the meanest lady on the street.
4. Belief in various superstitions has emerged as a motif in the novel. What is a “Hot Steam”?
A “Hot Steam” is a person dies (dead person’s soul/ghost) and when you walk through a hot steam you’ll become one of them when you die.
5. What game do the children make up in
They make up thy game Boo Radley which is when they act out the Radley’s in various ways.
6. Summarize the tire incident. Who do you suppose was in the Radley’s house, and what did Scout hear?
The tire incident occurred when Jem got mad at Scout and pushed her down a sidewalk inside of a tire as hard as he could. After the tire stopped, Scout was lying front of the Radley’s house. All of a sudden they heard someone laughing, the children then believed it was Boo.
Chapter 5 Questions
Chapter 5 Answers
1. Describe Miss Maudie Atkinson. Why does Scout like her so much?
Miss Maudie loves to garden and is almost always outside. Scout adores her because she is honest and kind to her and gives her cake.
2. What does Scout mean when she says that Miss Maudie was a “chameleon lady”?
She is a chameleon because when she is in her yard she fits into a gardener’s mold, then she sits on her porch and seems to change into a different person.
3. Miss Maudie says that Mr. Radley had been a “foot-washing Baptist.” What does she mean by this statement? What do foot-washing Baptists believe, according to her?
They believe that anything pleasurable is a sin. They are judge mental and angry.
4. Like her son, Mrs. Radley is rarely seen outside. How might Mr. Radley’s Religious views explain this fact?
Mr. Radley believes that they should be inside praying and reading the Bible and that anything enjoyable is a sin, so they keep to themselves.
5. What causes Scout to question “pulpit Gospel”? How does her questioning relate to Miss Maudie?
She loses her confidence in “pulpit Gospel” because she can’t imagine Miss Maudie being the type of person to burn in hell with her flowers.
6. As Scout and Miss Maudie talk about religion, Scout explains how Atticus defines God; what does she say?
Atticus says that God is “loving folks like you love yourself.”
7. When Miss Maudie says “but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of-oh of your father.” What person is she criticizing, and what is the point of her criticism?
She’s criticizing Mr. Radley. She is saying that anything can be a tool of destruction in the wrong person’s hand.
8. The children view Boo Radley as a strange and frightening figure. How do Miss Maudie and Atticus view him? What do they say about him?
Miss Maudie and Atticus say and view Authur as always nice and pleasant.
9. How do Jem and Dill plan to send a note to Boo Radley? What does the note say? According to Dill, what is the reason for sending the note?
They will send a fishing pole to pass him the note that asks him to come out of the house. They do this to find out about him first hand.
Chapter 6 Questions
Chapter 6 Answers
1. Describe what Jem, Scout, and Dill do in the Radley’s yard at the beginning of chapter 6. What do they see that makes them run away?
They decided to look into the windows at the Radley’s place to see if they can see Boo. They run when they see a person’s shadow walking toward them.
2. What happens to Jem’s pants? What excuse does Dill make up to explain the situation?
He looses them in a wire fence when he’s trying to run away. Dill says he won them in a game of strip poker.
3. Scout is unable to sleep because she is so scared. How does she describe her sleepless night? Identify an example of personification in her description.
(Personification is a human trait given to a non-living object.)
(Personification is a human trait given to a non-living object.)
“The chinaberry trees were malignant, hovering, alive.” Everything she hears haunt her because she is scared that Boo Radley is coming after her.
4. Why is it important to Jem to get his pants before morning, even though the mission is dangerous?
He doesn’t want to disappoint Atticus since he would be caught in his lie without the pants.
5. Jem has decided that what he, Scout, and Dill did was wrong. What might account for Jem’s change of heart? How does Scout feel about it?
He regrets being reckless and realizes that he was endangering them all since Nathan Radley shot at them.
Chapter 7 Questions
Chapter 7 Answers
1. Jem has been acting odd ever since he went to retrieve his pants from the Radley’s fence. What surprised him that night, and why is he frightened by it?
