To Kill a Mockingbird Study Questions
- The story takes place in 1930s Alabama in Maycomb County.
- Life in this town and the South in general seems sad and everybody is very poor. The kids do not have shoes and are so poor they don’t even have money to eat lunch. Many people are unable to read and write and farm instead of go to school. All of the black people live outside of town and the only work they have is picking cotton or being maids.
- Boo Radley got in trouble because people thought he was in a gang, he drove a car, he committed disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, assault, and rude language in front of a girl. A judge sent all the boys but Boo to the state industrial school. His family asked to keep him at home instead. Stephanie Crawford said he stabbed his father with scissors. He was locked up in the court basement and then he went home with his family and was never seen again outside.
- The book is in the point of view of Scout. I think her point of view is credible because when she’s telling the story she’s older now so she is had time to think about the facts.
- Who is being described in the descriptive narratives? A. Jem B. Atticus C. Miss Rachel D.Dill E. Boo Radley.
- Ms. Caroline Fisher is the first grade teacher for Scout. She frustrates Scout because she doesn’t like that Scout already knows how to read and write and Scout doesn’t understand why her dad can’t read to her anymore.
- On the first day of school Scout got in trouble because she can already read and write and because she told the teacher that a boy at school wouldn’t take her money because he had his family won’t take or give anything to anybody. Scout does not like school because she does not understand why the teacher won’t let her read and write. School is too easy for Scout and the teacher hit her with a ruler and made her stand in the corner.
- Walter Cunningham is a boy at school who didn’t have lunch and the teacher tried to give him a quarter to go get lunch downtown. Scout got in trouble he causes him because he’s a poor farmer who doesn’t have money for lunch and she told the teacher not to give him any money.
- Entailment means legal problems.
- Calpurnia taught Scout a lesson about her guest Walter Cunningham at lunch. When you invite people inside your house you do not make fun of them they are your guests.
- Burris Ewell is a first grade child in Scout’s class and he caused problems on the first day of school. He is taking the first. For the third time but he only goes to the first day of school because the state forces him to. He is illiterate, mean, and violent.
- Society allows the Ewells to break the law because they go to the first day of school and are on the rolls of the school but never come again. The town probably doesn’t want them to go to school anymore because they are so violent and mean that they would just cause problems.
- Atticus philosophy of life is to treat everybody equally and nice. The rules he lives by are that people can do what they can and you can’t expect people to do any better than that. You have to be nice to them even if they are mean to you. I do not agree with his philosophy. If people treat you like crap then you treat them like the trash that they are. I fink you are just being fake if you treat people nicely when they know you hate them.
- Jem and Scout found chewing gum and two pennies in a box in the knothole of the tree at the edge of the Radley lot.
- Jem suggested a new game called Boo Radley.
- Atticus caught them playing the game. Scout thinks he knows that they were playing but Jem said that he didn’t know on page 41.
- Scout had two reasons to quit the game. They were Atticus said they were not allowed to play anymore and he got home so she was afraid they would get caught. Number two is the date she was in the tire and fell into the Radley yard she heard laughing inside the Radley house. This tells us that Scout has more beer than Dill or Jem and listens to what her dad says more than the two boys do. Her character is more respectful of adults.
- Scout feels left out because Jim and Dill spend more time together and Scout got mad at Dill and beat him up.
- Ms. Maudie Akinson is a neighbor who likes to garden and sit on the porch.
- The kids have a plan to communicate with Boo. They plan to put a note at the end of a fishing pole and stick it through the shutters.
- Atticus caught them and taught them a lesson about privacy he said that people deserve peace inside their own house. I believe the kids should leave Boo alone in case he is dangerous. He may have stabbed somebody.
- Jem and Dill plan to go and peek in the window to see if they could get a look at Boo Radley. Scout reluctantly goes along with their plan.
- Jem looked into the window of the Radley house but he made a noise on the step and a man came out with a shotgun and shot into the air. The three kids ran and Jem got his pants caught in a fence and they came off.
- All the neighbors believe that a black man was stealing collards from the garden. All the neighbors believed that without any eyewitnesses it shows what bigots they all are. Race relations in Maycomb must be horrible that people instantly assume that the thief was black, as if white people never steal anything.
- Jem revealed that his pants were folded and mended when he went back to go get them.
- Jem and Scout found two Indian head pennies, chewing gum, two soap dolls in the shape of children, a rusty medal, a broken watch and a chain in the tree hole.
- Mr. Nathan Radley put concrete in the knothole and it upset Jem and Scout. I believe Mr. Nathan Radley knows that Boo is putting things in the knothole to give to the children and he wants it to stop.
