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An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge
How to Read a Short Story
Jim Crow Era
Possibility of Evil
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To Kill A Mockingbird
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To Kill A Mockingbird
1. What do you learn in this chapter about Maycomb, Atticus Finch and his family?
Maycomb is a poor old town where Atticus works as a lawyer. Atticus has a brother who went to medical school in Boston,an a sister who makes a living off the Finch's Landing. Atticus's wife died two years after their daughter Jean Louise Finch was born. Jean Louise Finch is called "Scout" by most people. Scout's brother Jeremy (Jem) is four years older than her. Scout was only two years old when their mother died, so she does not remember her so well. Jem was six at the time of their mother's death, and sometimes bothered by it.
2. What do you learn about Dill's character?
Dill stays for the summer with his aunt, who owns the house next to the Finches'. Dill's father isn't very involved when it comes to raising Dill, but Dill doesn't like to talk about that. Dill is very smart, and he has sense of adventure.
3. What, briefly, has happened to Arthur “Boo” Radley?
Boo got into some trouble with the law, so his father kept Boo locked in the house for punishment. Fifteen years later, Boo apparently stabs his father with a pair of scissors. People think that Boo is mentally unstable, but his father refuses to send him to an asylum. After Boo's father died, Boo's brother Nathan moved in to live with Boo. After this Boo still stayed in the house.
4. Why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem and Dill?
The place is fascinating because Scout, Jem and Dill don't know much about the place, or about who lives inside. They want to know what Boo looks like since they have never seen him. There are a lot of rumors about the Radley Place, and Scout, Jem, and Dill want to explore the place.
5. What do you notice about the narrative voice and viewpoint in the novel?
It is being told in the eyes of a six-year old. The section of the story is old through a flashback of Scout as an adult.
1. Why is Scout so looking forward to starting school?
Scout has never been to school, and she is excited to find out what it is like. She has witnessed Jem going to school, so she is curious.
2. Why does Jem not want anything to do with Scout at school? Is his behaviour typical of an older child?
Jem wants to appear "cool" so he is avoiding his sister, who is four years younger. If he is seen playing with his little sister at school, he might get bullied or teased for it. This is very usual for a child to do this.
3. What do you think of Miss Caroline Fisher as a teacher? Can you find qualities which would make her good or not so good at her job?
Ms. Fisher is an inexperienced teacher, who would probably get better after more years of experience. She is not very patient or understanding, and doesn't have leadership qualities. When her students were explaining something to her, she became impatient, and punished Scout for no reason. She also discourages extra learning outside of class. She got mad at Scout for knowing how to read and write, and tells her to tell her father not to teach her anymore.
1. Who is Calpurnia? What is her place in the Finch household?
Capurnia is a black woman who cooks for the Finch family and nannies the children.
2. What is Walter Cunningham like? What does his behaviour during lunch suggest about his home life?
Walter is shy and always cautious of what is going on. He doesn't say much, and is very nervous about making decisions. When he is invited to dine with the Finch's, he is nervous and unsure of wether he should go or not.
3. What do you think of the way Atticus treats Walter?
I think it is strange the way Atticus treats Walter, because Walter young, and about Scout's age. Atticus talks with Walter like they were both men, and talks about farm problems.
4. Does Scout learn anything from Walter's visit? What do you think this is?
Scout learns that she shouldn't judge Walter for eating strangely because Walter is a guest, and Scout should be doing everything she can to make Walter feel welcome and happy.
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?
This means that Scout shouldn't judge Ms Caroline based on what she seems like because her job is really hard, and she doesn't have much experience. She is also very new to the town, so she doesn't know what to expect. She probably comes from a poorer family, so she doesn't deal with poor people a lot. Scout will probably learn this as she grows older because she will have to interact with younger children.
6. What do you learn in this chapter about the Ewells?
The Ewell's are a poor and unrespected family. They have a reputation for being ignorant and lazy. The father of the family is a drunkard, and is allowed to hunt out of season to feed his children. Their son Burris is rude and dirty. Burris only goes to school for the first day, and then he stays at home the rest of the time. The Ewells are poor but not respected like the Cunninghams.
1. What does Scout think of current fashions in education?
She thinks it is bad, and very slow. She won't be taught how to write until the third grade.
2. What superstitions do the children have in connection with the Radley house?
The children think that Boo eats rodents and other animals, so his hands are always stained in blood. They also think that Boo is some sort of cold-blooded murderer. They believe the bad things that happen in the town are because of Boo sneaking out at night and causing trouble.
3. Why do the children make Boo's story into a game?
Jem made the story of Boo into a game to show Scout that he was afraid of the Radleys even if it were just a game. They also did it because they were running out of things to do, so they decided to start reenacting the story.
4. What do they do in this game? Do you think the game is an accurate version of what happens in the Radleys' home?
The children act out events in the Radley family history. This is most likely not an accurate portrayal because they were not there to witness what really happened, and because most things that happen around the Radley's home are rumors and nobody really knows the truth.
5. What might be the cause of the laughter from inside the house?
It might have been Boo laughing because what Scout was doing looked fun or was funny.