Jem found his pants neatly folded and the rip was sewed up. He thinks the person knew what he was thinking and knew what he was going to do.
2. In chapter 7, Scout and Jem find several more items in the knot-hole of the tree. Briefly list the things that they find. which item do they consider their “biggest prize”?
They find a ball of twine, a pocket watch, a spelling bee medal, soap carved figures, and a pack of gum. The watch is their biggest find.
3. Previously, the children had assumed that the knot-hole was someone’s hiding place. What evidence now suggests that the items in the tree are meant specifically for Scout and Jem?
The soap figures look just like them. The hole is filled with cement to prevent the gifts from being given.
4. Who do you suppose is responsible for the gifts in the knot-hole? Why do you think this person is leaving these gifts?
Boo Radley is most likely giving these gifts. He is reaching out to them to be friendly most likely because he sees that they are interested in him.
5. When Jem and Scout return to the tree with the idea of placing in it a thank you note for the anonymous gift giver, they find the knot-hole plugged up with cement. Who plugged the knot-hole, and why?
Mr. Nathan Radley plugs the hole up because “the tree is dying.”
6. How does Jem find out the explanation for filling the knot-hole is false? Do think this is the real reason?
Atticus tells Jem that the tree looks healthy. Nathan is most likely trying to stop Boo from communicating with outside forces.
7. When Jem finally comes in, Scout notices he’s been crying. Why do you think he was crying?
He thinks Boo Radley is actually a good person.
Chapter 8 Questions
Chapter 8 Answers
1. At the beginning of chapter 8, Scout mentions that old Mrs. Radley died but her death “caused hardly a ripple” in the neighborhood. Why was this the case?
Mrs. Radley keeps to herself so no one is attached to her so her death doesn’t impact anyone in the neighborhood.
2. What dramatic event causes Atticus to wake up the children at one o’clock in the morning?
Miss Maudie’s house caught on fire.
3. Why does Atticus make the children leave the house and stand in front of the Radley’s house?
Because the fire is closer to their house than the Radley’s and also for them to get out of the way of the fire trucks.
4. As Jem and Scout drink hot chocolate with their father after the fire, Scout notices Atticus looking at her with curiosity and sternness. What does he see? How does Scout react?
He notices that she is wearing a blanket that doesn’t belong to them and thinks that she has wandered away from the Radley’s house.
5. Who put the blanket around Scout’s shoulders, and how does Atticus reach this conclusion? What is Scout’s reaction when she hears the information?
Boo Radley must have put the blanket on Scout to keep her warm while she was watching the fire. They don’t even own a blanket and didn’t leave the Radley’s house.
6. Why do Atticus and Jem decide not to return the blanket at this time?
Jem tells Atticus about the treats Boo has left and that the reason Nathan Radley filled the tree with cement was to stop the gifts from coming. They decided to keep the blanket a secret so it doesn’t get Boo in trouble with Nathan.
7. Up to this point in the novel, Boo has been perceived as lunatic or monster. What evidence in the past 2 chapters indicates that he is not at all the threatening figure that people have made him out to be? (So what evidence can you find in chapters 7 and 6)
He is kind: gifts in the tree, pants, blanket, Miss Maudie’s word.
Chapter 9 Questions
Chapter 9 Answers
1. As chapter 9 begins, Scout is yelling at Ceil Jacobs, a boy at school. Why are they fighting?
Scout and the Ceil are fighting because Ceil is saying that her father defends ******s.
2. How does the fight end? What makes Scout feel “noble”?
The fight ends when she walks away from the fight because Atticus asked her to. She feels nobel and proud because she remembered what Atticus said and was able to show restraint from fighting.
3. Who is Atticus defending? What are townspeople saying about this case? What is Atticus’ response to the gossip?
Atticus is defending Tom Robinson, a noble black man. Although Atticus is only saying what he believes, the town is lashing out on Atticus for it, but Atticus ignores them.
