To Kill A Mockingbird Questions

************Chapter 1**********Who is narrating the novel? Approximately how old is the narrator? In what point of view is the novel told? Scout. 9. first person point of view
What happened to Jem when he was nearly thirteen? He broke his arm at the elbow
How did Simon Finch make his money? He was a fur trapper
Where does this story take place (give details)? Maycome Alabama in the south, which is a small town and everyone knows everyone else’s business
Why do you think the children call their father Atticus rather than “Dad”? Out of respect
What does Atticus Finch do for a living? He is a lawyer
Who were his first two clients? What happened to them? Why? How did this case change Atticus as a lawyer? The Haverfords, They were hanged because they shot a blacksmith and refused to accept an offer from the state. He didn’t care for criminal law anymore.
What does the author mean by: “There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.” Why did the people of Maycomb have “no money”? It was the depression and people didn’t have money to do anything and so many people were out of a job so there was no hurry.
What happened to the narrator’s mother? How did her death affect the narrator? How did it affect Jem? She died. Scout wasn’t really effected because she was so young. He misses his mom and sometimes gets depressed.
Describe Dill. Why has he come to Maycomb? What does Dill claim to have done with the “beautiful child” money? He is a small kid with a big personality. He is shipped off to his Aunt Rachel Haverford’s every summer. He went to the movie everyday with the money.
Explain how the children spend their summer. What do they do for fun? They spend it playing and trying to get Boo Radley out of his house
Give 3 examples of rumors about the Radley house and its inhabitants. Boo Radley peeped in windows, froze people’s azela bushes, killed animals-Radley pecans would kill you-Mr. Radley “bought cotton”-Boo experimented with stumphole whiskey (moonshine)
What did Arthur Radley and the other boys do that got them in trouble? Why was Arthur locked in the Radley house? Locked a police officer in an outhouse. His punishment instead of going to a boy’s home was to be locked in his house.
Describe Miss Stephanie Crawford. Town gossip
Describe Boo Radley, according to Jem’s description. Six and half feet tall, dined on raw squirrel and cat, hands were blood stained, long jagged scare across his face, yellow and missing teeth, bug eyed, drooled most of the time.
Who took Mr. Radley’s place at the Radley residence when “Mr. Radley went under” (died)? Mr. Nathan
Dill and Jem make a bet at the end of this chapter. What is their deal? What does Jem do to win the bet? If Jem goes and touches the Radley house, Dill won’t say he ran out on a dare. Jem touches the Radley house.
**************Chapter 2*********Describe Miss Caroline. Where is she from? Why does this make her first day as a teacher even more difficult? She is a first year teacher from Winston County in North Alabama. People in Maycomb see her as strange because where she is from.
Explain Jem and Scout’s interpretation of the “Dewey Decimal teaching system” that Miss Caroline uses. You don’t have to learn from books, but rather, learn about cows by going and milking them; according to Scout, it consists of Miss Caroline holding up cards with two words “cat,” “the,” and “ran”
Scout gets in trouble twice on the first day of school. What does she do to get in trouble? She can read and she tells the teacher about the Cunninghams.
Why won’t Walter Cunningham take Miss Caroline’s money? His family doesn’t take handouts.
What do the Cunninghams do when they cannot pay for a service? They provide a service
How do the people of Maycomb “seal” contracts and deals? Spit on their hands and shake
What happens to Scout when she tells Miss Caroline about the Cunningham family? She gets spanked and has to stand in the corner.
*************Chapter 3************Why does Scout beat up Walter in the school yard before lunch? He was making fun of Atticus
How does Walter claim he almost died his first year of school? eating Mr. Radley’s pecans
Why has Walter been unable to pass the first grade? He can’t go to school because he has to help on the family farm.
What does Walter do at dinner (our version of lunch) that surprises Scout? He puts molasses (syrup) all over his food
What does Calpurnia tell Scout as a result of her outburst? Doesn’t matter a person’s background, you treat them well.
What do the kids first think causes Miss Caroline to scream? What is the real reason she screams? A mouse. A lice (cootie).
Why do you think the Ewell children only come to school on the first day? What do you think is the reason many Maycomb children need to stay at home for the rest of the year? So they don’t get in trouble with the law but no one cares about them at home. Poor kids had to work on the farm (field age).
How does Burris Ewell treat Miss Caroline? Be specific. She asks him to go home and take care of the lice and take a bath. He tells her that she can’t tell him what to do. He then tells her (when he is far enough not to get in trouble) she is a “snot nose slut of a school teacher”.
