To Kill a Mockingbird

Part 1
Ch. 1 pg. 3
Ch. 2 pg. 20
Ch. 3 pg. 30 - pg. 39 "walk around in their skin..."
Ch. 4 pg. 43
Ch. 5 pg. 55
Ch. 6 pg. 67
Ch. 7 pg. 77
Ch. 8 pg. 85
Ch. 9 pg. 99
Ch. 10 pg. 118 - pg.119 - sin to kill a mockingbird
Ch. 11 pg. 132
Part 2
Ch. 12 pg. 153
Ch. 13 pg. 169
Ch. 14 pg. 180
Ch. 15 pg. 193
Ch. 16 pg. 208
Ch. 17 pg. 222
Ch. 18 pg. 239
Ch. 17 pg. 222
Ch. 18 pg. 239
Ch. 19 pg. 254
Ch. 20 pg. 267

Ch. 21 pg. 276
Ch. 22 pg. 284
Ch. 23 pg. 291
Ch. 24 pg. 305
Ch. 25 pg. 319
Ch. 26 pg. 324
Ch. 27 pg. 332
Ch. 28 pg. 341
Ch. 29 pg. 358
Ch. 30 pg. 371 pg. 372 - walk Boo home, pg. 373 - regret

Chapter One
The story begins at the end. We do not know how Jem breaks his arm until the very close of the story, though it is mentioned casually here. The narrator, as yet unidentified, in discussing with Jem how this happened, finds a starting point in the past: Dill’s arrival and “the idea of making Boo Radley come out.” There is a reference to the history of the south (the southern states of the USA), the Finches’ origins in England, and their arrival in Alabama. Atticus Finch is related to nearly everyone in Maycomb.
The summer heat is described, plus an echo of President Roosevelt’s recent inauguration speech, delivered in March 1933. He famously said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Much of the book is about “fear.”
The family is looked after by Calpurnia, a very strict cook/nurse. The mother died before our narrator could remember her.
The arrival of Dill, when the children are 6 and nearly 10, marks the real start of the story. We now learn that the narrator is a girl, Jem’s younger sister known as Scout. Dill is staying with his aunt and provides new ideas for games for the children. When he hears about the reclusive Radley family, whose mysterious house is nearby, containing (it is thought) Arthur “Boo” Radley, who has barely been seen for 15 years, Dill finds the challenge irresistible. Jem is rather frightened but doesn’t want to show it.
We learn about the sad history of the Radley family, and though all Jem does is slap their wall, there is “a tiny, almost invisible movement.” First contact!
Chapter Two
Dill goes home and Scout goes to school for the first time. The new teacher finds Scout’s mature reading skills irritating. Some of the children are so poor they have no shoes or food. This is the first mention of the Cunningham family.
Chapter Three
Scout fights Walter Cunningham, but Jem breaks it up and Walter is invited to lunch at the Finches. Scout draws attention to his lack of table manners and is told off by Calpurnia. Atticus reminds Scout how much they depend on their cook. Back at school Miss Fisher, the teacher, is horrified to see a head louse on the scalp of Burris Ewell – the first mention of this family. Burris’ verbal abuse of Miss Fisher foreshadows the behavior of the Ewells later in the story. Scout has not enjoyed her first day. Atticus explains that she must compromise: “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” From such empathy will come tolerance, he argues.
Chapter Four
Scout finds chewing gum in a tree near the Radley house. It’s the second summer of the story. They find more “gifts” in the tree. Jem begins to guess these are connected with Boo. With Dill’s arrival they play more games. Scout is pushed inside a tyre and finds herself at the foot of the Radley house. She does not tell them that she hears laughter inside the house, and that she’s sure Boo is there. They play the “Radley game”, enacting episodes from Boo’s life. Atticus is not pleased by this.
Chapter Five
Scout talks to Miss Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor and old friend of Atticus. She shares similar beliefs, rejecting the strict Bible interpretations of some of Maycomb’s residents. She describes the Radleys as living in “a sad house”, implying that if Boo is “crazy,” his family has made him that way.
The children try to put a message through Boo’s window. Atticus warns them to “stop tormenting that man.”
Chapter Six
The children come closer to Boo than ever. In darkness they see him as a shadow: “Its arm came out from its side, dropped, and was still.” This gesture of Boo will not be completed until the very last chapter of the book.
