What are signs of conflict in the first chapter of Harper Lee's To  Kill A Mockingbird?Any signs of any type of conflict in the opening chapter. For example: prejudice, sibling rivalry, social...

What are signs of conflict in the first chapter of Harper Lee's To  Kill A Mockingbird?

Any signs of any type of conflict in the opening chapter. For example: prejudice, sibling rivalry, social conflict.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the first chapter we are introduced to the one of the most important conflicts by the mention of Jem breaking his arm.  The children apparently looked back years later and argued about where the conflict started. 

 I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out. (ch 1)

Several conflicts are introduced in the first chapter, foreshadowing trouble to come.  There is also a hint of religious persecution, as the Finch ancestor Simon traveled to America because Methodists were being persecuted and he considered himself a Methodist.

There is also a mention of the Civil War, which foreshadows the trouble within Maycomb over Tom Robinson’s trial.  There is also a hint at the local prejudices and customs in the description of the murder that Atticus’s first clients were hanged for.

The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three witnesses, and insisted that [he]-had-itcoming-to-him was a good enough defense for anybody. (ch 1)

Scout also has conflicts with Calpurnia, who represents domestic strife and the inevitable conflicts between adults and children that are so prevalent in the novel.

Our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side. She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember. (ch 1)

There are also the conflicts between the children, including those between Scout and Jem and with Dill.

Dill blushed and Jem told me to hush, a sure sign that Dill had been studied and found acceptable. (ch 1)

The Finch children have no mother, and Dill no father.  They foreshadow familial trouble.

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