1. Describe Miss Maudie Atkinson? How typical is she of Maycomb's women? What do the children think of her?
She was a friend of Atticus's brother, and she is a widow who stays at home and tends her garden and bakes cakes. She is not very typical of Maycomb women because by the way she lives, the reader can tell she is fairly wealthy. She has the money to buy plants, fertilizers, and poisons, and she also has the time to care for them. Maycomb is first described as a very poor town that is hit hard by the Great Depression. Many people are struggling to get by, but Miss Maudie is using her time to relax. The children are nervous around her even though she is very nice, but respect her a lot. She allows them to play on her property, and bakes cake for the children.
2. What does Miss Maudie tell Scout about Boo? How does this compare with what Scout already believes?
Miss Maudie tells Scout that Boo used to be a very kind and polite kid, but because of his very harsh father, gets raised badly. Boo was not crazy before, but might be now because of his father's ways of parenting. Miss Maudie also says that Boo's father was a foot washing baptist who believed that most people are going to hell. He was pretty crazy, so Boo obviously came under his influence. Before Miss Maudie gives her description of boo, Scout just assumes Boo is some sort of monster. Now she knows what Boo's past was like, and treats him more like a human because he used to be a normal kid.
3. Scout claims that “Dill could tell the biggest ones ” (lies) she ever heard. Why might Dill have told such lies?
Dill might have told the lies to try to seem "cool" and be seen as more important. He is also trying to attract attention
4. What reasons does Atticus give for the children not to play the Boo Radley game? Do you think he is right? Why?
Atticus tells the children that they really shouldn't make up their own version of what happened to "Boo Radley" and they should stop harassing him. Atticus always says to the children that "what he does is his own business." He is right because nobody knows what Boo is like, so he might dangerous, and decide one day to harm the children. This is highly possible for some unknown stranger who likely has metal disabilities or is insane. Even if Boo were completely harmless and nice, it is mean to act out the parts of his life that Boo isn't especially proud of.
1. Why does Scout disapprove of Jem's and Dill's plan of looking in at one of the Radleys' windows?
Scout doesn't want anybody to get hurt, and she also wants to obey Atticus and not make her angry. If Atticus were to find out, all of them would be in great trouble.
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?
He doesn't know much, because he is rarely outside the house. However, during the past few years, Dill, Scout and Jem have invaded his property on several compassion,so it is possible that he had seen them. Miss Stephanie refers to a Negro because there seems to be some sort of dislike between the black community and the Radleys, so Miss Stephanie thinks a Negro was sneaking around. As Miss Maudie says, "That is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford,". She refers to the rumors that people spread about the Radleys, saying that most of the rumors come from the colored folk in Maycomb.
3. Why does Dill's explanation of Jem's state of dress almost land him in trouble?
Dill lies about playing strip poker, and the parents wouldn't want their children to be playing poker and start gambling for fun/money. After, the children say they were using matches, but Atticus still disapproves, and tells them to not play poker of any kind again.
1. When Jem tells Scout about getting his trousers back, he tells her of something strange. What is this?
He tells her that when he was struggling, his pants were in a knot and wouldn't come out, but when he went back for them, they were sloppily sown up and also laid across the fence neatly.
2. Can you find any evidence that Jem is beginning to understand more than Scout about Boo Radley? What do you think this is?
Jem realizes that Boo isn't accepted in Maycomb due to the reputation he has. Jem thinks Boo wants to stay in the house because he is afraid/anxious.
3. Does Jem still fear the gifts in the tree? Give reasons for your answer.
Jem doesn't fear them anymore because they find out that it's not somebody's hiding place after leaving the gifts there for three days, and nobody took them. Scout and Jem decide that from then on the things in the tree belong to them.
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?
Nathan Radley stops them by filling the hole with cement. He says he does it because the tree is sick, and when a tree gets sick, you fill it with cement.
1. Why does Scout quiz Atticus about his visit to the Radley house? How much does Atticus tell her?
Scout and Jem want to know if Atticus saw Boo, so they can find out more about him. They also want to know if Boo was the one who killed Mrs. Radley. All Atticus tells them is that he didn't see him. After that, Jem and Scout don't ask anymore even though they might want to know more.
2. What is the “near libel” which Jem puts in the front yard? How do Miss Maudie and Atticus react to it?
Jem and Scout create a snowman that is supposed to look like Mr. Avery. It is very look-alike, so if Mr. Avery saw it it might offend him. Atticus demands they disguise it so that it doesn't look that much like him, and Miss Maudie thinks its really good but is slightly aggravated by the use of her hat and gardening tools.
3. Why does Atticus save Miss Maudie's oak rocking chair?
Atticus saves Miss Maudie's rocking chair because it is one of her most prized possessions, and it is important.
4. When Atticus asks Scout about the blanket around her shoulders, what does Jem realize?
Jem realizes that the blanket isn't theirs, and also that Boo was the one who put the blanket over Scout.
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?
Now that Jem and Scout know that Boo is a nice and caring person, they might try to become friends with him and continue to bother the Radleys with letters and such.
