What is the importance of Chapter 28? (Consider it from the novelist's working viewpoint.)

Asked on by marksh

3 Answers | Add Yours

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee marks the culmination of her Gothic suspense.  In a novel that begins in SUMMER, it is apropos to end it in FALL during HALLOWEEN to reflect its Gothic motifs.  The supernatural ghost Boo saves the children at night in the woods against the maniacal Bob Ewell.  The mockingbird defeats the blue jay.

Lee wants to connect her characters in the resolution.  She begins her book with Jem's broken arm as a frame, and she focuses on Tom's mangled hand during the climax of the trial.  Jem and Tom, both mockingbirds, are victimized by cruelty.  Injuries are important in the Southern Gothic tradition to show the damaging effects of an illegitimate society.  The gothic tension that Lee worked so hard to develop in part I of the novel comes full circle as Boo shows his face, and Scout learns that he's not so grotesque after all, the lesson that Atticus has stressed time and again.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In Chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird, the novel comes to its climax. Author Harper Lee combines the remaining elements of the two major plots--the mystery of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson's accuser, Bob Ewell--bringing them together on the night of the Halloween carnival. Bob Ewell attempts to carry out his threat on the family of Atticus Finch, and Boo Radley finally makes his appearance while saving his neighbors from Ewell. The primary characters of the story, Jem and Scout, both survive the attack; and the novel's villain, Ewell, meets his fitting end.

We’ve answered 319,823 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question