A shotgun blast interrupts their adventure. The elder Mr Radley fired at a “negro”-highlighting the casual racism of many of Maycomb’s white inhabitants. Even the children use the word “nigger”. Jem has lost his trousers on Boo’s fence. He horrifies Scout by going back in the dark to fetch them.
Chapter Seven
Jem tells Scout that when he located his trousers, “They’d been sewed up. Not like a lady sewed ‘em...Like somebody was readin’ my mind.” They find more gifts from Boo, this time two small soap statues of the children. Jem has realized the truth but Scout, four years younger, doesn’t...yet. They find that the older Mr Radley has filled up the hole in the tree with cement – cutting off Boo’s channel of communication with the children –reminding us what Miss Maudie said of the family.
Chapter Eight
It snows in Maycomb, for the first time since 1885! Scout thinks “the world’s ending.” They make a snowman. In the night temperatures drop further. People keep their wood fires burning and Miss Maudie’s house catches alight. The children stand by the Radley place, watching. Scout discovers she has been draped with a blanket for warmth, and it was Boo who put it round her! In the excitement Jem blurts out to Atticus what he’s discovered about Boo: “...ain’t ever hurt us.” Miss Maudie’s values are shown by her indifference to the fate of her house.
Chapter Nine
Tom Robinson is mentioned for the first time. Scout is persecuted at school because her father is defending “niggers”. Atticus, knowing the children are in for a hard time, explains to Scout that if he didn’t defend Tom, “I couldn’t hold up my head in town.” Scout restrains herself at school but finds it impossible not to retaliate on her cousin Francis, when they visit Atticus’s sister [Aunt Alexandra] for Christmas. Scout shows her maturity by insisting that her uncle Jack keep quiet about the causes of the fight. She does not want to put more pressure on her father. She overhears Atticus discussing the Tom Robinson case. He knows he can’t win. It’s “a black man’s word against the Ewells’...I intend to jar the jury a bit.” Many years later Scout realizes that Atticus meant her to hear this.
Chapter Ten
Because he won’t play “touch football” the children think their father is dull. They learn why he won’t play when a rabid dog appears in the street. Everybody locks themselves away until the sheriff appears. He is a professional, but he asks Atticus to take the shot. The children are astonished to learn that their father is a crack-shot: “One-Shot Finch.” They can’t understand why their father has never drawn attention to this skill, which they could boast about at school. Miss Maudie explains that shooting was too easy for him and “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” Jem appreciates this.
Chapter Eleven
The children are terrified of an old woman – Mrs Dubose. She is rumored to keep a C.S.A. pistol under her shawl. C.S.A. stands for Confederate States of America- the slave-owning side in the American Civil War. She harasses the children about their father “lawing for niggers!” Atticus tells them they should respect her because she is old and ill, and Scout admires this bravery in her father. On the day of his 12th birthday Jem’s patience snaps, particularly as Mrs Dubose refers to their mother, whose memory Jem cherishes. He smashes all the flowers in her garden. Atticus orders him to go and apologize. He explains again to Scout why he must take the Tom Robinson case, however unpopular it makes him.
Jem returns from Mrs Dubose and his punishment is to read to her every day after school. Scout, out of loyalty, goes with him. Mrs Dubose is physically repellent and they don’t understand why they seem to read to her for longer and longer each day, until her clock alarm goes off. The punishment ends and some weeks later Mrs Dubose dies. Atticus explains to them that they had helped cure her morphine addiction: “Her whole mind and body were concentrated on that alarm clock.” He had wanted them to see “what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.”

