To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 28 Summary and Analysis
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Download To Kill a Mockingbird Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Chapter 28 Summary and Analysis

Scout and Jem's long journey begins on Halloween night, when they walk past the Radley house in the dark. There's no moon, and Jem teases that there might be a Haint waiting for Scott in the yard between their house and the school. Scout nearly falls and admonishes Jem for not bringing a flashlight, but they make it to the school okay, only getting scared once when Cecil jumps out of the bushes and surprises them. The inside of the school is full of all sorts of fun things, like a House of Horrors and big blobs of taffy. After the band plays the National Anthem, the pageant begins. Mrs. Merriweather, the teacher organizing the pageant, gives a long speech about a one Colonel Maycomb, the town's namesake.

Scout is sleepy by then and performs her part in a daze, missing her cue the first time but finally hitting it on the second. Someone offers them a ride home afterward, but Jem declines, and they set out walking across the yard. Jem hears something, and they stop, listening. Scout then shouts, "Cecil Jacobs is a big wet he-en!" They inch their way towards the big oak tree nearer the street, then Jem cries out for Scout to run. Their stalker attacks, and Scout is caught and squeezed until she can hardly breathe. Then, suddenly, someone pulls the attacker off her. There's a scuffle, and the attacker falls. He then carries Jem back to the house. Jem's arm is broken, and he has blacked out from the pain. Aunt Alexandra quickly calls for Dr. Reynolds. Atticus calls Heck, in case the attacker is still out there.

Scout worries that Jem is dead, but Dr. Reynolds assures her otherwise as he assesses her injuries in the hall outside Jem's room. Heck then arrives and takes a long time explaining that Bob Ewell is dead—stabbed under the ribs with a kitchen knife.


Two examples of this can be found in the line "Haints, Hot Steams, incantations, secret signs."


"Dixie." A popular 19th Century folk song supposed to have been written by Daniel Decatur Emmett. The term "Dixie" or "Dixie Land" is a very common nickname for the South, where the song became a kind an anthem.

Spanish-American War (1898). Fought between Spain and the United States in 1898, this brief war was sparked when the U.S.A. intervened in the Cuban War of Independence. This was not an altruistic move on the part of the United States, as they'd been actively pursuing Spain's territories in the Pacific Ocean prior to the war and were interested in controlling Cuba. Though Cuba would eventually gain independence, the 1898 Treaty of Paris granted control over the island to the United States for a short time. The men backstage at the pageant are wearing hats soldiers wore during this and other wars.

World War I (1914 - 1918). Often referred to as the Great War during the Great Depression, World War I is considered one of the deadliest wars on record, with fighting taking place in Europe, Africa, and the Pacific, as well as North and South America. Some of the men backstage are wearing helmets in this style.

Onomatopoeia There are two examples of this in the line, "What I...

(The entire section is 829 words.)