- Ms. Maudie’s house burnt down.
- Jem and Scout stood in front of the Radley house during the fire. A blanket was put over Scout’s shoulders without her knowledge.
- Ms. Maudie seemed happy that her house had burned down. This tells us her personality is upbeat and happy. She can find the good part of something horrible like your house burning down.
- Boo Radley was teenage trouble maker who has been in his house for many years without anybody seeing him. I do not know what his function is in the novel yet. Maybe it is just to show you that if you lock somebody in the house for 20 years they will go crazy. Maybe Boo Radley is trapped in his house the same way that all these people are trapped in this horrible, tiny, racist town.
- Atticus is defending Tom Robinson. This case has caused tension in Scout’s school. The kids at school are giving Scout a hard time and she got into a fight with Cecil. He does not stand a chance of winning this case. Atticus said so in the book. Atticus said that he had to try to win because it was the right thing to do but he has no chance because all the people in town are racists.
- Scout won’t fight anymore because Atticus told her not to.
- Scout’s relationship with aunt Alexandra is not very good. Scout avoids Alexandra because she knows Alexandra disapproves of Atticus and wants Scout to dress up like a girl. Scout’s relationship with Frances is even worse she hates him. She punched Francis in the teeth when Francis called Atticus a bad name. Her relationship with Uncle Jack is okay. Uncle Jack spanked her when she got into a fight with Francis so they aren’t getting along real well now but in general she likes uncle Jack and looks forward to his visits.
- Scout’s latest habit that she hopes will convince Atticus to let her stop going to school is swearing and using bad words.
- Francis teased Scout by saying that the whole family hated Atticus and called him a “N” lover. Francis told Scout that the family thinks Atticus lets her run wild. Scout reacted to the comment by punching Francis in his teeth.
- Atticus revealed information about the trial, he said it was a case of a lifetime that affected him personally. He does not think they can possibly win but he has to try.
- Jem and Scout are disappointed with Atticus because they think he is old and he doesn’t hunt, play poker or fish.
- Atticus tells the kids that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. It is a sin because mockingbirds do nothing but make people happy and sing and they have never hurt anybody in any way.
- Heck Tate is the sheriff of Maycomb County.
- Old Tim Johnson is a dog that went crazy and the neighbors think he is a mad dog. Atticus settled the problem with Tim Johnson by shooting him. This incident alters the children’s opinion of their father because they are so impressed that he can shoot guns so well.
- Atticus’s nickname was ol’ one shot Finch. He had this nickname because he could shoot things with only one shot because he was a good marksman.
- Atticus gave up hunting because he was civilized in his heart according to Ms. Maudie. This tells us that he respects life too much to take it away.
- The kids are not going to brag about Atticus’s talent because Jem said not to. He said if Atticus wanted them to know he would‘ve told them himself.
- Ms. DuBose is a horrible old lady who sits on her porch and screams ugly things at Jem and Scout. She is sick and sits on her porch and screams crazy things as people walked by.
- When Jem returns from town he takes the baton he bought for Scout and destroy is Ms. DuBose’s camellia bush with it. Jem did this because Ms. DuBose called Atticus horrible things.
- Atticus made him go to Mr. Boyes’s house and read to her every afternoon after school and Saturdays for two hours for one month.
- In reference to the Tom Robinson case Atticus said “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself”. My feelings about this quote are that Atticus is trying to be a good person and even though he knows he has no chance of winning he has to at least try to save this man’s life.
- Ms. DuBose would get really sick and saliva would collect on her mouth as Jem or read to her.
- Atticus defines his defending African American people by saying that he does his best to love everybody.
- Scout realizes that the alarm clock at Ms. DuBose house went off a few minutes later every day they went to read to her and she got into one of her fits by the time it sounded.
- The fits Ms. DuBose experience as Jem read to her were her symptoms of coming off morphine. She put her self through such pain and agony before she died because she wanted to leave this world beholding to nothing and nobody. She wanted to break her morphine habit before she died.
- Atticus said he would have made Jem go read to her anyway because he wanted to teach Jem what real courage was. According to Atticus real courage is not a man with a gun in his hand it’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you start anyway and you see it through no matter what. Atticus thought she was the bravest person he ever knew.
- You can compare the courage of Atticus to the courage of Mrs. Dubose because they both had an impossible thing that they want to do. They both know they have very little chance of succeeding but they start and try anyway. As it turns out Mrs. Debose died without any morphine in her body so she won. We haven’t finished the book yet but I think Atticus will win his court case with Tom Robinson because he is a good lawyer and he will fight really hard to free him. So they are both brave because they fought impossible battles.