To Kill a Mockingbird Plot Questions

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questions on TKM's plot

Chapter 1: Identify and describe Atticus Finch, Jean Louise (Scout), Jem Finch, Maycomb, Calpurnia, Charles Baker (Dill) Harris, The Radley Place, Stephanie Crawford, Arthur (Boo) Radley, Miss Caroline Fisher, walter Cunningham, and Burris Ewell.

Atticus Finch- Jem and Scout's father, a lawyer and a widower
Scout- aka Jean Louise Finch, a tomboy who never met her mother; very intelligent
Jem Finch-Scout's brother, teaches her a lot about his perpsective in life, and he loses his innocence thorughout the book
Maycomb- a sleepy southern town in Alabama that has a prejudice against black people
Calpurnia- The Finch's black housekeeper that has helped Atticus raise his kids every since Scout and Jem's mother died
Charles Baker (Dill) Harris- a small kid for his age from meridian who comes to Maycomb every summer. Dill is a daydreamer, his aunt is Miss Rachel, and he was the one who came up with the Boo Radley game. Dill is sickened by people's prejudices
The Radley Place- the prison of Boo Radley, the Radley Plave is very mysterious to Scout, Jem, and Dill
Stephanie Crawford- the town gossip
Arthur (Boo) Radley- compared to a mockingbird bc he has done only good to society, but he is persecuted despite that. Boo Radley has been confined to his home since he was a boy, and is a loner.
Miss Caroline Fisher- Scout's first teacher, who puts Scout in trouble for trying to explain the Cunninghams and the Ewells, and for knowing how to read.
Walter Cunningham- a poor farmer from the Old Sarum Gang, who almost lynches Tom Robinson because of his "blind Spot" Walter Cunningham is then made to change his ways because of Scout, and has great respect for the Finches/
Burris Ewell- a man with nine kids who have no mother, and lives off tof the county welfare check and spends it on alcohol. He beats his children, and tries to kill Scout and Jem because he lost face at the trial that their father was a lawyer at.

What did Dill dare Jem to do, and why?

Dill dared Jem to touch the Radley house, because he said that Jem was a scaredy cat

What was Scout's first "crime" at school? Do you think it was really a problem?

Her first "crime" was knowing how to read and write, and this wasn't a real problem because it just showed that Scout was a smarty pants.

What was Calpurnia's fault?

that Scout could read and write because she made Scout copy down the Bible

Why did Scout rub Walter Cunningham's nose in the dirt?

She aws angry at him for getting her in trouble with miss Caroline Fisher, because she tried to explain that the Cunninghams were too poor to pay for lunch.

Scout said, "He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham." What did she mean by that, and what was Cal's reply?

She said that because the rest of Maycomb considered the Cunninghams trash, so she was being influenced. She didn't consider Walter as real company. Cal's response was to say that anybody who came to Scout's hoseu was company, no matter where they came from. She was also very angry

Explain the two mistakes Miss Caroline makes in the first day of school:

First she tries to give Walter Cunningham money to pay back later, that he couldn't pay back because he was too poor, and then she tried to tell Burris Ewell what to do, not knowing that the Ewells were trash.

Explain why the Ewells didn't ahve to go to school:

they didn't have to go to school because no one could make them, and the truant lady figured that she had done her job just by making them go to the first day of school.

What did Scout and Jem find in the Radley's tree?

They found gum, two pennies, a watch, twine, and two carved soap figures of themselves

Describe and identify Mrs. Dubose:

The old lady taht lived a couple houses down, and she enjoyed harrassing jem and Scout as they passed her every day on their way to school

How did Jem get even with Scout for contradicting him about "Hot Steams".

He rolled her in a tire into the Radley's front porch

What was the Boo Radley game?

A game pretending to be Boo Radley and making up his adventures

Describe and identify Miss Maudie:

She was a lady on their street that liked gardening, and tried to be a kind of mother for jem and Scout. She shared a lot of Atticus's views and opinions.

What does Miss Maudie think of the Radleys?

She thinks that Boo Radley doesn't want to get out of his house, and that the Radleys are foot-washing Baptists (very observant)

Why do Dill and Jem want to give Boo Radley a note? What does Atticus say when he founds out about their plan?

They want to ask him what he does i his house all day, and they want to make him feel better about staying indoors for so many years. Atticus told them to stop tormenting Boo Radley, that what they were doing was infringing on his privacy, and not to get near the Radley house ever again.