Chapter Twelve

Jem is 12 now; Calpurnia calls him Mister Jem. Another summer, but no Dill – his mother has re-married. Atticus, who is an elected Maycomb official, has to be away at the state capital for two weeks, leaving the children with Calpurnia. She takes them to her church, normally only attended by black people, which was bought “from the first earnings of freed slaves.” The children are amazed at the service. Only Zeebo (Calpurnia’s son) can read, and “voices followed him in simple harmony.” The congregation, despite their poverty, collect all they can for Tom Robinson’s wife, and the Reverend tells the children that “this church has no better friend than your daddy.” For the first time they hear that Tom is accused of raping a white girl.
This is the first glimpse we’ve had of Maycomb’s black community, through the eyes of children who don’t share “Maycomb’s usual disease” of racial prejudice.
Chapter Thirteen
Returning home, they are dismayed to discover Aunt Alexandra in their house – and not for a short stay. Her view of the family’s history conflicts with the stories Atticus has told them about some of their ancestors. They fear her influence over their father, but the chapter ends with Scout reassured.
Chapter Fourteen
The children hear mutterings in town about their father’s defence of Tom Robinson. Their aunt forbids them to go to Calpurnia’s church again and this leads to an argument with Atticus. They find Dill under Scout’s bed: he has run away from home: “...they just wasn’t interested in me,” he says of his parents. This shows his similarity to Boo Radley.
Chapter Fifteen
Scout’s observation, “a nightmare was upon us,” marks the central phase of the novel, revolving around the trial of Tom Robinson. The children are nervous and when Atticus is late home they go to look for him. Atticus is sitting outside the town jail, guarding its only prisoner – Tom Robinson. The people of Maycomb have come, to lynch Tom [i.e. execute him illegally]. When he sees the children Atticus is very frightened. Scout, innocently recognizes one of the mob (a Cunningham) as a parent of a school friend, which saves the day by reminding the men that they, like Tom, are parents too.
Chapter Sixteen
Atticus sees this as a triumph of empathy (see Ch. 3). He says, “a mob’s made up of people, no matter what. Mr Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man.” It took an 8 year old to bring them to their senses which “...proves something –that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human.” This philosophy will be tested as the book goes on.
People from out of town begin to arrive for the trial. Miss Maudie remarks, “it’s like a Roman carnival.” A matter of life and death is entertainment for many. The children discuss the racial attitudes common in the southern states, and they hear their father being talked about. Many are appalled that Atticus actually “aims to defend this nigger.” The courtroom is segregated and the children find themselves sat in the “Colored balcony.”
Chapter Seventeen
The trial begins. It’s immediately obvious that Tom has no case to answer because there was never a medical examination of the alleged victim, Mayella Ewell, to determine if she’d been raped. The sheriff, Heck Tate, knows that a mistake was made. Atticus also proves that she was more likely to have been beaten by a left-handed person. When Mr Ewell (named Robert E. Lee Ewell after a Confederate general) takes the stand, he expects his story to be believed and does not anticipate a cross-examination. Atticus shows the jury that Mr Ewell is left-handed.
Chapter Eighteen
The next witness is Mayella, the supposed victim. After she has recounted her story, Atticus paints a picture of her to the jury as a hapless, exploited member of the Ewell clan, often beaten by her drunken father. When we see that Tom Robinson has a crippled left arm, Mayella’s whole testimony is questioned, and she refuses to answer any longer, bursting into tears.
Chapter Nineteen
Tom himself takes the stand. His story is very different to the previous two witnesses. Scout sees a connection between Mayella and Boo, a young woman so lonely that she tried to tempt a black man, who had been kind to her. Tom’s testimony also reveals that Mayella was probably sexually abused by her own father. Dill is so sickened by the prosecutor’s questioning of Tom that Scout has to take him out of the courtroom.
Chapter Twenty
Outside the court we meet Dolphus Raymond, a man who pretends to be a drunkard to make it easier for people to accept that he lives with a black woman! Back at the trial Atticus is summing up. He unbuttons his jacket and waistcoat to speak to them man-to-man- the jury are all men, and all white. He asserts that Mayella made up the rape accusation to cover her own “unspeakable” sin, of being attracted to a black man. He pleads with them to show that “in our courts all men are created equal,” echoing the words of the American Constitution.
