Chapters 1 - 11 Questions

Chapter 1


What is the function of relating the Finch family history at the outset of the novel?

The function of relating the Finch family history at the outset of the novel is to give a background on how it was to live back then. Also it allows you to understand the story better because the beginning shows how family relations were are how life works back then in that area.


What techniques are used to establish a feeling of mystery in the first chapter?

The mystery in Chapter 1 would be the introduction to the Radley family. Not much was known about the Radley family, and there were many rumors, which created mystery.


Explain the manner of narration.

The manner of narration in this story is First Person Protagonist. Scout Finch is telling the story from her point of view when she has grown up. She also reflects in the story on things she did and wishes she had done.


Cite details, which establish the setting of the novel.

In paragraph 2 page 5, Scout talks about the town of Maycomb. She notes that is was an old and tired town, it was very hot, the buildings were old, and you sweat a lot because of the heat. In general the town is a typical old style town.


What attitudes seem prevalent as a result of elements of setting?

The attitudes that seem prevalent as a result of elements of the setting are the tiredness and depression. Since the town is tired and old you sense that everybody is tired of their routine and want something new. As a result the people of the town are fed up and are quick to judge people. There is also not much energy in the town and everybody is depressed.


Contrast Dill’s family situation with the Finches.

Dill has a hard life where almost none of his family wants him and he keeps getting moved around from place to place. Where as the Finches have a strong family bond between their father and the kids. They are also respected in the town where as Dill isn’t really known anywhere.



Chapter 2


What impression do you get of the education system from Scout’s experiences?

At the beginning she is very excited to go to school, but then when she gets there she is disappointed because the education system oppresses her from doing what she loves which is reading.


I think the education system in the story is very strict. Also the new education system they are trying to introduce a basic way of learning with flashcards. Teachers don’t want parents teaching their kids or the kids getting ahead because they think that only they can teach, not the parents. The school system also doesn't encourage students to go above and beyond the standards. Lastly it shows that back in the day school was second to working because it was important to help the family, or if you don’t think you can do school some kids just dropped out.


Why does Scout explain Walter Cunningham’s situation to Miss Caroline?

Scout explains Walter Cunningham’s situation to Miss Caroline because she was insisting to give Walter money and he was refusing. Scout told Miss Caroline his situation that he only takes things that he can return and he saw that there was nothing he could repay her with because he is poor. Also Scout was trying to explain the small town mentality and hierarchy.


Chapter 3


Cite examples of contrast in Jem and Scout.

Jem and Scout are very different in several ways. Jem is very adventurous and likes to have fun; he also has a lot of courage. Scout is also very adventurous but she likes being safe and to please her family. Jem is also more mature shown in several situations, where as Scout isn’t very mature and doesn’t understand the situation of the family and town very well.


Contrast Burris Ewell with the other children.  What is the reason for the description?

Burris Ewell only comes for the first day of school, and then he goes to help out his family in the farm. Burris and the Ewell family don’t believe much in education therefore everybody in their family only go for the first day of school. Burris Ewell also doesn't have pride unlike the Cunningham’s, which are poor but still are respectful. Also Burris Ewell doesn't have a very good life or father.


What is the thematic significance of the advice Atticus gives Scout?

The thematic significance of the advice Atticus gave scout is since the story is all about not judging others and doing the right thing, when Atticus tells Scout to look at the situation from his/her shoes so that she doesn't judge somebody without knowing them.


Chapter 4


What is learned about Jem and Scout from their diverse reaction to the pennies in the knot-hole?

What is learned is that Jem and Scout from their diverse reaction to the pennies in the knothole is the curiosity. Jem was more careful and wanted to leave what wasn’t his and Scout wanted to just take it and keep it.


What characteristics of children in general are revealed through the Boo Radley game?  Why doesn’t Scout enjoy the games as much as the boys do?

The Boo Radley game shows that the children are very curious and want to know more about Boo Radley. Scout didn’t enjoy the game as much because she was always afraid of breaking the rules, and disappointing Atticus. Also she didn’t have as big a role in the game, and she felt left out.