What is Atticus’s solution when Scout tells him that she doesn’t want to go back to school? They make a compromise. He will continue to read to her every night and she will go back to school.
What do we learn about the Ewell family from Scout and Atticus’s conversation? Bob Ewell is a drunk that spends all of his government assistance on whiskey and leaves his kids hungry. He is allowed to hunt out of season so the kids have a chance at getting fed. They kids have to take care of themselves and live in filth. They are allowed special treatment because of their lack of parenting.
*******chapter 4**********What treasures do Scout and Jem find in the knothole of the tree? Chewing Gum, Indian Head Pennies
How does Scout end up in the yard in front of the Radley house? She was rolling in a tire
What new game do the kids create? How is it played? Boo Radley-They each take roles and pretend to be members of the Radley family.
What do we learn about the children’s belief in superstitions in this chapter? Explain their behavior.
Scout says that Atticus’s return was the second reason she wanted to quit playing. What was the first reason?
Describe Miss Maudie. She is a neighbor to the Finches. She is widowed and was childhood friends with Atticus and his brother, Jack. She is honest and straightforward and is kind to the children. She enjoys gardening and does so every day, but is also a proper Southern lady. She is the female equivalent to Atticus and is a positive role model for Scout.
What is a “foot-washing” Baptist, according to Miss Maudie? Footwashers believe anything that’s a pleasure is a sin
What does Miss Maudie mean by “sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of—oh, your father”? Why do you think Scout doesn’t understand Miss Maudie’s analogy? It is the intent of the person not the object that will determine if it is good or bad. The kids are too young to understand good/bad of people. They also don’t understand the goodness of their father yet.
What do you think Scout means when she tells Dill, “You act like you grew ten inches in the night”? You are acting very mature.
What is the plan to get Boo Radley to come out? How well does the plan work? Why? The kids are going to attach a note to a fishing pole and drop it in the window of the Radley House. The plan does not work, Atticus catches the kids.
Describe Mr. Avery. What do the kids wait for him to do every night? He is a little odd. He makes change in the collection plate at church and sits on his porch every night and sneezes (he’s allergic to something, but keeps going outside). One night the kids saw him urinating off the front porch and the stream was 10 feet long. They now are trying to see if he will do it again.
Why do they decide to wait until nightfall to peek into the Radley house? Nobody would be able to see them, Atticus would be engrossed in a book, and it was easier to see inside the house when it was dark outside.
What does Scout see in the Radley yard which frightens her?
How does Dill claim Jem lost his pants? In a game of strip poke
What does Jem do after he knows Atticus is asleep? Why does he do this? Goes back to get his pants. So he won’t lose Atticus’ trust
Why is Scout worried about him? Miss Stephanie said the next person that came back to the house would be shot by Mr. Nathan Radley.
What secret does Jem reveal to Scout? That his pants were folded and the hole was mended
What new treasures do the children find in the knothole? Twine, soap carvings, whole package of chewing gum, spelling bee medal, pocket watch, chain, aluminum knife
How does Scout feel about second grade? Provide a specific example to show how she feels about it.
What does Jem like best about six th grade? Egyptians
Who does Scout think has been leaving the treasures? Mr. Avery or Miss Crawford’s boyfriend
How do the kids express their appreciation? A thank you note
What do they see the next day? Why do you think Mr. Nathan Radley told the kids that the tree was dying? There is cement in the knothole of the tree. Mr. Radley was making excuses.
How does this incident affect Jem? He realizes how cruel Mr. Nathan is towards Boo. He understands what Boo’s life is like and also he is sad that the budding friendship has been put to an end.
Who died this winter? Mrs. Radley
Why does Scout think that the world is ending? On what does Mr. Avery blame this weather? It is snowing in Maycomb. /Bad children.
Why do the kids get in trouble for their snowman? How do they disguise it? How do they disguise it? It looks too much like Mr. Avery. They put a big hat and hedge-clippers on the snowman.
What does Scout worry about if the Finch house should catch fire? Dill’s Tom Swift book
Why were the firemen having such trouble putting out the fire?
What happens to Scout the night of the fire? Who witnesses this? Boo puts a blanket on her. /Atticus.
How does Miss Maudie react to the fire? What is she looking forward to? She is optimistic about it, she can build a smaller house with a larger garden.
Why does Scout get in a fight with Cecil Jacobs? He says Atticus defends black people.