4. When Scout asks Atticus if he is going to win the case, he tells her, “No honey.” She then asks him why he is taking on a case that cannot be won. What is his response, and what do you think he is referring to?
Atticus tells Scout that they will lose because they were beat a 100 years before it even started. Atticus is referring to slavery and the residual ideas of the whites being superior to the blacks in their community.
5. As she describes the “international arrangements” of the house at Finch’s Landing, Scout uses her verbal irony to a make point about Simon Finch’s character. Explain what she means to say about her ancestor.
The internal arrangements indicates his absolute trust of his offspring. She says this in a sarcastic way because he built the stairs for his daughters room to go down through his room so that he knew exactly what they were doing at night.
6. What does Francis say about Atticus? How do his comments illustrate that racism exists not just in the other residents of Maycomb, but within the Finch family as well?
Francis says that Atticus is a “****** lover” and reveals he is just as close minded and racist as the other members of Maycomb.
7. How does Scout react to Francis’s taunts? What is the result of her action?
She gets incredibly angry and punches him. Her aunt and Uncle Jack yell at her for this.
8. How does Scout explain her behavior to Uncle Jack? According to her, what was unjust about the way he punished her? What does she make him promise?
She tells Uncle Jack about what Francis said about Atticus and says that it wasn’t fair to not hear her side. She makes him promise that he will not tell Atticus because she isn’t suppose to be fighting about Atticus.
9. As Jack and Atticus talk together in the evening, Atticus says that Scout needs to “learn to keep her head” in the next few months. Why is he concerned about her?
The trial of Tom Robinson is coming up and there will be even more resistance from the community for her to deal with.
10. What information is provided for the Robinson case as chapter 9 comes to a close? What is Atticus’ plan?
That Atticus doesn’t have a case except Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells, but will try to win the appeal.
11. Near the end of chapter 9, Atticus refers to the ingrained racism among the residents of Maycomb. How does he describe racism in this passage? To what does he compare it to?
Racism is a disease and most go crazy when it is brought up.
12. Scout ends chapter 9 with the words,”…I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said.” Why do you think Atticus wanted Scout to hear what he said during his conversation with Uncle Jack?
He explains his thoughts about the trial and the town when he knows she is really listening.
Chapter 10 Questions
Chapter 10 Answers
1. Scout compares Atticus to other fathers. What is different about Atticus?
Atticus is older than most fathers. He doesn’t have the same hobbies as the other fathers and he is often too old for physical activities.
2. The novel’s title, To Kill A Mocking Bird, is reference in this chapter. In what context is it presented?
It is a sin to kill a mocking bird because all they do is sing to make people happy.
3. How might the killing of a mockingbird be a metaphor for one of the novel’s major themes? For example, what might mockingbirds symbolize?
The mockingbird represents a sense of innocence. It merely sings and brings joy to people. Similarly the innocent Tom and even Boo bring good to the world but are so easily punished by ignorance and hate.
4. Which of the novel’s characters thus far might be considered similar to mockingbirds?
That would be Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.
5. What dramatic incident causes people to lock their doors and stay inside?
The reason that many had to lock their doors was because there was a mad dog roaming around the neighborhood.
6. What does Atticus do that surprises the children and makes them feel proud? What do they learn about their father from Miss Maudie?
Atticus shoots the mad dog which makes the kids feel proud. Miss Maudie tells the children to not go around and boast about their father because if Atticus wanted others to know, he’d tell them.
7. Some people suggest that the mad dog is a symbol for the evil that exists in Maycomb, specifically the racist attitudes that many of the townspeople have. What evidence can you find in this chapter or others that support this idea?
The mad dog represents how many are scared and have superiority over blacks.