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?
Atticus is not doing his best because he thinks he is going to lose no matter what, but he is still going to try to uphold his sense of justice and self-respect. White lawyers at the time didn't try must to help their black clients because racism was very common
2. Scout and Jem have “mixed feelings” about Christmas? What are these feelings and why?
Jem and Scout like the gifts they get during Christmas, but they don't enjoy having to spend time with the stuck-up Aunt Alexandra, or Francis. Aunt Alexandra is annoying because she constantly bugs Atticus about raising his children right, and bugs Scout about being a lady. Scout also doesn't like Francis because he is very boring to be around.
3. Uncle Jack Finch tells Scout that she is growing out of her pants. What does this mean and why might he say it?
When Uncle Jack tells Scout that she is growing out of her pants he means that she is growing at a very fast rate and she is learning things, such as bad words like "hell" and "damn" which are words that she shouldn't use at her age.
4. When Francis talks to Scout he reveals an unpleasant feature of Aunt Alexandra. What is this?
Francis tells Scout that Aunt Alexandra says Atticus is a "nigger lover" and that by defending a Negro Atticus will bring shame to the Finch family. This shows that Aunt Alexandra likes to gossip and is not supportive of Atticus trying to help a man who is probably innocent.
5. Does Scout learn anything from overhearing Atticus's conversation with Uncle Jack? What might this be?
While Scout is eavesdropping on Uncle Jack and Atticus' conversation she learns that Uncle Jack is a trustworthy person and that Atticus thinks the case might cause his children to be ridiculed at school. She also learns that Atticus wanted her to hear what he had to say.
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.
What Scout was saying, was that she wasn't sure what Atticus meant by what he said but later on she would understand that Atticus was trying to teach her a lesson. This is important because Atticus is trying to teach his children a lesson. Black people (especially in the southern US) were always treated badly. Atticus doesn't like the way black people are treated, so he tries to help them, and also T
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?
This was the view of when she was younger because she still hasn't learned about Atticus's shooting talent. Scout is embarrassed that all the other children's fathers hunt and fish, but Atticus stays home and reads. After she witnesses his skill, she doesn't think Atticus is feeble anymore.
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?
Its a sin to kill a mockingbird because mockingbirds don't eat peoples crops, steal stuff, or bother people. All mockingbirds do is make music that people enjoy, so killing one is a sin.
3. Why does Heck Tate not want to shoot Tim Johnson?
Heck Tate wants Atticus to shoot the dog because they only have one chance, otherwise it might be too late. Heck knows that Atticus is a better shot, so he let Atticus shoot the dog.
4. Near the end of this chapter Atticus cuts off Heck Tate as he is speaking to Jem. What might Heck have been about to say, and why would Atticus want to stop him from saying it?
Heck Tate was about to tell Scout and Jem that their father was the best shot when he was young, but Atticus stopps him. Atticus didn't want the children to think that bravery is a man with a gun in his hand, because it isn't. Atticus believes in true bravery, and wants his children to learn.
5. 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?
Scout thinks the talent is very special and wants to brag and tell everybody at school, but Jem thinks that they shouldn't tell anybody because if Atticus was proud of his talent and wanted his kids to know, then he would have shown them a long time ago. Jem says Atticus keeps his talent a secret for a reason, but they just don't know yet. I would agree with Jem because perhaps Atticus did something he regretted with his talent, or over used it and led to disaster. I would try to keep it a secret for Atticus's sake.
1. How does Atticus advise Jem to react to Mrs. Dubose's taunts?
Atticus advises that Jem keep his cool, and try to be a gentleman. He tells Jem to try to ignore her, and also tries to convince him that it isn't her fault since she is very sick and old.
2. What does Mrs. Dubose say about the children's mother? How does Jem feel about this?
Mrs. Dubose says their mother was a great lady, and that she would raise Jem and Scout right. She tells them Atticus lets them run wild, and that if their mother was around, or if he remarried, then the children would not be so wild. Jem is emotional about this because he misses his mother, but Scout doesn't remember much about their mother so she doesn't feel the same way.
3. What request does Mrs. Dubose make of Jem? Is this a fair punishment for his “crime”?
Mrs. Dubose wants Jem to work on her plants to make them grow again, and also wants Jem to read to her for two hours everyday for a month. This is fair because she is sick and she isn't always thinking straight, so she might say things that offend the children. The wrecking of the flowers probably hurt her a lot, so Jem deserves to read to her.
4. Explain in your own words what Atticus thinks of insults like “nigger-lover”. How far do you agree with him?
He doesn't mind being called a nigger-lover, because he thinks that people who use the term are simply bad people. He protects all his clients to the best of his ability because he believes in justice, and hates racism. I agree with Atticus because racism isn't good, and he is doing the right thing.
5. Why, in Atticus's view, was Mrs. Dubose “a great lady”?
Atticus thinks Mrs. Dubose was a great lady because she had real courage, and tried to fight her addiction even though she knew she was going to die. This made her great even though she had differing views.
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?
Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict, and was told she was going to die. Even though the doctor said she was going to die, she still struggled to end her addiction, and maybe live. This has to do with the trial because Atticus knows hes not going to win the trail, but hes still going to try because he has real courage.
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.
I think the first part ends there because the situation is clear, and the reader can understand what is going on. The whole trial has to do with bravery. Atticus is brave enough to stand up for the innocent Negro, even though he and his children are ridiculed for it. He stand up for what he thinks is right.
1. Comment on Jem's and Scout's visit to First Purchase church.
Their visit was pleasant but very serious. The only thing that made the trip not so fun was the encounter with a woman called Lula who criticizes Calpurnia for bringing white children to a black church.
2. What new things does Scout learn here about how the black people live?
Scout learns that the black people in the community are mostly poor, and the church can't even afford hymn books. The Reverend speaks the words, then allows the people to sing it out. The church was built from the earnings of the first free black slaves of the area. Many of the black people have dirty or hard jobs that earn little money.
3. What does Scout learn from Calpurnia's account of Zeebo's education?
Zeebo learned how to speak English from reading pages of the Bible everyday with help from Calpurnia.
4. Explain why Calpurnia speaks differently in the Finch household, and among her neighbours at church.
Calpurnia explains that she would be out of place if she spoke white talk among the black people. It would be the same if she spoke Negro talk in the Finch household. She is a Negro, and to fit in, she talks like them. At this time, there was a lot of separation between both white folks and black folks, so Calpurnia would be shunned for talking differently.
1. Why does Aunt Alexandra come to stay with Atticus and his family? What is she like?
She goes to stay with Atticus because she feels Scout and Jem need a woman to help raise them right. Atticus wants the best for his children, so he was convinced that Aunt Alexandra can help them. Aunt Alexandra is very strict and bossy. She constantly bugs Scout about being a lady, and about how Atticus didn't raise his children right. Alexandra gives herself a very bad reputation by trying to make drastic changes to the family that the children might not be able to adapt to. For example, she tries to get rid of Calpurnia even though the children have known her for so long, and probably can't live a day without her.
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?
These are very typical of Aunt Alexandra and her personality. This is the way she greets them, and it isn't very welcoming.
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?
Alexandra thinks Scout is dull because sometimes when she is talking to Scout, she asks Scout questions and all Scout has to say is "nothing". She doesn't see the adventurous and fun-loving side of Scout that Atticus, Jem and Dill see. Scout is actually very intelligent for her age, but doesn't like to talk to Aunt Alexandra because Aunt Alexandra doesn't understand her. Not all adults are good at seeing how clever young people are, and talents often go unnoticed.
4. How does Aunt Alexandra involve herself in Maycomb's social life?
Aunt Alexandra is welcomed warmly by Maycomb. The ladies bake her cakes, and have her over for coffee. She fits in very easily and soon becomes a part of the community.
5. Comment on Aunt Alexandra's ideas about breeding and family. Why does Atticus tell them to forget it? Who is right, do you think?
Aunt Alexandra feels that Scout should be more like a lady, and that Jem should be more of a gentleman. Aunt Alexandra says the Finches have a certain reputation that could be ruined by Scout and Jem acting wild. Atticus tells them to forget it because the children are young, and aren't ready for such talk. When Scout is old enough, she will naturally follow other girls and she will change as will Jem. If Scout is tougher than the other ladies, she will have advantages. Atticus is right because Scout ends up crying because she just doesn't understand what Aunt Alexandra wants. If Aunt Alexandra gives the children time, they will mature by themselves.
1. Comment on Atticus's explanation of rape. How suitable is this as an answer to Scout.
Atticus says rape is carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent. This is suitable because it sounds bad, but won't scare Scout.
2. Why does Alexandra think Atticus should dismiss Calpurnia? How does Atticus respond to the suggestion?
Alexandra feels that Calpurnia is no longer needed now that she is there, and also feels that Calpurnia hasn't done a very good job with the children. Atticus is quick to disagree because the children are close with her, and if she were to suddenly have to leave, then it would be hard for the children to adapt.
3. Why is Scout pleased when Jem fights her back? Why is she less pleased when he tells Atticus about Dill?
Scout is pleased because Jem is starting to act really different now that he is growing older, but now he is fighting back which makes them equal. If Jem didn't fight back, he would be confirming his position as the more mature person. She is disappointed when Jem tells Atticus because he "breaks the remaining code of their childhood". This means Jem is acting all mature again, but Scout wants them to be equal.
4. What do we learn from Dill's account of his running away?
Dill's mother and father weren't paying attention to him, and he was being left alone. He was also disappointed that his father didn't build a boat with him as promised. He took a train using money from his mother's purse, and walks/takes a carriage to get to Scout.
1. What is the “nightmare” that now descends upon the children?
The nightmare is that Dill can only stay a week longer before he has to leave to go live with his parents again. Since Dill's mother re-married, he stays with his parents more and won't be seeing Jem and Scout much.
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."
The KKK supported racism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Communism, nativism, and antisemitism. Some local groups took part in lynchings, attacks on private houses, and carried out other violent activities. Atticus says they will never come back, but he is probably wrong since racism is so common at the time.