How did Jem lose his pants? What did he find when he went back for them?

He got caught under the fence when he ran away from Boo Radley's house, so he had to pull them off in order to get through. He found them nice and stitched up and folded on the fence when he came back for them.

Why would there be no more surprises in the tree?

Mr. Nathan Radley plugged the hole up with cement because he said the tree was dead.

What happened to Miss maudie's house? What was her reaction?

It burnt down, and she didn't care and was actually kind of happy because she hated being indoors so much, she just liked her garden.

Describe and identify Cecil Jacobs:

He was a boy who made fun of Scout at school because he said that Atticus defended black people and got into a fight with her.

What "disaster" happened at Christmas between Scout and Francis?

Scout and Francis got into a fight because Francis put down Atticus.

What did Scout's Uncle Jack learn from Scout and Atticus?

Scout taught him to always listen to both sides of the story, and Atticus taught him to always tell children the truth, because they can always spot evasions and those only muddle them.

What brave thing does Atticus do in chapter 10? Why are Scout and Jem shocked?

He shoots Tim Johnson the dog, and Jem and Scout are shocked, because they thought he was too old to do anything.

What did Jem do when Mrs. Dubose said Atticus "lawed for ******s"?

Jem uprooted all of her floewrs and vandalized her front yard

What was Jem's punishment?

He had to read to Mrs. Dubose every day

What did Jem learn from his encounter with Mrs. Dubose and following her death?

He learned taht bravery isn't a man with a gun in his hand, but a person who will see something through no matter what, despite the fact that they know that they have lost the battle even before they have begun.

How does Jem change?

He becomes difficult to live with, inconsistent, and moody.

Identify Lula, Zeebo, and Reverend Sykes:

Lula- a lady at the colored church who likes to make trouble
Zeebo- Calpurnia's son
Rev. Sykes- the reverend at the colored church

What does Scout learn about Calpurnia?

Calpurnia leads a double life- with the Finches, she has better grammar and is more proper, and with the balck people she talks and acts like them.

Who was waiting for the children when they came home from the church service?

Aunt Alexandra had, to teach them how to be proper, to mother them, etc.

"Aunt Alexandra fitted into the world of Maycomb like a hand in a glove, but never into the world of Jem and me." Explain.

Aunt Alexandra believed in a lot of the same things as Maycomb (about ways to behave, etc.) but she didn't believe in the things that Jem and Scout liked.

Atticus and Alexandra disagree about how to deal with children. How does Atticus handle the situation?

Alexandra wants to fire Calpurnia and not let Scout run around, but Atticus said that Calpurnia helped raise Jem and Scout and he couldn't have done it without her, and puts his foot down.

Describe and explain Jem and Scout's relationship through these chapters.

Jem and Scout are getting farther apart because Jem is getting older and moodier, so he doesn't like being with younger children so much anymore. This leaves Scout hurt and confused.

Why did Dill run away from home back to Maycomb?

He felt like his mother and stepfather didn't want him and he was just imposing himself on them.

What did Heck Tate's mob want?

They wanted to warn Atticus that he might be in danger for defending Tom Robinson.

What was the purpose of Walter Cunningham's mob?

Their purpose was to try and lynch Tom Robinson for "raping" Mayella Ewell because they were racist against black people.

Identify and describe Mr. Dolphus Raymond:

Mr. Dolphus Raymond was a man who pretended to be the town drunk to give people a reason why he was so strange by marrying a black women and hanging out with them.

Identify and describe Tom Robinson, Mr. Gilmer, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, and Judge Taylor:

Tom Robinson- a black gentlman and father who was wrongly accused of raping Mayella Ewell.
Mr. Gilmer- the prosecuting attorney against Tom Robinson who spoke to Tom rudely because he was black
Bob Ewell- a man that didn't have a job but had many children and no wife, who spent his welfare check on alcohol instead of food. He was easily angered and very racist against black people, and framed Tom Robinson
Mayella Ewell- a girl who accused Tom Robinson of raping her, when actually she wanted to get rid of the evidence that she had kissed a black man
Judge Taylor- the Judge that judged Tom Robinson's court case- he was fair to black people and chose Atticus as the defendant because he knew that Atticus would try and be fair

What was the importance of Mayella's bruises being primarily on the right-hand side of her face?