Chapter 11 Questions
Chapter 11 Answers
1. Scout tells the reader about Mrs. Dubose. How do Scout and Jem feel about her?
Scout and Jem feel like she is a cranky and old raciest lady. They believe she try’s to get them in trouble.
2. As Scout and Jem are returning home from town one day, Jem does something to the shock and astonishment of Scout. What does he do and why?
Jem makes his way to Mrs. Dubose’s house and destroys all of her camellias because of her thoughts of Atticus defending n*****
3. What does Atticus mean when he says, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience?”
It doesn’t change how you feel about it. For example, if you thought a rule was wrong before, having a majority vote it into law doesn’t change the fact that you still feel it is wrong.
4. What is Jem’s punishment for knocking the tops off of Mrs. Dubose’s flowers? How does he feel about this punishment?
Jem’s punishment consists of having to read two hours everyday of the week to Mrs. Dubose. Jem feels very scared and anxious because he doesn’t know what Mrs. Dubose will do with him.
5. What is odd about Mrs. Dubose’s behavior each afternoon when Scout and Jem visit her?
As time passes, the old woman stops speaking and her mouth opens and closes while her head sways from side to side. Jem asks her if she is all right, but she doesn’t reply. In a few minutes, an alarm clock sounds, and Mrs. Dubose’s assistant shoes them out of the room and tells them to go home because it is time for Mrs. Dubose’s medicine. The Alarm clock signals the old lady’s morphine time.
6. When Scout feels Atticus what Mrs. Dubose has been calling him, what is his response? What lesson does he teach Scout during his conversation?
Scout asks Atticus what a ******-lover is, and he says that it’s just a meaningless term. He asks Scout to consider where Mrs. Dubose comes from. Her anger and ignorance are a result of a very painful life. Atticus said that you are going to hear mean things and you’ve just got to keep your head up.
7. What is the significance of the alarm clock by Mrs. Dubose’s bed? What does Scout suddenly notice about it?
Everyday the alarm clock goes off later and later which means Mrs. Dubose took the morphine less and less as time went on. She was going through a withdraw.
8. One evening, Atticus is summoned to Mrs. Dubose’s house. What does he reveal to Jem and Scout when he returns?
He reveals that Mrs. Dubose had just died a few minutes ago and a box given to Scout as a present.
9. According to Atticus, Mrs. Dubose had made one goal for herself before she died. What was it? How did Jem unknowingly help her reach that goal? How does this explain the significance of the alarm clock?
Mrs. Dubose’s goal has to become drug (morphine) free before she died. Jem unknowingly helped her reach this goal buy reading to her everyday. By doing this, Mrs. Dubose became drug-free. As the days went by, the alarm clock would almost symbolize and act as rehabilitation.
10. What does Atticus say “real courage” is? How does his definition relate to Mrs. Dubose? How does it fit Atticus?
Atticus relates real courage to Mrs. Dubose because she fought against her addiction with is very hard to do when you are very addicted.
11. As Atticus speaks about Mrs. Dubose’s bravery, what lesson is he attempting to teach Jem?
He is trying to teach Jem that even though Mrs. Dubose seemed like a cruel lady, there was so much more going on that was hidden.
12. Atticus hands Jem a box that Mrs. Dubose had left for him. What is in the box? What is Jem’s response to it?
Mrs. Dubose gives Jem a flower in the box and Jem is very angry about this because this relates to racism never ending.
Chapter 12 Questions
Chapter 12 Answers
1. A major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird is the journey from youth and innocence to maturity and knowledge. How does Jem symbolize this theme in Chapter 12? What evidence indicates that he is growing up and changing?
He grows up and become more knowledgeable and courageous as a person. He now knows that things can be very serious.
2. Why is Dill not coming to Maycomb this summer? How does Scout feel about his absence.
Jem has found a new father in another place and Scout is very sad about his absence.
3. Why must Atticus leave for two weeks? How is his absence related to the country’s economic issues?
Atticus has to leave for two weeks for an emergency session with the state legislature. It is a special session but I can’t recall it being related to the economy in the text. The great depression began in 1929 so it might have something to do with that.