3. How does Jem react when Atticus tells him to go home, and why?
Jem stays right where he is, and doesn't listen to him. He was probably just scared or anxious about the mob and about their father's safety.
4. What persuades the lynching-party to give up their attempt on Tom's life?
Scout appears out of nowhere, and starts talking to Mr. Cunningham. She talks about his entailment, and about his son Walter. Mr. Walter gets ashamed, and decides to gather up the group and go home.
5. Comment on the way Scout affects events without realizing it at the time.
Scout embarrassed herself by coming into the crowd full of people she didn't know. She doesn't realized what is going on, so she tries to be friendly and "polite" even though it isn't exactly a friendly situation. As she talks, she ashamed everyone, and amazes even Atticus. She manages to turn away the crowd, doing Atticus a great favor without even knowing it.
1. What “subtle change” does Scout notice in her father?
Scout notices that their father is slightly more irritated/irritable, but never outright irritation, and that his voice has a fail starchiness.
2. What sort of person is Dolphus Raymond?
Dolphus is a drunkard who appears drunk before 8am. He drinks vodka out a Coca-Cola bottle in a brown paper bag when he is in public. He likes Negroes better than white people, and he has a black wife and mixed children. He drinks because he is upset about the suicide of his to-be wife.
3. How does Reverend Sykes help the children see and hear the trial? Is he right to do?
He helps the children by clearing some seats in the front row of the balcony for colored people. Four Negroes give up their seats for Dill, Jem and Scout. It is the right thing to do because Atticus is risking a lot by defending Tom, and Jem and Scout take a lot of verbal abuse from people. Atticus also treats black people like equals. Calpurnia works for Atticus, and Atticus treats her very well.
4. Comment on Judge Taylor's attitude to his job. Does he take the trial seriously or not?
He is very un-serious when it comes to his job. He fell asleep once, and a lawyer pushed some books to the floor to wake him up, and the Judge Taylor threatened to fine him $100. In court, Judge Taylor props his feet on the table, cleans his fingernails with a pocketknife, and permits smoking. Even though he is very un-serious, he keeps a firm grip on proceedings, and was only seen once in a dead standstill.
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 ' cross-examination of Sheriff Tate?
Heck says that Bob had called him saying that his daughter was raped by a Negro, so Heck drove out as fast as he could and found Mayella lying on the ground beaten up. Mayella said that it was Tom Robinson who beat and raped her, so Heck brings Tom to confirm that he is the one. Atticus asks Heck some questions and is able to discover that Mayella was mostly beaten on the right side of her face, had a bruised right eye, she had finger marks on her throat, and her arms were bruised.
2. What do we learn indirectly of the home life of the Ewell family in this chapter?
We learn that the truant officers can't keep their numerous children in schools, that the health officer can't free then of congenital defects, worms or the diseases due to the filthy surroundings. The Ewells live behind the town garbage dump, and the house is in very bad shape. The windows are just holes in the wall that are covered sometimes with cheesecloth to block out animals. There are pieces of broken things and garbage everywhere. The fence is made of bits and pieces of wood topped with broken pieces of metal. The only thing that is neat on the property is the collection of red geraniums that supposedly belong to Mayella. The reader can infer that the Ewells don't celebrate Christmas, because Atticus and the kids could smell the aromas of chicken and bacon on Christmas when they passed a Negro residential area, but the smell faded when they got to the Ewell's place.
3. What do you learn from Bob Ewell's evidence?
We learn that the incident happened on November 21st. It was just before sundown when he got home with some kindling, and he heard Mayella screaming. Then he dropped his kindling and ran toward the house to see Tom beating and raping Mayella. Bob claims he saw Tom having sexual intercourse with Mayella, and that he had a clear view of the room from where he was. He said the room was 'all slung about' as if there had been a struggle inside. After that, Bob says he ran into the house to find Mayella lying on the floor, so he called for Heck Tate right away.
4. Why does Atticus ask Bob Ewell to write out his name? What does the jury see when he does this?
Atticus asks bob to write out his name to see what hand he uses to write. It turns out that Bob is left-handed, so he could have easily been the one who punched Mayella to bruise her right eye.
1. Is Mayella like her father or different from him? In what ways?
Mayella is different in that she doesn't mind Negroes so much, and if Tom is telling the truth, actually kissed one. She is probably not racist, and the only way she behaves that way in court is because her father Bob threatened her with physical violence if she didn't help him. Mayella also is neater than her father. Her red geraniums are tended to with great care, and are the only things that appear neat on the whole property.
2. What might be the reason for Mayella's crying in the court?
Mayella was scared of Atticus because Atticus was able to prove that Bob could have easily been the one who beat up Mayella, and not Tom. Her father probably forced her to lie to protect himself, so she is afraid that Atticus might see through her lies. She might also be scared that if she doesn't do a good job of lying and covering up for her father, that her father might get into trouble and that he might go after her for it. Mayella has also never been to court, so she is nervous about being asked questions and having so many people watching and listening to her.
