Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 518

Study Questions
1. Describe Calpurnia as Scout depicts her in Chapter 1.

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2. What does Dill dare Jem to do?

3. What events led to Arthur’s being shut into the house?

4. Pretend you are writing a description of Maycomb for a travel magazine of the 1930s. Describe the town in detail.

5. The townspeople of Maycomb have some fears and superstitions about the Radley Place. Describe these fears and superstitions.

6. Whose idea was it to make Boo come out of the house?

7. How important is bravery to Jem?

8. Mr. Connor is described as “Maycomb’s ancient beadle.” What is a beadle?

9. What goal do the children plan to achieve before the end of the summer?

10. Describe some of the customs of the town of Maycomb.

Answers
1. Calpurnia has been the cook for the Finch family since Jem was born. Scout describes Calpurnia as all angles and bones, nearsighted, and owning a wide, hard hand which she used to discipline Scout. Scout says Calpurnia is “always ordering me out of the kitchen, asking me why I couldn’t behave as well as Jem . . . and calling me home when I wasn’t ready to come.”

2. Dill dares Jem to touch the Radley house.

3. Arthur and some other boys formed a group which was the nearest thing that Maycomb had ever had to a gang. They hung around the barbershop, rode the bus on Sundays to go to the movies, attended dances at the “gambling hell,” and experimented with whiskey.

4. Maycomb is a small Southern town where the residents all know one another. The citizens are primarily law-abiding people. The class system is in effect and there is segregation evidenced by the statement that the sheriff hadn’t the heart to put Arthur in “jail alongside Negroes.”

5. The people of Maycomb say that Arthur goes out at night after the town is asleep. Many people fear the Radley Place and cross the street to avoid it. Any lost ball in the Radley’s yard remains there.

6. It was Dill’s idea to make Boo come out of his house.

7. Scout says that Jem always takes a dare. Bravery is of great importance to him. It is because of his need to be brave that Jem runs into the Radley yard and slaps the house.

8. A beadle is a crier or officer of the court. Mr. Connor is evidently a bailiff of the court.

9. Before the end of the summer the children run out of ideas for play. Dill gives them the idea to make Boo Radley come out of his house.

10. On Sundays the people of Maycomb go visiting; the ladies wear their Sunday best for this event. The Radleys do not participate, however; they keep their shades drawn to discourage visitors. The pace on Sundays in Maycomb is slow; the citizens scorn activities like picture shows on Sundays. When serious illness comes to a family, sawhorses are put up to cut down on traffic and noise. Straw is put in the street to cut down the noise of those who must use the street. The primary social events in the town are church-related activities.

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