Chapter 1 Questions and Answers
1. Describe Calpurnia as Scout depicts her in Chapter 1.
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.
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...
(The entire section is 518 words.)
Chapter 2 Questions and Answers
1. Who is Scout’s first grade teacher?
2. What is the Dewey Decimal System?
3. What events lead to the conflict between Scout and Miss Caroline?
4. Why is Mrs. Blount, the sixth-grade teacher, angry with Miss Caroline?
5. How does Scout learn to read?
6. The students in the class show some prejudice against Miss Caroline when she tells the class she is from Winston County, Alabama. Explain this prejudice.
7. How does Miss Caroline contradict herself about the use of imagination?
8. How does Miss Caroline contradict herself in her views on teaching reading?
9. How does Scout learn to write?
10. Describe the Cunningham family.
1. Miss Caroline is Scout’s first-grade teacher.
2. The Dewey Decimal System is a way of arranging library books and materials. It is not a way to teach reading, as Jem mistakenly explains.
3. Scout finds disfavor with Miss Caroline, first of all, when she reads aloud from The Mobile Register and from My First Reader. Later, when Scout tries to explain the Cunningham philosophy, she angers Miss Caroline even more.
4. Miss Blount says the sixth grade cannot concentrate on their study of the pyramids because of the noise in the first-grade class. She is angry with Miss Caroline Fisher for allowing—and possibly contributing to—the chaos.
5. Scout learns to read by...
(The entire section is 632 words.)
Chapter 3 Questions and Answers
1. Describe Burris Ewell.
2. Little Chuck Little tells the teacher that Mr. Ewell is “right contentious.” What does this mean?
3. What events lead to Burris’s leaving school before the day is over?
4. Why does Atticus say that Scout is not to mention the compromise they made when she goes to school?
5. What is a cootie?
6. Why does Walter think he almost died the first year in school?
7. Why does Atticus say Scout should ignore Jem in the tree house?
8. When Walter gets near the Finch house, Scout says he “had forgotten he was a Cunningham.” What does she mean?
9. What does it mean to “climb into his skin and walk around in it?”
10. Tell what a compromise is and give an example.
1. Burris was the filthiest human Scout had ever seen. His neck was dark grey and his nails were black into the quick. He was rude to the teacher and said that she could not make him do anything he did not want to do.
2. He meant that Mr. Ewell was quarrelsome.
3. First, Miss Caroline saw a “cootie” on him. Then she dismissed him for the rest of the day to go home and wash his hair in lye soap and kerosene; she also reminded him—in front of the class—to bathe before coming back to school. After he tells her he will not be back, she asks him to sit down. Burris...
(The entire section is 438 words.)
Chapter 4 Questions and Answers
1. What is the first present Scout finds in the tree?
2. When Dill says that he helped engineer the train, Jem says, “In a pig’s ear you did, Dill.” What does this mean?
3. Why has “Calpurnia’s tyranny, unfairness, and meddling . . . faded to gentle grumblings of general disapproval,” according to Scout?
4. What does Jem call Miss Caroline’s teaching methods?
5. What is the second present found in the tree?
6. Who is the “meanest old woman that ever lived”?
7. When Atticus asks the children if their game pertains to the Radleys, Jem says “No sir.” Atticus merely responds, “I hope it doesn't.” Why does he stop the conversation at that point?
8. How do cowardice and bravery figure into Scout’s taking part in the dramas about the Radley family?
9. What is the meaning of the following: “Dill was a villain’s villain . . .”?
10. What is a Hot Steam?
1. Scout finds chewing gum in the tree first.
2. The idiomatic expression “In a pig’s ear” means “impossible.”
3. Scout’s attitude—rather than Calpurnia’s behavior—may be the reason for the statement. Scout is spending less time with Calpurnia; possibly they miss each other. Scout is also growing and maturing; this is probably a principal reason for their improved...
(The entire section is 428 words.)
Chapter 5 Questions and Answers
1. When Scout begins to drift away from the boys, with whom does she spend much time?
2. Why does Miss Maudie hate her house?
3. Why do the children have faith in Miss Maudie?
4. How do the children try to send the message to Boo?
5. What does Miss Maudie mean when she says Atticus is the same in his house as he is on the public streets?
6. What does Uncle Jack yell at Miss Maudie each Christmas?
7. Atticus uses something like a threat when he finds the children trying to get a note to Boo Radley. What is the threat?