3. How does Mayella react to Atticus's politeness? Is she used to people being polite?
She gets angry, and thinks Atticus is mocking her by calling her 'Miss' and 'ma'am'. She isn't used to people being polite to her, so she feels offended even though it is not Atticus's intention at all.
4. How well does Mr. Gilmer prove Tom's guilt in the eyes of the reader (you) and in the eyes of the jury? Can you suggest why these might be different?
I think he doesn't do a very good job because his witnesses are obviously lying since they don't remember a lot of things, and there really isn't any explanation for why things happened. For a lot of questions, Mr. Gilmer's witnesses are unclear, and don't present very good information. The all-white jury might see things differently howerver, because a lot of people are racist at the time, and blame the Negroes in the area for things. If a white girl claims she was raped by a black man, then the jury is most likely to believe that.
1. What made Tom visit the Ewell's house in the first place?
Tom claims that Mayella tells his to do chores for her, and she offers to pay him, but he doesn't accept the cash because he knows she probably doesn't have it, and because he feels sorry that she doesn't have people around to keep her company. She doesn't have friends, and is a very lonely person, so Tom was just helping her out of the good of his heart.
2. Why does Scout think that Mayella Ewell was “the loneliest person in the world”?
She thought Mayell was lonely because her father is always getting drunk or doing something crazy, and her siblings don't spend much time with her. Negroes don't like her because she's white, white people don't like her because she is an Ewell, and she doesn't come from a good family, which makes her an outkast anyways.
3. In your own words explain Mayella's relationship with her father.
I would say Mayella is scared of her father, because she says he gets riled up when he is drunk, and probably beats her a lot. She tries to cover up for her father in court because she is afraid what he might do to her if she tells everybody, but Atticus gets her to tell anyways. She says her father never beat her before, but that is obviously a lie. The incident about Tom raping and beating her is probably just a lie that her father made her tell so that he could get some money and maybe get rid of a Negro living in the area.
4. How does Dill react to this part of the trial? Why is this, in your opinion?
Dill gets really emotional about the trial, and how Mr. Gilmer talks to Tom, so he begins crying. Scout has to take him outside because she thinks he is sick from the heat. Dill then tells her that he feels sick because of the way Mr. Gilmer is treating Tom. It is possible that where Dill lives, racism is not very common, so black people are treated equally.
1. Scout says that “Mr. Dolphus Raymond was an evil man”. Is she right?
She says Mr. Dolphus is an evil man because she thinks he is an alcoholic. After Scout and Dill get to talking with Mr. Dolphus, they find out that he is actually just drinking Coca-Cola, and that he makes people think hes drinking whiskey because thats what the people expect, and it what keeps them from questioning him.
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?
He hides the Coca-Cola in a bag because he wants people to think it's whiskey. He makes himself look like an alcoholic who hasn't gotten over his dead bride yet. He also wants people to think that its because of the whiskey that he won't change his ways because most white folks at the time would find it peculiar that a white man wants to live with a black family and among the black community.
3. What, according to Atticus, is the thing that Mayella has done wrong?
Mayella broke the code of the society by kissing and temping a black man. She didn't care for the code before she kissed Tom, but afterwards, she knew she had done wrong and tried to blame Tom for her mistakes thinking she could get away with it. She is trying to get rid of Tom because if he is always around, she will be reminded of her offence, and the day she kissed him and broke the code, so she wants to have him jailed or killed so that she doesn't have to face the guilt anymore.
4. Explain, in your own words, Atticus's views on people's being equal.
Atticus believes that in court, all men are created equal, and should be treated equally so that justice can be delivered fairly.
1. What does Jem expect the verdict to be? Does Atticus think the same?
Jem expects that Tom and Atticus will win because there is a lot of supporting evidence for them, and their story actually make sense. Mayella claims that Tom rapes her for no reason, and choked her and beat her without a left arm. Mayella can't even remember lots of important facts, like if Tom beat her around the head. Tom's story makes perfect logical sense, and is much more believable. It doesn't make sense that Tom would try to rape and beat Mayella for no reason unless she offended him or tempted him in someway. Jem asks Atticus what he thinks the verdict will be, but he is just unsure. Even thought they have the best evidence, Tom is still a Negro, so he would have a big disadvantage going against the word of a white woman.
2. What is unusual about how long it takes the jury to reach a verdict? Is the verdict predictable or not?
The time it took was very long. The jury decided for hours before they came up with their final decision. The verdict is not very predictable, because even though Tom has the better story and better evidence, the fact that Tom is a Negro still stands in his way. It is very probably for an all-white jury to believe a white woman instead of a black man. Racism was very popular, so people believed that all Negroes lie, and do sinful things.
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?
Scout thinks about the morning when they found the mad dog, and Atticus shot it.
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”.
Atticus wants Jem to learn more about their society and the people. What Atticus does is going to affect the future of Jem and Scout and what kind of society they live in, so Atticus thinks it is important for Jem and Scout to know these things.