Chapter Twenty One
Calpurnia interrupts the trial looking for the children who aren’t supposed to be there. We are aware that the whole trial will be over in just a day. Jem is convinced that Tom will be found not guilty, but Rev. Sykes says: “I ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man.” Sure enough when the jury returns they find Tom guilty. As Atticus leaves the court, those in the black balcony rise, as a mark of respect for all he’s done.
Chapter Twenty Two
Next morning Atticus discovers huge amounts of food left for him by the black community. He is moved to tears, knowing how little they have. Miss Maudie tells the children there are also white people who are on Tom’s side. She calls it “a baby-step,” in the right direction, reminding us that when Harper Lee wrote the novel, the Civil Rights movement in America was just becoming prominent. When Bob Ewell spits in Atticus’s face we realize the story is far from over.
Chapter Twenty Three
Rape is a capital offense in Alabama. Unless there’s a successful appeal, Tom will be executed in the electric chair. Atticus prophesies that “it’s all adding up and one of these days we’re going to have to pay the bill.” he takes some comfort from the fact that one of the jurors was doubtful of Tom’s guilt, even though he had been in the lynch mob the day before. Jem reminds us of Boo Radley, who’s been absent from the story for some time. He suggests that Boo prefers to be shut away from such a cruel world.
Chapter Twenty Four
Aunt Alexandra’s missionary circle assemble at Scout’s house. She struggles with their conception of what it means to be feminine. The good ladies of Maycomb cannot see the hypocrisy of their attitude to the black people suffering under their noses, while they give money for missions in Africa. Reality intrudes when Atticus tells them that Tom Robinson has been shot dead. He says: “I guess Tom was tired of white men’s chances and preferred to take his own.”
Chapter Twenty Five
Tom’s wife, Helen, faints when she hears the news. The local paper’s write that it was “a sin to kill cripples...” They likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds – reminding us of the novel’s title, and “Mr Ewell said it made one down and two more to go.”
Chapter Twenty Six
Another autumn, another school year. The children recall their fascination with Boo. We are reminded of racism elsewhere, when a school talk mentions Hitler, who’s been in power in Germany for two years. Scout points out the hypocrisy of Miss Gates, the teacher who proclaims the virtues of democracy, while saying “they [black people] were gettin’ way above themselves.”
Chapter Twenty Seven
There are signs that Bob Ewell, despite Tom’s death, is not satisfied. He follows Helen Robinson, “crooning foul words.” Atticus underestimates the threat - a near fatal error. It’s Halloween – when ghosts traditionally appear. Scout goes to the school fete, dressed as a ham! Only Jem accompanies her.
Chapter Twenty Eight
Because of her costume Scout can barely see. She falls asleep, misses her cue and is too embarrassed to leave with everyone else. Jem leads her back in the dark. He soon realizes they’re being followed. Someone attacks them with a knife and Jem’s arm is broken (see Ch. 1). Scout realizes that someone else has saved them and carried the unconscious Jem to the house. The sheriff tells them Bob Ewell is dead –stabbed “with a kitchen knife.” Scout does not recognize the “countryman...standing in a corner.”
Chapter Twenty Nine
Atticus assumes Jem has stabbed Bob Ewell. Scout’s costume saved her. The sheriff, Heck Tate, takes a dimmer, more realistic view of human nature than Atticus. When Scout tells her story, she realizes that the stranger who saved them is the person she has been wanting to see all this time but has failed to recognize –Boo Radley.
Chapter Thirty
The sheriff, knowing Boo’s mental state, is determined, despite Atticus’s objection, to pretend Ewell’s death was an accident, thus evening up the score. “There’s a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it is dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time.” Scout understands. She says “it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mocking-bird, wouldn’t it?”
Chapter Thirty One
Scout takes Boo to see the sleeping Jem, and, touching his hair, Boo completes the gesture he began in Chapter 6. She takes Boo home and, realizing he will always be a damaged person, knows that she will never see him again. Scout’s mind runs images from the story: the children’s games, the shooting of the dog, the trial. She sees these events from Boo’s house, standing in his shoes, as Atticus recommended. She sees herself, Jem and Dill as Boo’s children. The book ends, as Atticus reads to the sleepy Scout, with an image of security.