8. Uncle Jack Finch says the “best defense to her [Miss Maudie] was spirited offense.” What does he mean by that?
9. What does Miss Maudie mean when she says that the things told about Arthur Radley are “three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford”?
10. What gesture of friendship cements Miss Maudie’s and Scout’s relationship?
1. Scout begins to spend time with Miss Maudie Atkinson.
2. She considers time spent indoors time wasted. She prefers to spend as much time as possible working in her garden.
3. She has never told on them; she has always been honest with them; she does not pry.
4. The children try to send a message by tying it on a fishing line.
5. She means that Atticus is a man of integrity; the face he presents in public does not differ from the face he presents at home.
6. He yells for Miss Maudie to come out and marry him.
7. He threatens Jem with the possibility that Jem may not become a lawyer.
8. Jack means that he would tease Miss Maudie before she could tease him.
9. She means that most of the things told about Arthur are superstition and gossip.
10. Miss Maudie pushes out her false teeth for Scout to see.
Chapter 6 Questions and Answers
1. What is Mr. Avery’s claim to fame?
2. What is the children’s new plan in Chapter 6?
3. Where do the children sleep in the summer?
4. What are some of the nicknames that Jem gives Scout?
5. Why do the children spit on the gate?
6. How do you know that Jem respects his father?
7. What does Jem lose when he goes to the Radley Place?
8. What false story does Dill tell about the missing pants?
9. What promise/understanding exists between Scout and Dill?
10. How does Atticus take care of the poker problem?
1. He can urinate “ten feet” into...
(The entire section is 209 words.)
Chapter 7 Questions and Answers
1. What secret does Jem share with Scout?
2. Describe the typical seasons in South Alabama.
3. What is the difference between carving and whittling?
4. What was unusual about Jem’s pants when he retrieved them from the fence?
5. What does Mr. Avery do with the stick of stovewood each week?
6. Why doesn’t Miss Maudie chew gum?
7. What do the children leave in the knothole in the tree?
8. What does Mr. Nathan Radley do to the tree where the gifts are placed?
9. Atticus says the tree is healthy. Mr. Nathan Radley says it is sick. When Atticus is told that Nathan had said the tree was sick, what...
(The entire section is 264 words.)
Chapter 8 Questions and Answers
1. Who dies in Chapter 8?
2. What is the Rosetta Stone? Why does Scout think Mr. Avery gets his information from it?
3. Why do Jem and Scout feel guilty when Mr. Avery tells them that children who disobey parents, smoke cigarettes, and make war on each other can cause a change in the seasons?
4. Jem and Scout do not have enough snow to build a snow figure. What else do they use?
5. What does Scout ask Atticus after he returns from the Radley Place after Mrs. Radley died?
6. Jem is able to make a snow person without enough snow to build one. What is Atticus’s first reaction? His second reaction?
7. How is Miss Maudie able...
(The entire section is 413 words.)
Chapter 9 Questions and Answers
1. Atticus is to defend a member of Calpurnia’s church. What is this person’s name?
2. What does Scout mean when she says “I was worrying another bone”?
3. Why does Atticus take a case which is causing so much dissension in the neighborhood?
4. How does Aunt Alexandra make Scout unhappy at meal time?
5. Who is Rose Aylmer?
6. Proponents of behavior modification believe that a way to reduce an undesired behavior is to ignore it. Can you think of an undesired behavior in Scout that Atticus sought to extinguish through ignoring it?
7. What is “Maycomb’s usual disease” that Atticus hopes that Scout and Jem will...
(The entire section is 320 words.)
Chapter 10 Questions and Answers
1. What action of Atticus’s makes him unpopular with the community?
2. What is a Jew’s Harp?
3. Why does Scout wish her father was “a devil from hell”?
4. Who does Calpurnia warn about the rabid dog?
5. What nickname did Atticus have at one time?
6. Who is Zeebo?
7. What does Atticus break when he went to face the dog?
8. Was it really “a policy of cowardice” that Scout follows when she agrees not to fight anymore about Atticus?
9. Why is Calpurnia supposed to go to the back door at the Radley Place?
10. Why is Miss Maudie upset when Scout talks about Atticus being old?...
(The entire section is 239 words.)
