Study Guide

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Lesson Plan - Part Two: Chapter 15

Part Two: Chapter 15

Vocabulary

affliction: disease

begrudge: hold against

bob-white: a small quail with a distinctive two-part call

change of venue: to move a trial to a location different from where the crime allegedly occurred,

usually in order to obtain a more impartial jury

discreet: taking care not to cause embarrassment or call attention to oneself

futility: uselessness, pointlessness

inaudible: soft or silent

ominous: foreboding

uncouth: rude

Study Questions

1. What is the nightmare that descends upon the Finches?

The Tom Robinson case is becoming serious, and there is a definite sense of danger. The children fear harm will come to Atticus, and Aunt Alexandra even says he is disgracing the family. A mob comes to lynch Tom.

2. What does Scout notice about Heck Tate and a few other men coming to talk to Atticus? What does this mean to her?

Instead of coming inside to talk, Heck Tate asks Atticus to go out into the yard, which Scout says only happens in Maycomb when men talk death or politics. This is a sign that their discussion is quite serious.

3. What does Atticus say when Jem asks if the group of men were a gang?

He says they were friends and that Maycomb has never had mobs or gangs. His answer foreshadows the mob that does attempt to lynch Tom Robinson when he is moved to the local jail.

4. Why does Atticus leave the house late at night? Other than the time, what is unusual about his departure?

Tom Robinson has been moved to the Maycomb jail, and there is concern men might come for him to hurt or kill him before the trial. Atticus goes to protect Tom. The children notice both that he drives away from the house, when he always walks in town, and carries with him an extension cord and a light bulb.

5. Who disperses the mob and with what weapon?

The men finally leave because Scout recognizes Mr. Cunningham, Walter’s father, and talks to him about his boy and asks about his personal life and his legal problems. The “weapon” Scout uses is personalizing the men and making them feel like individuals again, who have responsibility, instead of losing that to the anonymity of a mob. She makes him feel ashamed of himself simply by being polite and innocent and making a personal connection.

6. Who was watching the whole time the mob was threatening Atticus, the children, and Tom?

Mr. Underwood. He was leaning out his window above them with a shotgun.