Chapter 1
1. What do you learn in this chapter about Maycomb, Atticus Finch and his family?
2. What do you learn about Dill's character?
3. What, briefly, has happened to Arthur “Boo” Radley?
4. Why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem and Dill?
5. What do you notice about the narrative voice and viewpoint in the novel?

Chapter 2
1. Why is Scout so looking forward to starting school?
2. Why does Jem not want anything to do with Scout at school? Is his behavior typical of an older child?
3. What do you think of Miss Caroline Fisher as a teacher?

Chapter 3
1. Who is Calpurnia? What is her place in the Finch household?
2. What is Walter Cunningham like? What does his behavior during lunch suggest about his home life?
3. What do you think of the way Atticus treats Walter?
4. Does Scout learn anything from Walter's visit? What do you think this is?
5. Atticus says that you never really understand a person “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” What does this mean? Is it an easy thing for Scout to learn?
6. What do you learn in this chapter about the Ewells?

Chapter 4
1. What does Scout think of current fashions in education?
2. What superstitions do the children have in connection with the Radley house?
3. Why do the children make Boo's story into a game? What do they do in this game? Do you think the game is an accurate version of what happens in the Radleys' home?
4. What might be the cause of the laughter from inside the house?

Chapter 5
1. Describe Miss Maudie Atkinson? How typical is she of Maycomb's women? What do the children think of her?
2. What does Miss Maudie tell Scout about Boo? How does this compare with what Scout already believes?
3. Scout claims that “Dill could tell the biggest ones ” (lies) she ever heard. Why might Dill have told such lies?
4. What reasons does Atticus give for the children not to play the Boo Radley game? Do you think he is right? Why?

Chapter 6
1. Why does Scout disapprove of Jem's and Dill's plan of looking in at one of the Radleys' windows?
2. What does Mr. Nathan Radley know about the intruders in his garden? Why does Miss Stephanie refer to a “negro” over whose head Mr. Nathan has fired?
3. Why does Dill's explanation of Jem's state of dress almost land him in trouble?

Chapter 7
1. When Jem tells Scout about getting his trousers back, he tells her of something strange. What is this?
2. Can you find any evidence that Jem is beginning to understand more than Scout about Boo Radley? What do you think this is?
3. Does Jem still fear the gifts in the tree? Give reasons for your answer.
4. When the children plan to send a letter to the person who leaves the gifts, they are prevented. How does this happen? Who does it, and why might he do so?

Chapter 8
1. Why does Scout quiz Atticus about his visit to the Radley house? How much does Atticus tell her?
2. What is the “near libel” which Jem puts in the front yard? How do Miss Maudie and Atticus react to it?
3. Why does Atticus save Miss Maudie's oak rocking chair?
4. When Atticus asks Scout about the blanket around her shoulders, what does Jem realize? He realizes that he has no idea how it got there either. He then realizes that it was Boo Radley and is a little upset that he didn't get to see him, if only he had turned around.
5. Explain what Atticus means by telling Jem not to let his discovery “inspire ” him to “further glory”? Is there any reason why Jem might now do as his father says? I think Jem is finally starting to realize that Boo deserves his respect as much as anyone else and is figuring out more and more about Boo and that he actually seems like and extremely caring person.

Chapter 9
1. How well does Atticus feel he should defend Tom Robinson? Is it usual for (white) lawyers to do their best for black clients in Alabama at this time?
2. Scout and Jem have “mixed feelings” about Christmas? What are these feelings and why?
3. Uncle Jack Finch tells Scout that she is growing out of her pants. What does this mean and why might he say it?
4. When Francis talks to Scout he reveals an unpleasant feature of Aunt Alexandra. What is this?
5. Does Scout learn anything from overhearing Atticus's conversation with Uncle Jack? What might this be?
6. Read the final sentence of this chapter. Explain in your own words what it means and why it might be important in the story.

Chapter 10
1. Scout says that “Atticus was feeble”. Do you think that this is her view as she tells the story or her view when she was younger? Does she still think this after the events recorded in this chapter?
2. In this chapter Atticus tells his children that “it's a sin to kill a mockingbird”. What reason does he give for saying this?
3. Why does Heck Tate not want to shoot Tim Johnson?
4. Jem and Scout have different views about telling people at school how well Atticus can shoot. Explain this difference. Which view is closer to your own?

Chapter 11
1. How does Atticus advise Jem to react to Mrs. Dubose's taunts?
2. What does Mrs. Dubose say about the children's mother? How does Jem feel about this?
3. What request does Mrs. Dubose make of Jem? Is this a fair punishment for his “crime”?
4. Explain in your own words what Atticus thinks of insults like “nigger-lover”. How far do you agree with him?
5. Why, in Atticus's view, was Mrs. Dubose “a great lady”?
6. Atticus says that Mrs. Dubose is a model of real courage rather than “a man with a gun in his hand.” What does he mean? Do you think he is right?
7. Chapters ten and eleven are the last two chapters in the first part of the book. Explain why Harper Lee chooses to end the first part here.