2. Miss Maudie tells Jem that “things are never as bad as they seem”. What reasons does she give for this view?
She says this because although they lost the trial, they made a big step in getting rid of racism. Atticus knew he couldn't have won, but by trying his best and creating strong thoughts and arguments, he was able to do a lot. Atticus kept the jury out for a couple hours thinking up a verdict when usually it only takes a few minutes to convict a black man.
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?
He says he wants to be a clown because he wants to laugh at people all day. Scout says that clowns are sad, and that people laugh at clowns, but Dill wants to make a new type of clown that laughs at the people. He will obviously not keep this up because when he grows older he will soon realize how silly it is.
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?
There have definitely been changes for the better, and people are far less racist. There are still some people who believe blacks or asians, etc... are inferior, but there are far fewer people like that. nowadays, everybody is treated equally in most places. It is a very serious offence when racism occurs and one or more people are offended.
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?
Bob is probably still angry from being humiliated in court, and wants to get back at Atticus for it. I think it is a real threat, and Bob might go after Atticus by harassing/attacking Jem and Scout.
1. What do you think of Atticus's reaction to Bob Ewell's challenge? Should he have ignored Bob, retaliated or done something else?
Atticus was being more mature, and being the bigger man. He was right to ignore Bob because if he argued back, or if he used physical violence, he would have just tempted Bob further.
2. What is “circumstantial evidence”? What has it got to do with Tom's conviction?
Circumstantial evidence is the stories told by Mr. Ewell, Mayella and Tom. The stories may or may not be lies, so the jury can't be sure who is telling the truth. The conviction was all based on circumstantial evidence, which means that the jury believed Mr. Ewell's and Mayella's story against Tom's. This also means that there were no witnesses who saw what really happened.
3. What does Atticus tell Scout about why the jury took so long to convict Tom?
Atticus tells scout that the jury had a hard time decided because Atticus and Tom did a good job. All the jury members voted guilty, but one of the Cunninghams was on the jury and he wanted to vote innocent.
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?
People should mix with everybody unless a certain family is dangerous or a bad influence. Class divisions are very bad, and only lead to disaster. The upper classes are respected, are are the people who make most of the decisions. The lower classes are the people with problems with things, but aren't listened to because they are lower class. Class systems also lead to a lot of hate and fighting.
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?
He thinks Boo doesn't leave the house because he doesn't want to. This is probably true because if Boo wanted to leave the house he could have left a long time ago. If Boo wanted to leave, Nathan wouldn't be able to stop him.
1. Do you think the missionary ladies are sincere in worrying about the “Mrunas” (a tribe in Africa)? Give reasons for your answer.
I don't think the missionary ladies were really worrying, because they are disgusted by the way the people are living. They do some pretty disgusting things, such as extracting alcohol from tree bark by chewing and spitting out the saliva.
2. Compare the reactions of Miss Maudie and the other ladies when Scout says she is wearing her “britches” under her dress.
Miss Maudie didn't laugh, and instead took it seriously. Miss Maudie seems to know when Scout is trying to be funny or not, and she knew that Scout wasn't trying to tell a joke. All the other ladies laughed and joked about it. Miss Maudie was also angry about something, so she wasn't in a very good mood.
3. What is your opinion of the Maycomb ladies, as depicted in this chapter?
I think they seem to know what is going on around the world, but don't do much about it. It is hard to have an opinion of them at this time because their characters aren't developed much.
4. Explain briefly how Tom was killed. What is Atticus's explanation for Tom's attempted escape. Do you think agree with Atticus?
Tom was killed when he tried to escape from prison and was shot seventeen times by a guard. Tom had apparently lost all hope that he can still be free, so he decided to try to escape in a desperate attempt. The guards warned him, and shot two warning shots, then shot for real. Atticus says Tom didn't think he had a chance, or just was angry about how the trial turned out
How, in this chapter, do we see Aunt Alexandra in a new light? How does Miss Maudie support her?
Aunt Alexandra is seen as a sympathetic, and caring person instead of just a critic. Before, she would probably criticize Atticus, or not really care, but she now seems to understand the situation, and is more supportive of what Atticus does. Ms. Maudie helps with her hosting duties, and helps her stay composed.
1. How does Maycomb react to the news of Tom's death?
The black community is shook, and few others are mad, but it is soon forgotten, just like Bob Ewell.
2. Comment on the idea that Tom's death was “typical”?
People say it's typical because they think Negroes always run, that they never think before they act, and that they have no plans, so all they do is run.
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?
In court, the jury voted for what they felt was the right choice, and not what was right. Our hearts are like court in that sometime we know what is right, but do the wrong things on purpose.
4. Why did Jem not want Scout to tell Atticus about Bob Ewell's 'One down and about two more to go' comment? Was this a wise thing to ask her to do?!
This was because Atticus didn't need to hear the bs about the stuff.
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?
This seems odd because Americans are constantly persecuting American-Americans, such as in Tom Robinson's case, and in many other cases.
2. Why is Scout puzzled by Miss Gates' disapproval of Hitler?
Scout is puzzled because Miss Gates preaches equality, but is racist against black people.
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?”
People hate Hitler because he did lots of bad things, and is recognized for it. When people do bad things themselves, however, they feel less shame and little sympathy. Ms. Gates was seen by Scout telling Stephanie Crawford that it's time somebody taught these blacks a lesson, after Tom's trial.