Chapter 11 Questions and Answers
1. Why do Jem and Scout hate Mrs. Dubose at first?
2. What does apoplectic mean?
3. What is Atticus’s advice to Jem when Mrs. Dubose angers him?
4. Atticus has a special way of greeting Mrs. Dubose which pleases her. Describe the greeting.
5. What things does Atticus require Jem to do to make amends for his rage?
6. What does Atticus say is the one thing that “doesn’t abide by majority rule”?
7. Why do you think Atticus brings Scout two yellow pencils and Jem a football magazine after their first session with Mrs. Dubose?
8. Why is Mrs. Dubose lengthening the sessions each time?
9. What is...
(The entire section is 265 words.)
Chapter 12 Questions and Answers
1. What change does Calpurnia make in the way she addresses 12-year-old Jem?
2. What does Calpurnia permit Scout to do that she had not permitted before?
3. What does the political cartoon of Atticus chained to a desk and wearing short pants mean to Jem?
4. Why should one not tell all one knows—according to Calpurnia?
5. Why are hymnals not used in the First Purchase A.M.E. Zion Church?
6. How is Zeebo related to Calpurnia?
7. Scout says she is confronted with the Impurity of Women doctrine in the First Purchase Church. What is the doctrine?
8. How does Calpurnia say that people can be changed?
(The entire section is 320 words.)
Chapter 13 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Alexandra come to live with the Finch family?
2. What does the word amanuensis mean?
3. How does Maycomb receive Alexandra?
4. What does it mean when Scout says that Cousin Joshua “went round the bend”?
5. What is Atticus’ remedy for stomach problems?
6. What is Maycomb’s primary reason for being?
7. Why does Maycomb always remain about the same size?
8. What message does Alexandra ask Atticus to bring to the children?
9. What does Scout mean when she says that Alexandra has a preoccupation with heredity?
10. What does Scout mean when she says that Alexandra thinks...
(The entire section is 229 words.)
Chapter 14 Questions and Answers
1. What does Scout find under her bed?
2. What does Atticus mean when he says, "rape to riot to runaways"?
3. Why does Dill run away?
4. What does Scout think is under her bed at first?
5. What is Scout’s response to Aunt Alexandra when she tells Scout that she cannot visit Calpurnia?
6. What does Scout mean by “he bore with fortitude her Wait Till I Get You Home. . . .”
7. When Scout asked Atticus if she could go to Calpurnia’s, what was Alexandra’s reaction?
8. Whom does Atticus tell Scout to mind?
9. Why does Scout seem to be a very innocent child?
10. Why does Jem ask Scout...
(The entire section is 280 words.)
Chapter 15 Questions and Answers
1. What are the only two reasons grown men stand outside in the yard, according to Scout?
2. What is meant by a “change of venue”?
3. Who is the mockingbird in this chapter? Why?
4. Who does Scout recognize in the mob at the jail?
5. Contrast the way Atticus rises from his chair at the jail and the way that he normally rises from a chair.
6. What breaks the tension when the mob comes to the house?
7. Where is Tom during the time that Atticus faces the mob downtown?
8. What does Calpurnia mean when she says Jem has the “look-arounds”?
9. What attitude do most of the people in Maycomb have...
(The entire section is 254 words.)
Chapter 16 Questions and Answers
1. Who presides over Tom’s trial?
2. What does the word elucidate mean?
3. What makes one a Mennonite, according to Jem?
4. What does Atticus say is the result of naming people after Confederate generals?
5. What does Atticus say had brought the mob to its senses?
6. What is the Idlers’ Club?
7. With whom do the children sit in court?
8. What two things keep Mr. Raymond from being trash?
9. What do the foot-washers say to Miss Maudie?
10. Why does Aunt Alexandra criticize Atticus?
1. Judge Taylor presides over Tom Robinson’s trial.
(The entire section is 206 words.)
Chapter 17 Questions and Answers
1. What is the name of the solicitor?
2. What does the word ambidextrous mean?
3. Why does Reverend Sykes ask Jem to take Dill and Scout home from the trial?
4. Where do the Ewells live?
5. Why does Scout get to stay during the explicit testimonies?
6. Where do Scout and Jem sit during the trial?
7. What does Scout mean when she says that Jem is counting his chickens?
8. Why is it important that Mr. Ewell signs his name with his left hand?
9. What excuse does Jem use for not taking Scout home?
10. What does it mean when Scout says the Ewells live as guests of the county?
(The entire section is 245 words.)