Chapter 12
1. Comment on Jem's and Scout's visit to First Purchase church. At first Jem and 2. What new things does Scout learn here about how the black people live? 3. What does Scout learn from Calpurnia's account of Zeebo's education?4. Explain why Calpurnia speaks differently in the Finch household, and among her neighbors at church.

Chapter 13
1. Why does Aunt Alexandra come to stay with Atticus and his family? What is she like?
2. Read the first two things Aunt Alexandra says when she comes to the Finch home: "Put my bag in the front bedroom, Calpurnia" and "Jean Louise, stop scratching your head". Are these typical of her or not?
3. Alexandra thinks Scout is “dull” (not clever). Why does she think this, and is she right? Are all adults good at knowing how clever young people are? 4. How does Aunt Alexandra involve herself in Maycomb's social life?
5. Comment on Aunt Alexandra's ideas about breeding and family. Why does
Chapter 14
1. Comment on Atticus's explanation of rape. How suitable is this as an answer to Scout.
2. Why does Alexandra think Atticus should dismiss Calpurnia? How does Atticus respond to the suggestion? 3. Why is Scout pleased when Jem fights her back? Why is she less pleased when he tells Atticus about Dill? 4. What do we learn from Dill's account of his running away?

Chapter 15
1. What is the “nightmare” that now descends upon the children? 2. What was (and is) the Ku Klux Klan? What do you think of Atticus's comment “The Ku Klux's gone. It'll never come back."
3. How does Jem react when Atticus tells him to go home, and why? 4. What persuades the lynching-party to give up their attempt on Tom's life? 5. Comment on the way Scout affects events without realizing it at the time.

Chapter 16
1. What “subtle change” does Scout notice in her father?
2. What sort of person is Dolphus Raymond?
3. How does Reverend Sykes help the children see and hear the trial? Is he right to do?
4. Comment on Judge Taylor's attitude to his job. Does he take the trial seriously or not?

Chapter 17
1. What are the main points in Heck Tate's evidence? What does Atticus show in his asking questions of a witness who has given evidence for the other side of Sheriff Tate?
2. What do we learn indirectly of the home life of the Ewell family in this chapter?
3. What do you learn from Bob Ewell's evidence?
4. Why does Atticus ask Bob Ewell to write out his name? What does the jury see when he does this?

Chapter 18
1. Is Mayella like her father or different from him? In what ways?
2. What might be the reason for Mayella's crying in the court?
3. How does Mayella react to Atticus's politeness? Is she used to people being polite?
4. How well does Mr. Gilmer prove Tom's guilt in the eyes of the reader (you) and in the eyes of the jury?

Chapter 19
1. What made Tom visit the Ewell's house in the first place?
2. Why does Scout think that Mayella Ewell was “the loneliest person in the world”?
3. In your own words explain Mayella's relationship with her father.
4. How does Dill react to this part of the trial? Why is this, in your opinion?

Chapter 20
1. Scout says that “Mr. Dolphus Raymond was an evil man”. Is she right?
2. In most states of the USA people who drink alcohol in public places are required to hide their bottle in a paper bag. Why does Dolphus Raymond hide Coca-Cola in a bag?
3. What, according to Atticus, is the thing that Mayella has done wrong? Explain, in your own words, Atticus's views on people's being equal.

Chapter 21
1. What does Jem expect the verdict to be? Does Atticus think the same?
2. What is unusual about how long it takes the jury to reach a verdict?
3. As Scout waits for the verdict, she thinks of earlier events. What are these and how do they remind us of the novel's central themes?

Chapter 22
1. Although Atticus did not want his children in court, he defends Jem's right to know what has happened. Explain, in your own words, Atticus's reasons for this. (Look at the speech beginning, “This is their home, sister”.)
2. Miss Maudie tells Jem that “things are never as bad as they seem”. What reasons does she give for this view?
3. Why does Dill say that he will be a clown when he grows up? Do you think he would keep this ambition for long?
4. This story is set in the 1930s but was published in 1960. Have attitudes to racism remained the same (in the USA and the UK) or have there been any changes (for the better or worse) since then, in your view?
5. Why does Bob Ewell feel so angry with Atticus? Do you think his threat is a real one, and how might he try to “get” Atticus?