4. What is the name of Calpurnia’s church, and what is the significance of the name?
The name of the church was the First Purchase and many of the first freed slaves paid to build this church.
5. Briefly describe Calpurnia’s church, and what is the significance of the name?
The name of the church was the First Purchase and many of the first freed slaves paid to build this church.
6. When they arrive at the church, Scout and Jem experience first-hand what it feels like to be the object of racial intolerance. Briefly describe the incident and how it resolved?
While visiting calpurnia’s church, Jem and Scout notice that Calpurnia talks differently with her black church members. Jem and Scout see that blacks and whites have different lives. Calpurnia uses a different dialect with the black church members. Calpurnia uses relaxed English with her church family. When working at the Finch family’s household, Calpurnia uses standard grammar. Clearly, Jem and Scout observe the differences between blacks and white while visiting Calpurnia’s church. Also, Jem and Scout learn that Calpurnia’s black church cannot afford hymnals for everyone. Jem and Scout learn about the inequalities of blacks who cannot afford the luxuries that white people enjoy. Truly, blacks are discriminated against and Jem and Scout witness it first hand when they visit Calpurnia’s church. Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church because she does not discriminate. Sadly, Calpurnia learns that some of her church members are just as discriminating as the whites. Clearly, Lulu does not think it is fair for white children to be allowed in a black church because black children are not allowed in a white church.
7. What prompts Reverend Sykes to order the doors to be closed and that no one be allowed to leave for a period of time?
He locks the doors so no one could leave the church without making a donation to Tom Robinsons wife Helen because Tom had died and Helen did not have a job.
8. Why is Helen Robinson finding it difficult to get work lately?
She is finding it difficult to get work because her husband has been accused of rape.
9. What more does he reader learn about Tom Robinson’s arrest? Of what has he been accused? Who has accused him?
Tom Robinson was accused of rape and Bob Ewul accused him of the crime.
10. What is “linin’,” and why is it done?
Linin’ is where one person sings and the whole congregation repeats what was said. In the novel, when Scout and Jem go to church with Calpurnia, Zeebo is singing and all the members repeat what he says. This is often done because many of the members are illiterate or because they don’t have enough money to buy hymn books.
11. In this chapter, Scout and Jem seem to see Calpurnia in a new light. What do they learn about Calpurnia, and how does it change their views about her?
Calpurnia seems to be very different in personality after she stays will her own people at the church.
Chapter 13 Questions
Chapter 13 Answers
1. Why does Aunt Alexandra come to visit? How does Scout feel about her arrival?
Aunt Alexandra is Atticus’ sister, she goes to visit and live with him. She also hopes that Scout can have a maternal figure in the household since Scout’s mom is not there. When she reaches she thinks that Scout is too much of a tomboy and hopes that she can be more feminine. Scout feels like this is a bad idea and does not what Aunt Alexandra to stay with them.
2. What is Aunt Alexandra’s major theory concerning human behavior? How does Jem point out the irrationally of it?
Aunt Alexandra argues that the Finches are naturally more respectable and honorable than other folks in town, but Jem quips that most people in town who are not Finches by name are still related in some sense.
3. Scout states that there is a “caste system” in Maycomb. How does she explain the system?
A caste system is any system in which people are divided in some way, most often by ethnic, racial, or financial lines. In Maycomb, there is the obvious white upper class, represented by Atticus and his friends and family; there are the poor black citizens represented by the citizens such as Tom Robinson; there are the “other white citizens” who, for example, make up the jury; there are the poor white “trash” represented by Robinson’s accuser and her family. These people represent different ways of living and indeed a different place in the social order.
4. When Atticus comes into Jem’s room before bedtime to speak with the children, what information does he relay to them from Aunt Alexandra? Do you think he believes what Aunt Alexandra has made him say?