Why does Atticus feel he needs to defend Tom Robinson? It is the right thing to do and nobody else will do the job.
What do you think Atticus means when he says, “Just because we were licked a hundred ears before we started is no reason for us to not try to win”? Do your best, even if you know you won’t be successful.
Where does the Finch family go every Christmas? Finch’s Landing
What do the children get for Christmas?
What problem does Aunt Alexandra have with the way Scout is growing up? How does she attempt to provide female influence? She feels that she doesn’t have a good female role model. / Telling Scout what to do, giving advice about clothing, etc.
Why does Scout get in a fight with Francis? What is the result? What is the result? Speaks ill of Atticus/She gets spanked by Uncle Jack without him hearing her side of the story.
Describe Scout’s relationship with Uncle Jack. He cares very deeply for her. It is a relationship similar to Atticus, but he can be more of a friend since he doesn’t have to parent.
Name five things we learn about Atticus in this chapter. How does Scout feel about her father at the beginning of this chapter? He was much older than the other parents, He wore glasses, was nearly blind in his left eye, he did not hunt, play poker, fish , drink, or smoke, he is the best shot in Maycomb County, great checker player, can play a Jew’s Harp/Both the kids are not impressed by their father.
According to Miss Maudie, why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird? They don’t do anything except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t do anything bad.
What does Miss Maudie teach Scout about her father? He can play the Jew’s Harp and checkers.
Who is Tim Johnson? What is wrong with him? He is a rabid dog.
Why does Mr. Tate give the rifle to Atticus, rather than shooting the dog himself? He will only have one shot and Atticus is the best shot in town.
Why do Jem and Scout now have a new appreciation for Atticus? They can brag about his shooting.
Describe Mrs. Dubose. She is a mean, nasty, racist widow that lives on the same street as the Finch family.
Why does Jem destroy Mrs. Dubose’s flower garden? Mrs. Dubose speaks ill of Atticus and Jem’s dead mother.
What does Atticus mean when he says, “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience—Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man”? It would not be in line with the teachings of Christianity, not to stand up for Tom Robinson.
What is Jem’s punishment for ruining the flower garden? He has to read to Mrs. Dubose.
Why is Mrs. Dubose so sick? She has become addicted to pain medication.
What does Atticus tell Jem was the one thing Mrs. Dubose wanted to do before she died? Overcome her drug habit.
What does Mrs. Dubose give Jem? A camellia bud
What is the reason Atticus wanted Jem to meet Mrs. Dubose? He wants Jem to see real strength and courage.
Why is Jem so “inconsistent and moody”? He is going through puberty.
Why wasn’t Dill able to come to Maycomb this summer? His mother remarried.
Describe Calpurnia’s church. How did the church get its name? How did the church get its name? It is a poor, all black protestant church. It is very much a family church. It is called First Purchase because it was the first thing purchased by freed slaves.
How do the people at Cal’s church treat the children? Overall, very well because they are Finch children. One woman was not happy about having them there.
Why doesn’t the church have hymn books? They can’t afford them and even if they could the majority of the congregation is illiterate.
Why is the church collecting ten dollars? To help Helen Robinson take care of her family.
Of what is Tom Robinson accused? Why won’t anyone hire his wife? Raping a white girl. / They won’t hire her because of the charges against Tom.
Who is Zeebo? What does he do at the church? Zeebo is Helen’s oldest son. He is the Music Superintendent.
How does Scout feel Calpurnia is different at her own church? She speaks differently.
Why has Aunt Alexandra come to Maycomb? To provide a “female influence” for Scout.
Describe Aunt Alexandra. Besides the fact that she once lived in Maycomb and she knows everyone, why does she fit in so well in Maycomb? Socially, she is like most of the women. She likes to gossip and pass judgment on the town’s people.
Give a brief description of how Maycomb was established. Why are so many people related to each other in some way?
Describe the premise of the “talk” Aunt Alexandra makes Atticus have with the children. According to Scout, why does the talk fail? Alexandra wants to make sure the kids now their social status in the town. / Atticus is a man and only women can have this conversation with children.
Why aren’t Atticus or Alexandra able to hear the children outside?
What does Scout hear after Jem tries dragging Scout to safety?
Describe Boo Radley.
How do you think Scout recognizes Boo Radley, even though she has never really seen him before?
Why does Atticus invite everyone to the front porch rather than the living room?
Who does Atticus think killed Bob Ewell?
How does Heck Tate say that Ewell was killed?
Why does Atticus argue with Tate about how Ewell was killed?