Chapter 23
1. What do you think of Atticus's reaction to Bob Ewell's challenge? Should he have ignored Bob, retaliated or done something else?
2. What is “circumstantial evidence”? What has it got to do with Tom's conviction?
3. What does Atticus tell Scout about why the jury took so long to convict Tom?
4. Why does Aunt Alexandra accept that the Cunninghams may be good but are not “our kind of folks”? Do you think that people should mix only with others of the same social class? Are class-divisions good or bad for societies?
5. At the end of this chapter, Jem forms a new theory about why Boo Radley has never left his house in years. What is this? How likely is it to be true, in your opinion?
Chapter 24
1. Do you think the missionary ladies are sincere in worrying about the “Mrunas” (a tribe in Africa)? Give reasons for your answer. 2. Compare the reactions of Miss Maudie and the other ladies when Scout says she is wearing her “britches” under her dress.
3. What is your opinion of the Maycomb ladies, as depicted in this chapter?
4. Explain briefly how Tom was killed. What is Atticus's explanation for Tom's attempted escape. Do you think agree with Atticus?How, in this chapter, do we see Aunt Alexandra in a new light? How does Miss Maudie support her?

Chapter 25
1. How does Maycomb react to the news of Tom's death?
2. Comment on the idea that Tom's death was “typical”?
3. Explain the contrast Scout draws between the court where Tom was tried and “the secret courts of men's hearts”. In what way are hearts like courts?
Why did Jem not want Scout to tell Atticus about Bob Ewell's ("One down and about two more to go")? Was this a wise thing to ask her to do?

Chapter 26
1. In her lesson on Hitler, Miss Gates says that “we (American people) don't believe in persecuting anyone”. What seems odd to the reader about this claim? 2. Why is Scout puzzled by Miss Gates' disapproval of Hitler?
3. Why does Scout's question upset Jem? Is there a simple answer, or any answer, to the question (“How can you hate Hitler an’ then turn around an be ugly about folks right at home?"

Chapter 27
1. What three things does Bob Ewell do that alarm Aunt Alexandra?
2. Why, according to Atticus, does Bob Ewell bear a grudge? Which people does Ewell see as his enemies, and why?
3. What was the purpose of the Halloween pageant? What practical joke had persuaded the grown ups to have an organized event?

Chapter 28
1. Comment on the way this chapter reminds the reader of earlier events in the novel.
2. Why does Jem say that Boo Radley must not be at home? What is ironic about this? (Is it true? Does he really mean it? Why might it be important for him and Scout that Boo should not be at home?)
3. Scout decides to keep her costume on while walking home. How does this affect her understanding of what happens on the way?
4. Why had Atticus not brought a chair for the man in the corner?

Chapter 29
1. What causes the “shiny clean line” on the otherwise “dull wire” of Scout's costume?
2. What explanation does Atticus give for Bob Ewell's attack?
3. What does Heck Tate give as the reason for the attack?
4. Do you think the sheriff's explanation or Atticus's is the more likely to be true?

Chapter 30
1. Who does Atticus think caused Bob Ewell's death?
2. Why does Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell's death was self-inflicted? In what way is this partly true?
3. Is Heck Tate right to spare Boo the publicity of an inquest? Give reasons for your answer.
4. How does the writer handle the appearance, at the end of the story, of Boo Radley?

Chapter 31
1. How do the events of the final chapters explain the first sentence in the whole novel?
2. Comment on the way the writer summarizes earlier events to show their significance.
3. How does Scout make sense of an earlier remark of Atticus's as she stands on the Radley porch?
4. How much of a surprise is it to find what Boo Radley is really like? Has the story before this point prepared the reader for this discovery?
5. At the end of the novel, Atticus reads to Scout. Comment on his choice of story. Does it have any connection with themes earlier in the novel and in its ending?


1. The Radley place undergoes a change in the course of the novel. At the beginning, we are told, “Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom” (Chapter 1). By the end, Scout fearlessly walks Boo up to his front porch. What change has taken place in Scout that allows her to walk with Boo?

2. At the novel’s end, Scout says of Boo Radley, “…neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad” (Chapter 31). Is Scout right, that they gave nothing in return? Does this comment come from the adult-Scout narrator or the child-Scout narrator?

3. What is the significance of the the title of the novel? In what ways do we see the killing of mockingbirds?