Chapter 18 Questions and Answers
1. What is Mayella’s full name?
2. What are lavations?
3. How can Jem tell which characters do not wash regularly?
4. Why does Judge Taylor not hold Mayella in contempt of court?
5. Why is Tom’s left arm crippled?
6. Whom does Mayella say she is afraid of?
7. What is a chiffarobe?
8. What question does Atticus ask Mayella that makes her furious?
9. What does the word tollable mean?
10. How many witnesses does Atticus say he still has to call when Mayella had finished?
1. Mayella’s full name is Mayella Violet Ewell.
(The entire section is 188 words.)
Chapter 19 Questions and Answers
1. Why is Dill crying?
2. How old is Tom?
3. What is Link Deas’ opinion of Tom?
4. What does Judge Taylor say to Deas when he speaks in favor of Tom?
5. What does Tom say that Mr. Ewell saw through the window?
6. Why does Scout take Dill from the courtroom?
7. What does Scout say is a sure sign of guilt?
8. What does Scout mean when she says Maycomb gives the Ewells “the back of its hand”?
9. Why was Tom afraid to push Mayella out of the way?
10. When Tom was approached by Mayella, he did something which Scout says was a sure sign of guilt. What was it?
(The entire section is 231 words.)
Chapter 20 Questions and Answers
1. What does Dolphus Raymond give Dill to settle his stomach?
2. What is unusual about Atticus’s clothing during his final summation?
3. What does Atticus argue are some of the reasons that Tom should not be convicted?
4. How does Atticus end his summation?
5. What does Atticus do in court that the children never saw him do even at home?
6. What feeling do both Tom and Atticus have for Mayella?
7. What does Atticus say is a great leveler?
8. Why does Mr. Raymond share this secret with the children?
9. Why does Mr. Raymond pretend to drink?
10. Does Atticus say that kissing Tom was a...
(The entire section is 282 words.)
Chapter 21 Questions and Answers
1. Who walks down the middle aisle carrying a note to Atticus?
2. Why does Reverend Sykes ask Scout to stand when her father passes?
3. How does Reverend Sykes address Scout?
4. What things are strange about the courtroom during the wait for a jury decision?
5. Scout compares the atmosphere in the courthouse before the jury returns to another time and place. What is the time and place?
6. Why is Reverend Sykes not sure that the jury would decide in favor of Tom Robinson?
7. Why does Reverend Sykes’s voice seem distant after the decision even though he is standing next to Scout?
8. What does Calpurnia’s note...
(The entire section is 301 words.)
Chapter 22 Questions and Answers
1. What does Aunt Alexandra call Atticus?
2. What does Jem mean when he says “It ain’t right”?
3. What does Dill plan to do with his life?
4. Miss Maudie normally gives the children a small cake each. What does she do this time?
5. What special thing do the people do to show their appreciation to Atticus the next morning?
6. What does Mr. Ewell say and do to Atticus?
7. Does Miss Maudie think that it is an accident that Atticus was appointed by the judge to defend Tom Robinson?
8. What kind of person does Miss Maudie say that Atticus is?
9. Why does it say that Dill makes rabbit-bites?...
(The entire section is 264 words.)
Chapter 23 Questions and Answers
1. What is Atticus’s response when the children ask him to borrow a gun?
2. What is a hung jury?
3. The jury contained white males from outside Maycomb. What are some missing groups?
4. What humorous remark does Atticus make when Ewell spits in his face?
5. Scout believes that Aunt Alexandra wants to help her choose something. What is this?
6. Do you think Tom could get a fair trial with a jury of white males from outside Maycomb? Why?
7. What is Atticus’ response when he was asked if he is afraid to fight?
8. Atticus says that one type of person is trash. Who was this?
9. Why could Miss Maudie...
(The entire section is 214 words.)
Chapter 24 Questions and Answers
1. Where does the women’s missionary circle hold its meeting?
2. Where are Dill and Jem?
3. During what month does the chapter take place?
4. Why is Scout not allowed to go with Dill and Jem?
5. What special group are the women studying?
6. Who is conducting the study?
7. Mrs. Merriweather tries to make Scout look bad in front of the others. She says Scout might want to be a lawyer since she has “already commenced going to court.” What does Scout say she wants to be when she grows up?
8. What bad news does Atticus bring home?
9. Mrs. Merriweather keeps saying there is someone the ladies needed...
(The entire section is 211 words.)