1. What three things does Bob Ewell do that alarm Aunt Alexandra?
Bob gets a job at the WPA, and loses it a few days later, then blames it on Atticus, he was seen creeping around Judge Taylor's house, and was following Helen (Tom's Wife) on her way to work.
2. Why, according to Atticus, does Bob Ewell bear a grudge? Which people does Ewell see as his enemies, and why?
Bob bears a grudge because he was humiliated, and because his reputation was ruined if it wasn't already. Ewell sees everybody connected with the trial as an enemy because he wants revenge for getting humiliated so badly.
3. What was the purpose of the Halloween pageant? What practical joke had persuaded the grown ups to have an organized event?
The pageant was organized to avoid similar incidents that happened the year before. The previous year, somebody had broken into an elderly home and hid all the furniture in the basement as a joke.
1. Comment on the way this chapter reminds the reader of earlier events in the novel.
The novel reminds the reader of how Scout and Jem were when they were young. They joked about how silly they were before, and how the things they believed in were childish and silly.
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?)
Jem said that Boo Radley isn't home because of the sounds of the place. This is ironic because the old rumor was that Boo went out at night terrorizing the neighborhood, when later he saves their lives. It is important to Scout and Jem that Boo isn't home because it gives them a chance to see him.
3. Scout decides to keep her costume on while walking home. How does this affect her understanding of what happens on the way?
This makes her less able to move around and see what is going on. However, the costume also saves her life by providing protection against the knife Bob Ewell had with him. Scout tried to run away because Jem told her to, but ends up falling down because of her costume.
4. Why had Atticus not brought a chair for the man in the corner? Who might this stranger be?
Scout assumes that it is just the way of some people, and that the man is more comfortable where he is. The real reason is that Atticus knows the man is Boo Radley, and isn't the type of person to sit with a group of people and discuss events.
1. What causes the “shiny clean line” on the otherwise “dull wire” of Scout's costume?
The cause is Bob Ewell trying to kill Scout, but instead slicing the wire a bit.
2. What explanation does Atticus give for Bob Ewell's attack?
Atticus says he was out of his mind, and just trying to get revenge.
3. What does Heck Tate give as the reason for the attack?
Heck says Bob was very drunk.
4. Do you think the sheriff's explanation or Atticus's is the more likely to be true?
I think neither is true, and that Boo was the one who killed Bob. Jem couldn't have overpowered Bob and taken the knife out of his hands, and it is unlikely that Bob stumbled onto his own knife even if he was drunk.
1. Who does Atticus think caused Bob Ewell's death?
Atticus thinks Jem was the one who killed Bob, and doesn't want his son protected by the law by blaming something else. He also doesn't want Jem to grow up having people think that he killed Mr. Ewell and hid the fact.
2. Why does Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell's death was self-inflicted? In what way is this partly true?
Heck insists the death was self-inflicted because he knows Boo did it, and doesn't want people to bother Boo about it and attract attention to the Radley house, so he wants to call it an accident.
3. Is Heck Tate right to spare Boo then publicity of an inquest? Give reasons for your answer.
This is the right thing to do, because Boo obviously doesn't like public attention. He doesn't even leave the house for that very reason, so it would be frightening to have so many people badgering him about the murder.
4. How does the writer handle the appearance, at the end of the story, of Boo Radley?
Boo appears as the reader would imagine based on information given. He doesn't leave the house, rarely goes outside, and hasn't been seen by anybody in daylight since he was a little boy. Because of this, his skin is very pale and white, he has white hair, and he is skinny.
1. How do the events of the final chapters explain the first sentence in the whole novel?
The first sentence "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow" is explained by the events of the story. Scout and Jem go the pageant, and on the way back, the incident with Bob Ewell happens, and the reader can fully understand what happens.
2. Comment on the way the writer summarizes earlier events to show their significance.
The the events, such as Jem's broken arm are explained through the story of how it happens. The significance of the broken arm is that Jem would have been dead if Boo hadn't stepped in and defended Jem and Scout. Boo saves Jem and Scout's lives, but in the first part of the story, they imagine him as a monster.
3. How does Scout make sense of an earlier remark of Atticus's as she stands on the Radley porch?
Scout finally realizes what Atticus means by you can never understand someone "until you climb into his skin and walk around in it". Boo was at first a monster based on rumors, but soon Jem and Scout have their lives saved by Boo.
4. How much of a surprise is it fo find what Boo Radley is really like? Has the story before this point prepared the reader for this discovery?
It is not much of a surprise because Boo has appeared as a very nice guy in many different parts of the story. He put the blanket over Scout, repaired Jem's pants, and left gifts for the children in the tree.
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?
The story is about how a boy is blamed for . This relates to the beginning of the story, which is mainly about Boo Radley. Boo Radley was at first thought to be a very scary, and monstrous type of person who terrorized Maycomb. In the story, a boy is wrongfully blamed for things that go wrong in the area, and this is similar to Boo's situation in the beginning of the story.
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