To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 1-31 Questions
Chapters 1-3 Questions
1.) What does it mean to "act responsibly?" Explain what a person needs to do in order to "act responsibly" in the 1930's in Maycomb, Alabama.
2.) Who can people trust in Maycomb, Alabama? Identify your impressions of Dill, Calpurnia, Jem, the narrator, Atticus, the Radleys, Miss Stephanie Crawford, and Miss Caroline Fisher.
3.) What are some essential family values and family history that have shaped the people in this community?
4.) What behaviors are acceptable in the Maycomb community? What behaviors are not acceptable in the community?
5.) Which characters inform Scout about proper behavior? How do these characters tell her to act?
6.) What is Walter Cunningham like? What does his behaviour during lunch suggest about his home life?
7.) Describe Miss Caroline's interactions with Burris Ewell. What does this suggest about Miss Caroline? What does this suggest about the Ewells?
8.) What do you think of the way Atticus treats Walter?
9.) Does Scout learn anything from Walter's visit? What do you think this is?
10.) Atticus says that you never really understand a person "until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." What does this mean? What does this lesson suggest about Atticus? Is it an easy thing for Scout to learn?
Chapter 4 Questions
11.) What does Scout think of current fashions in education? What do her opinions reveal about Scout's character?
12.) What risky behavior do Scout and Jem engage in?
13.) Why do the children make Boo's story into a game?
14.) How does Atticus react to the game? What does his reaction tell us about his character?
15.) Identify at least 2 slang words/phrases appropriate to the 1930's in Maycomb Alabama. Translate these words/phrases into today's language.
Chapter 5 Questions
16.) Describe the relationship between Dill and Scout. Include how he treats her and how she reacts to his treatment. How is this treatment typical and atypical (not typical) of this setting?
17.) Characterize Miss Maudie Atkinson (characterization=personality traits, actions, thoughts/feelings, other people's points of view). How typical is she of Maycomb's women? What do the children think of her?
18.) What reasons does Atticus give for the children not to play the Boo Radley game? Do you think he is right? Why?
Chapter 6 Questions
19.) What kind of risky activity do Scout, Jem and Dill engage in? Explain their cover-up (how they avoid being caught).
20.) Who is blamed for trespassing on the Radley Place? What does this blame reveal about the setting (time and place) of the novel?
21.) What causes fear in the hearts of Scout and Jem?
Chapter 7 Questions
22.)Does Jem still fear the gifts in the tree? Give reasons for your answer.
23.) 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?
24.) Can you find any evidence that Jem is more mature and wise (intelligence and awareness that comes with age/experience) than Scout? Provide at least one example that supports your answer.
Chapter 8 Questions
25.) Identify at least two details in this chapter that reveal the setting (time period and place) of this novel.
26.) Why is Jem's snowman creation so unacceptable to both Atticus and Miss Maudie?
27.) What does the fire at Miss Maudie's house reveal about the people living in Alabama in the 1930s?
28.) Besides Atticus, identify a new character who supports Jem and Scout. Provide evidence to support this character's benevolent spirit.
Chapter 9 Questions
29.) Why does Atticus feel he should defend Tom Robinson? Is it usual for (white) lawyers to do their best for black clients in Alabama during this time period?
30.) Scout and Jem have "mixed feelings" about Christmas. What are these feelings and why do they feel this way?
31.) Uncle Jack Finch tells Scout that she is growing out of her pants. What does this mean and why might he say it?
32.) Describe Aunt Alexandra and explain her negative feelings about Scout. How does Aunt Alexandra perpetuate (promote and continue) stereotypes?
33.) Does Scout learn anything from overhearing Atticus's conversation with Uncle Jack? What might this be?
34.) Explain at least two examples that reveal Atticus's parenting skills. Hint: What is Atticus trying to teach his children, Jem and Scout?
Chapter 10 Questions
35.) Scout says that "Atticus was feeble" (weak). 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? Why/Why not?
36.) In this chapter Atticus tells his children that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (p. 90). What reason does he give for saying this?
37.) What does the shooting of Tim Johnson reveal about Heck Tate and Atticus? How does Atticus feel about how well he can shoot?
38.) 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 Questions
39.) How does Atticus advise Jem to react to Mrs. Dubose's taunts?
40.) Characterize Mrs. Dubose. Characterization includes personality traits, actions, thoughts/feelings, and other people's points of view.
41.) What request does Mrs. Dubose make of Jem? What does Mrs. Dubose gain from this "punishment" to Jem? What does Jem gain?
42.) What does Atticus teach Jem and Scout about understanding antagonizing and belittling language and people like Mrs. Dubose?
43.) 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 Questions
44.) Briefly explain Jem's and Scout's visit to First Purchase church (Calpurnia's church). What do people think/feel about them? How do they feel about this experience?
45.) What new things do Scout and Jem learn at this church about how the black people live?
46.) Describe Calpurnia's education and her son's education--refer to their literacy.
47.) Explain why Calpurnia speaks differently in the Finch household, and among her neighbors at church. How is language different in a workplace and in a social setting and/or around family?
Chapter 13 Questions
48.) Why does Aunt Alexandra come to stay with Atticus and his family? What is she like?