From where does Tate say he got the switchblade? Why do you think he has the switchblade?
What does Atticus finally realize?
To whom is Tate referring when he says, “…taking the man that has done you and this town a great service an’ draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight —to me, that’s a sin”?
What does this conversation between Atticus and the children reveal about their relationship as a family? They know each other very well.
How do the people of Maycomb begin to treat Atticus and the children? They treat them with hostility.
What is the premise of the argument between Atticus and Aunt Alexandra? What does Aunt Alexandra suggest? What is Atticus’s response? Alexandra doesn’t want Scout to spend time with Cal at her house./ Alexandra suggests that they let go of Cal. / Atticus refuses to even entertain the thought. Cal will be with the family until she wants to leave.
Where does Scout find Dill? Under the bed.
What does Dill claim is the reason he ran away from home? What is the real reason? He claims he was chain-up in the basement of his family’s house. / His family doesn’t really care about him.
Why do the men come to talk to Atticus at his house? To warn him of the possible lynching of Tom Robinson.
Jem says he’s “just got this feeling.” What do you think he is worried about? What do you think he is worried about? Something bad happening to Atticus.
Why do you think all the lights were off at the jailhouse except the one lamp Atticus brought from home? Everyone could see that Atticus was there in front of the entrance.
Why is Atticus sitting in the jailhouse? To protect Tom Robinson.
How do the men know that Mr. Tate won’t be coming to help Atticus? The group sent him and his officers on a false call across town.
Why do the men tell Atticus to leave? What do they want to do to Tom? They wanted to gain access to Tom. /They wanted to lynch Tom.
Who does Scout recognize? Why do the men finally leave? Mr. Walter Cunningham./ Scout shames them. She broke up “mob mentality”.
Who was “covering” Atticus the whole time? Mr. Underwood
How does Atticus show his affection towards Jem? Pats him on the head/ruffles his hair.
What does Atticus mean when he says that Mr. Cunningham has “blind spots”? Prejudices
Describe the atmosphere before the trial. Why are the blacks and whites separated? It was a gala occasion (like a party). The races are separated because of segregation and also because of their view of the trial.
Who is Dolphus Raymond? What do we learn about him and the way he lives his life? He is a man that has mixed race children.
Why don’t the Raymond children fit in?
Although Atticus has been appointed to defend Tom, the people of Maycomb are against it. Why? He is a black man accused of a crime against a white woman.
Who helps the kids find a seat in the courtroom? Where do they sit? Reverend Sykes / In the balcony
How is the arrangement of the courtroom then different from modern courtrooms today? It is not segregated today.
Why does Atticus ask whether anyone called for a doctor? Why is this important? if Mayella was truly raped, she would have certain injuries they did not seem to care weather she was really hurt
Describe Mayella’s injuries. her arms, throat and neck were bruised and she had a black eye
Where do the Ewells live? Describe their home and living conditions. behind the towns garbage dump in what was once a negro cabin very run down live in filth and unsanitary conditions with bugs
Why do you think the Ewells eat squirrel, possum, and rabbit? they are poor and Hungary because of the depression they cannot even buy decent food and the money they do get is spent by Mr. ewell on alcohol they eat what they can get
Summarize Bob Ewell’s interpretation of the incident. he says he heard Mayella screaming as he was coming from the woods with a load of kindling; he saw tom on her when he ran after tom, tom ran away and Ewell called Tate
Why does Atticus ask Ewell to write his name? to see which hand he wrote with to show that he was left handed
What do you think Jem realizes when he pounds the rail and says, “We’ve got him”? he realized that left handed people hit with their left which leaves a mark on the right eye they injured on Mayella
Why does Mayella think Atticus is mocking her? counting his chickens before they are hatched a saying the means he is drawing a conclusion to soon
What more do we learn about the Ewell family from Atticus’s cross examination? Mother is dead, there is 8 children, they don’t go to school
Describe the “incident,” according to Mayella’s testimony. She clams she asked Tom to break up a chriffarobe but he starts talking dirty to her and attacked her by beating her.