Atticus tells the children that Aunt Alexandra has decided (and convinced Atticus) it would be best for the family if she stays with them for “a while,” which worries Scout even though she knows there’s nothing to be done. No, Scout doesn’t believe that Atticus feels this but she does later understand Atticus’s need to have his sister involved in their lives.
5. What makes Scout cry while Atticus is talking with her and Jem?
Aunt Alexandra wants the children to know all about the Finch family and uphold its genteel heritage, but Atticus has not introduced them to the entirety of their family history, and instead has told them amusing stories, such as how their cousin Josh went insane at university. Aunt Alexandra tries to pressure Atticus into telling the children why they should behave and “live up to your name.” Atticus makes an attempt, but when Scout cries in response to this strange side of her father she has never seen before, he returns to his original principles and finds himself incapable of passing on what Aunt Alexandra deems important. Scout is relieved when her father returns to the same old Atticus, and says she knew what he was trying to do, but that “it takes a woman to do that kind of work.”
6. How do the last few paragraphs indicate that Atticus was merely following Aunt Alexandra’s orders and that he feels bad about doing so?
Chapter 14 Questions
Chapter 14 Answers
1. How is the trial affecting the children’s weekly visits to town? What are people saying?
2. How does Atticus explain rape to Scout?
“He sighed, and said rape was a carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent”
3. As Scout eavesdrops on Atticus and Aunt Alexandra, she says, “I felt the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me….” What does Scout mean by this comment? What literary term is demonstrated here?
Scout is referring to Aunt Alexandra’s desire to turn her into a lady. The “starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary” refer to dressing like a lady, something that for Scout resembles a prison (no more tomboy).
4. What does Aunt Alexandra want Atticus to do to Calpurnia? What is his response?
She wants him to relieve Calpurnia of her duties. Atticus will have nothing of it. Atticus says that he could never bring up the children without Calpurnia.
5. What does Jem tell Scout she should do when dealing with Aunt Alexandra? How does Scout react to his suggestion?
Jem tells Scout to keep her feeling and words to herself, after which, she starts to fight with him.
6. Scout thinks there may be a snake under her bed. What is actually under her bed?
Scout thinks that a snake is under her bed, but after Jem comes into her room and gets a broom to kill it… they realize it was Dill under the bed that ran away from home and was hiding.
7. What does Jem do that shocks Dill and Scout? How does he explain this? How does it establish his maturity?
Jem breaks the code of childhood by acting responsibly. Dill had run away from home, and was hiding under Scout’s bed. She goes to get Jem and when he discovers Dill, he knows that it is not something he can keep a secret. He shocks Scout by going and telling his father what had happened.
8. Why has Dill run away from home? What reasons does he give?
Jem says Dill’s mom remarried and he doesn’t like them, his parents don’t pay any attention to him, and just ignore him. His new dad also said he would build a boat with him but he never did, while all they do is read by themselves in their room. They are always gone and he said they got him everything he wanted. Lastly, they didn’t kiss him good night and he in total felt neglected because they don’t show any signs that they love him.
9. As the chapter ends, what is Scout thinking about? What question does she ask Dill, and how does he respond?
Realizing the similarities in Boo Radley’s home where there is no love, either, and neglect of Boo’s needs as well, Scout gives voice to her thoughts: “Why do you reckon Boo Radley’s never run off?” She questions why Boo would not do as Dill as done since their situations are somewhat similar. But, Dill responds that perhaps Boo has nowhere to go.
Chapter 15 Questions
Chapter 15 Answers
1. The chapter begins on an ominous note as the reader receives hints that something bad is about to happen. Identify at least two instances of foreshadowing from the first several paragraphs.
“We had a week of peace together. After that, little, it seemed. A nightmare was upon us.” and “In Maycomb, grown men stood outside in the front yard for only two reasons: death and politics. I wondered who had died. Jem and I went to the front door, but Atticus called, “Go back in the house.”