49.) Read the first two things Alexandra says when she comes to the Finch house. Are these typical of her or not?
50.) 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?
51.) How does Aunt Alexandra involve herself in Maycomb's social life?
52.) Comment on Aunt Alexandra's ideas about breeding and family. Why does Atticus tell them to forget it? Who is right, do you think?
Chapter 14 Questions
53.)Who does Scout find hiding under bed? Why is this person hiding in the Finch home?
54.) Why is Jem considered a "traitor"? Why is he is also considered a maturing, more responsible young man?
Chapter 15 Questions
55.) Describe Jem's behavior when he confronts Atticus at the jailhouse and also meets a mob of hostile men.
56.) Describe Scout's behavior in the setting mentioned above.
Chapter 16 Questions
57.) Describe how the Maycomb people act at the courthouse square--when they arrive to view the trial of Tom Robinson.
58.) Where do Jem, Scout and Dill sit in the courthouse? Why is this significant?
Chapter 17 Questions
59.)Describe Tom Robinson's alleged crime, as told by Bob Ewell and Heck Tate.
60.) What evidence does Atticus reveal about Bob Ewell that may find him guilty of Tom Robinson's alleged crime?
61.) Characterize Bob Ewell (describe his actions, language/speech, and other people's points of view).
Chapter 18 Questions
62.) Characterize Mayella on the witness stand. Remember, characterization includes personality traits, actions, thoughts/feelings, language/speech, and other people's points of view. What are your opinions of her? Explain.
63.) Comparison: How are Mayella and her father similar? Contrast: How are they different?
64.) How does Mayella incriminate her father on the witness stand? Why does this help Tom Robinson's case?
Chapter 19 Questions
65.) How does Tom Robinson's testimony help his case? How does his testimony hurt his case?
66.) Which characters have courage to break society's code of ethics for this setting? Explain their courageous acts.
67.) How does Atticus's closing statement help his defendant, Tom Robinson? How does his closing statement hurt his defendant?
68.) How do you think the jury will react to Atticus's closing statement? Explain your reasoning.
69.) Who believes that Tom Robinson has a chance at being set free? Why do they believe this?
70.) Why do Reverend Sykes and the rest of the African American specators stand for Atticus, even after his defendant Tom was found guilty?
71.) Explain how Atticus's character has influenced Jem. Identify evidence that supports Jem's reaction to the guilty verdict.
72.) How do the children (Jem, Scout, and Dill) deal with the outcome of the trial? What do their coping mechanisms reveal about each of them?
73.) How do the adults (Atticus, Miss Rachel, Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra, Miss Stephanie, Miss Maudie, and Bob Ewell) deal with the outcome of the trial? What do their reactions and comments reveal about each of their characters?
74.) How did Bob Ewell confront Atticus? How did Atticus react? What does Atticus's reaction reveal about his character?
75.) What does circumstantial evidence mean in terms of Tom's trial?
76.) Why don't Maycomb citizens sit on juries in their town?
77.) Why does Scout want to befriend Walter Cunningham now (after learning more about the inner workings of the trial)?
78.) 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 and/or race? Are class/race-divisions good or bad for societies?
79.) Identify evidence in the story that reveals Scout is naive and childlike and Jem is more mature and adult-like in his understanding of people.
80.) How does Scout feel about the women (Aunt Alexandra, Miss Rachel, Mrs. Merriweather, Miss Stephanie, and Miss Maudie) and their discussions in this chapter? How do they treat Scout?
81.) What can you learn from the women of Maycomb about proper and improper behavior?
82.) Why did Tom try to escape from prison?
83.) Explain briefly how Tom was killed.
84.) How is the meaning of the title revealed in this chapter?
85.) Why is Tom's death considered "typical" in Maycomb?
86.) How does Mr. Underwood feel about Tom's death? Why did the author choose to include Mr. Underwood's opinions about Tom's death?
87.) Why is the court of public opinion sometimes more influential than the court of law? Refer to the novel and an example in real life.
88.) What do you think Ewell meant when he said "it made one down and about two more to go"? What can you predict will happen next?
89.) Identify at least one example that Scout is growing up and maturing and one example that Jem is growing up and maturing.
90.) Why is it hypocritical of Miss Gates to teach a lesson on Hitler's persecution of the Jews?
91.) What is Harper Lee's purpose in writing this chapter? Think about the messages she wants to send her readers.
92.) Identify three threats that Bob Ewell allegedly makes against some Maycomb townspeople.
93.) Why do you believe the author, Harper Lee, included the Halloween story in her novel? Describe any significance you believe it has.
94.) Identify at least two signs that foreshadow trouble ahead.
95.) Describe the significant event in this chapter that forever changes Jem and Scout.
96.) Who is the stranger standing in the corner of Jem's room? Why might he be there?
97.) Why is Scout's ham costume significant to the story?
98.) Who is the perpetrator (the person responsible for the crime)? How do you know who he is?
99.) Why does Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell's death was self-inflicted? In what way is this partly true?
100.) Comment on the way the narrator (Scout) summarizes earlier events and characters to show their siginificance. Refer to events and characters that include Boo Radley, Jem, Atticus, and the neighborhood as a whole. Why do you think Harper Lee (the author) chose to end her novel this way?
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