What is wrong with Tom Robinson’s left arm? How did it get this way? It is crippled and the left arm is 12 inches then his right arm, he got it cough in a cotton gin when he was a boy
Who does Atticus suggest actually beat up Mayella? Bob Ewell
Why does Atticus bring up the fact that Tom Robinson had been in trouble before? He wants everything to be open and no secrets
Who does Tom work for? What does he do for him? Mr.Link dies, he picked paeans and does odd jobs
How does Tom’s story immediately contradict Mayella’s testimony? Tom testifies that he broke up the chriffarobe, and that Tom had been on the propriety
How did Mayella get Tom to come inside the house? She said the door was off its hinges
How did Mayella get rid of the children that particular day? She gave them each a nickel to get ice cream
What did Mayella do to Tom, according to his testimony? After Mayella called for Tem to help with the door, she shut the door and heals him inside, telling him the children were
Why did Tom run away from the Ewell place? What was his predicament?
Who came to Tom’s defense in the courtroom? What did he say?
Why do you think Tom was so scared of being accused of hurting Mayella?
Why does Dill get so upset at Mr. Gilmer that it makes him sick?
Who do Dill and Scout meet outside? What do they learn about him? Why does he go through such trouble to pretend?
What does Atticus do that horrifies Scout and Jem?
What do you think Atticus means by, “This case is as simple as black and white”? What is the more significant meaning behind his claim?
How does Atticus explain that the case is not about Tom, but actually about Mayella and society?
What is the “lie” Atticus talks about? What is the reality that he is hoping the jury will see?
How does Atticus claim that we are not all created equal?
Ideally, in what realm is every citizen of the United States truly equal? How is this the “great leveler”?
Why does Calpurnia come to the courthouse?
Why do you think Atticus avoids answering Jem’s question, “Do you think they’ll acquit him that fast?”
Other than the fact that they didn’t know where the children were, why do you think Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra were so upset that the children were watching the trial?
About how long does it take for the jury to come up with their verdict?
How does Scout know the verdict before it is announced?
What is Jem’s reaction to the verdict?
What does Atticus mean when he says, “They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it—seems that only children weep”?
How does the black community show its appreciation for what Atticus did?
Why does Miss Maudie believe that appointing Atticus was no accident?
What did Bob Ewell do and say to Atticus?
How does Miss Stephanie embellish what happened to Atticus?
Why does Atticus defend Bob’s actions to Jem? What is Atticus’s hope?
What does Aunt Alexandra mean when she says that Ewell could do “something furtive” to Atticus?
Why was Tom given a death sentence?
What are Jem’s suggestions for change in the court system and laws?
Why did Atticus put a Cunningham on the jury?
Why does Aunt Alexandra object to Scout inviting Walter Cunningham to the house?
How does Jem try to make Scout feel better after her conversation with Aunt Alexandra?
According to Jem, who are the “four kinds of folks” in Maycomb? Explain how this theory works. Why are the Finches at the top of this “chain”?
What is the reason Boo Radley doesn’t come out of his house, according to Jem? What does he mean by this?
Briefly describe the women of Maycomb.
How does the author reveal the fact that these women are hypocrites?
To whom might Miss Merriweather be referring when she says that there are some “good but misguided people in this town”?
What does Miss Maudie mean when she says, “His food doesn’t stick going down, does it?”
Why does Scout like men better than women?
What news does Atticus bring to Alexandra and Calpurnia? Explain what happened.
What does Miss Maudie mean when she says that the town is “paying the highest tribute” to Atticus?
Why do Aunt Alexandra and Scout pretend that nothing is wrong when they return to the ladies?
Why won’t Jem let Scout kill the roly-poly?
How did Tom’s wife react to the news of Tom’s death, according to Dill?
What is Maycomb’s reaction to Tom’s death?
What is Mr. Underwood’s editorial about? Why does he claim it was a “senseless killing”?
What is Cecil’s current event about?
What does Scout picture will happen when she finally sees Boo Radley?
What is ironic about the discussion concerning Hitler’s persecution of Jews in Scout’s class?
How does Jem react when Scout tells him about overhearing Miss Gates at the courthouse?
Why do you think he reacts this way?
What happened to Mr. Ewell that October?
What happens to Judge Taylor?
How does Mr. Link Deas help Helen Robinson?
What happened on Halloween night last year to Misses Tutti and Frutti?
What is Scout’s Halloween costume this year? Why?
The last sentence, “Thus began our long journey together” is a bit of foreshadowing. Predict what you think might happen this Halloween night.
Describe the weather at the beginning of the chapter. How might the weather contribute to the mood of the story?
Who jumps out and scares Jem and Scout?
How does Scout “ruin” Miss Merriweather’s pageant?
Why are Jem and Scout the last ones to leave the party?
Why does Scout want to go back to the school?
What saves Scout from being badly injured during the attack?
What happens to Bob Ewell?

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