They showed that her attacker was left-handed, like Bob Ewell

What was Mayella's account of the incident with Tom Robinson?

She said that she asked him to chop up a chiffarobe, and then he jumped her from behind and choked her while she screamed and struggled, and then he raped her.

What was Tom's side of the story?

He said that this didn't even happen recently, that he had chopped up a chiffarobe last year, and that he helped Miss Mayella often. Last year, he had done to chop it up but Mayella came onto him and kissed him, and Bob Ewell caught them so he ran away.

What was Tom's handicap? Why was it important to his case?

He had a shriveled and crippled arm, which meant that he couldn't have choked Mayella and made the hand-print bruises around her neck.

What do Dill and Scout learn from Mr. Raymond?

That people aren't always what they seem.

What were Atticus' closing remarks to the jury?

He said to put all of their biases aside and judge the case fairly, so that their ruling might be fair and true.

What was the jury's verdict?

They pronounced Tom guilty.

Why did Jem cry?

He cried because it wasn't fair that the Tom should be convicted of something he didn't do, and the jruy knew he didn't do this and yet they still sentenced him to death.

What was "round the back steps" when Calpurnia came in on Monday morning?

A garden

What was the significance of Calpurnia's two little cakes and one large one?

It showed that Jem was growing up.

Describe Bob Ewell's meeting with Atticus by the post office and state Atticus' response:

He spat in Atticus' face and said he would kill him, but Atticus just wiped his face off and started to walk away. Bob Ewell aske dif Atticus was too scared to fight, and Atticus said "No, too old."

Alexandra doesn't want Scout playing with Walter Cunningham. Why not?

According to Alexandra, Walter was "trash".

Jem said, "I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he want to stay inside." Why does he say that?

Because Jem is having a hard time dealing with the confusion of life, so he thinks Boo Radley is trying to avoid that.

Mrs. Merriweather of the missionary circle complains about her cooks and field hands. What does that tell us about her?

She doesn't really believe that they are real people, and she doesn't think that they have a right to complain. It shows that she is racist.

What happened to Tom Robinson?

He went crazy and lost hope and tried to run away, so he was shot seventeen times and killed.

What more do we learn about Alexandra after Atticus and Calpurnia leave?

That she cares about her brother, and that she's not quite so hard-shelled as she wants you to think.

What did Mr. Underwood's editorial say?

He said it was a sing to kill cripples, and compared it to the senseless slaughtering of songbirds by hunters and children.

What was Scout's fantasy regarding Arthur (Boo) Radley?

She fantasized that he was like one of the normal neighbors that she talked to all the time.

What did Scout hear Miss gates say at the courthouse? In class, Miss Gates said," That's the difference between America and Germany. We are a democracy and Germany is a dictatorship. We don't believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced. Compare and contrast these two statements. What does this tell us about Miss Gates?

Miss Gates said that "it's time to teach the blacks a lesson". This is different from the other quote because in there she is mad at Hitler for being racist but in the courthouse she is racist against black people. This tells me that she is a hypocrite because she did exactly what she was at angry at Hitler for.

Give a possible explanation and reason for what happened to Judge Taylor:

They were angry that he had appointed Atticus who would actually try to defend a black person.

What happened to Helen Robinson? Explain.

She was harassed by Bob Ewell, because he was angry that he didn't win the trial with respect.

Explain what was Scout's part in the pageant:

She was a pork

Explain why did Scout and Jem not leave the school until almost everyone else had gone.

They were embarrassed about Scout's mess-up at the play.

Explain what happened to Jem and Scout on the way home from the pageant:

Cecil Jones scared them, Scout left her shoes at the school, and Bob Ewell attacked Jem and Scout.

Who saved Jem and Scout? Who killed Bob Ewell?

Boo Radley

Why did Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife?

He didn't want shy Boo Radley to be dragged into the limelight.

Scout arranged things so that "if Miss Stephanie Crawford was watching from her upstairs window, she would see Arthur Radley escorting [her] down the sidewalk, as any gentleman would do." Why did she do that?

She didn't want Boo to be embarrassed to be led across the street by an eight-year-old. He wanted him to seem to be in charge.

As Scout leaves the Radley porch, she looks out at the neighborhood and recounts the events of the last few years from the Radley's perspective. Why is this important in analyzing Scout's character?

It shows how Scout has matured since the beginning of the book.

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