Chapter 25 Questions and Answers
1. What does Jem order Scout not to kill?
2. Why do Jem and Dill go with Atticus to the Robinson Place?
3. What condition does Atticus make for the two boys to go?
4. What game are the children playing at the Robinson Place?
5. What tender gesture does Atticus make while waiting for Helen?
6. What is Helen’s reaction to seeing Atticus’s face?
7. What does Mr. Underwood do to confront society?
8. To what does Mr. Underwood compare Tom Robinson?
9. What does Mr. Ewell say when he hears of Tom’s death?
10. Why does Scout not tell Atticus what Mr. Ewell said?
(The entire section is 236 words.)
Chapter 26 Questions and Answers
1. What grade is Jem in in this chapter?
2. What grade is Scout in in this chapter?
3. How does Scout feel about the Radley Place now?
4. What newspaper does Miss Gates dislike?
5. What term does Miss Gates say means equal rights for everyone?
6. When does Scout see Atticus scowl?
7. Why is Jem trying to gain weight? How?
8. How does Scout define democracy?
9. What had Scout heard Miss Gates say on the courthouse steps?
10. Why does Atticus say that Jem would not talk about the courthouse?
1. Jem is in the seventh grade in this chapter.
(The entire section is 245 words.)
Chapter 27 Questions and Answers
1. What does Mrs. Jones say Mr. Ewell said when he lost his job?
2. When does Judge Taylor hear a strange noise?
3. Why does Helen walk a mile out of her way to get to work?
4. Who defends Helen against Mr. Ewell?
5. What noise did Judge Taylor hear?
6. During what month does this chapter take place?
7. What is Scout’s costume for the pageant?
8. What are the nicknames for the Barber sisters?
9. What trick is played on the Barber sisters?
10. Who escorts Scout to the pageant?
1. Mr. Ewell says that Atticus got his job.
(The entire section is 176 words.)
Chapter 28 Questions and Answers
1. What is the weather like on Halloween night?
2. Who frightens the children on the way to the auditorium?
3. What is Cecil Jacob’s costume for the pageant?
4. How much money does Scout have and how many things can she do with it?
5. Why does Scout miss her cue in the pageant?
6. Why are the children among the last ones to leave the auditorium?
7. Why does Scout wear her costume home?
8. Why can Jem see Scout in the dark?
9. How many people scuffle under the tree?
10. Who does Sheriff Tate find has been killed in the scuffle?
1. The weather...
(The entire section is 221 words.)
Chapter 29 Questions and Answers
1. What is Atticus’s one sign of inner turmoil?
2. Why does Mr. Tate say it is all right that Alexandra had not heeded her feeling?
3. Why does Atticus want Scout to raise her head when she talks?
4. Why don’t the children go back for Scout’s shoes?
5. What does Scout call out to Cecil Jacobs?
6. Why do Atticus and Alexandra not hear the sounds outside?
7. Why does Mr. Tate say Mr. Ewell acted the way that he did?
8. How does Scout know that she is under the tree?
9. Who brings Jem into the house?
10. What does Scout say to the man who rescued Jem and her?
(The entire section is 214 words.)
Chapter 30 Questions and Answers
1. What is in the doctor’s package?
2. Why do they take Boo on the front porch?
3. In what order do they go out on the front porch?
4. What does the sheriff say had happened to Mr. Ewell?
5. What does Atticus say had happened to Mr. Ewell?
6. What comparison does Scout make with Boo?
7. For what does Atticus thank Boo?
8. How does Scout try to cheer Atticus up after Mr. Tate leaves?
9. What kind of knife was used to kill Mr. Ewell?
10. Where does the sheriff say he had gotten the switchblade?
1. The doctor carries medical supplies.
(The entire section is 184 words.)
Chapter 31 Questions and Answers
1. Why does Boo go inside the Finch house again?
2. What book is Atticus reading?
3. Why does Scout walk with Arthur to his home?
4. Why does she ask Boo to take her arm?
5. Why does Scout go to sleep before the story is over?
6. Why does the doctor put a tent over Jem?
7. Why is Atticus reading the book?
8. What does Atticus say most people are like when you finally see them?
9. What makes you think Atticus does not believe Scout when she says she is not afraid?
10. What makes Scout sad in thinking back on all the gifts Boo had given them?
(The entire section is 238 words.)