Chapter 5


What functions does Miss Maudie serve in the novel?

Miss Maudie was the figure that the children could talk to. She was also a figure who had the voice of reason, she know Atticus since they were young. Also Miss Maudie felt like she was like a second mother to Jem and Scout and they felt comfortable talking to her.

Chapter 6


What is significant about Jem’s decision to make a lone, nocturnal return

to the Radley place?  What is the significant outcome of the return?

The significance of Jem’s decision to make a lone nocturnal return to the Radley place is that he wants to make sure Atticus doesn’t find out so that he doesn’t disappoint Atticus and make his family look bad in the town. He’s also trying to be more responsible, and he’s being more mature.


What is significant about the town’s conclusion regarding the disturbance at the Radley place?

What is significant about the town’s conclusion regarding the disturbance at the Radley place is that they automatically thought it was a Negro. This shows that the town concludes that all crimes are committed by Negros and that the social standing Is that Negros are at the bottom of the social community.

Chapter 7


What bewildering incidents occur to Jem and Scout?

In chapter 7 Jem and Scout find several items in the tree like soap, carved in their images, they also find gum. Nathan Radley then cements the know hole so that Boo Radley couldn’t leave anything for the children.


Why is it significant that Jem and Scout had been trying?

This is significant because they are beginning to see Boo Radley as a real person, rather than just a mysterious figure. There also begins to be a relationship between Boo and the kids.


Chapter 8


How do people react to the fire at Miss Maudie’s house?

The people of the town all go to help Miss Maudie save her belongings from the fire. The whole town went outside in the middle of the night and this showed how close the small community was and helpful and caring they are.

What characteristics does Miss Maudie show following the fire?

Miss Maudie shows that she is an optimistic person who isn’t negative of sad, even though her house was burned down. She was already planning to build a smaller house and a bigger garden. This also shows she is compassionate because she was scared of people being hurt, and she is obviously not materialistic because she didn’t care much about her possessions.


Chapter 9


What can be deduced about the character of Atticus from his defense of Tom Robinson?

What can be deduced about the character of Atticus from his defense of Tom Robinson is that he is a very noble man who does what he needs to do without a lack of effort. Atticus may have not wanted to defend the man but he felt it was his duty to help everybody and that he made sure that he did his best to save the man.


Contrast Aunt Alexandra and Atticus.

Aunt Alexandra is a much more closed person who isn’t open or kind to anything but what she knows. For example, she didn’t let Scout be whatever she wanted to be. She was determined that Scout must be a lady or a “Southern Belle”. Atticus is much more open to change and different races. He also is willing to do noble things to protect his family’s prestige. Contrasting their parenting styles, Atticus also wants to let his kids be free and experience life, while Alexandra is more traditional and old style.


How does Atticus hope to prevent Jem and Scout from catching the disease of most people in Maycomb?

Atticus hopes to prevent Jem and Scout from catching the disease of most people in Maycomb by educating them and telling them the truth of what really happens and that the Negros aren’t the worst people.


Chapter 10


Explain the symbolic meaning of the mockingbird.

The symbolic meaning of the mockingbird is that the mockingbird only does one thing, which is sing and entertains humans. To kill a mockingbird is such a cruel thing because it is so innocent and hasn’t harmed you.


What are the effects of the chapter’s main events on Atticus, Jem and Scout?

The effects of the chapter’s events on Atticus, Jem and Scout is the mad dog. You see that Atticus is the best shot in town, but he never told his kids, Scout wants to tell everybody, but Jem is more mature so he decided not to tell anybody.


Chapter 11


What causes Jem to strike out against Mrs. Dubose?

Jem strikes out against Mrs.Dubose because she was insulting his family and his father. She was calling the Finch’s “Negro Lovers” and Jem didn’t like that. He was fed up with Mrs.Dubose insulting his family and father so he cut all her flowers.


As the nature of Mrs.Dubose’s affliction is discovered, what is learned about her character?

We learn that Mrs.Dubose has a problem and she is addicted to morphine. She only had a few more months to live and that Jem reading to her was a way to keep her awake during her medicine times.


What does Jem gain from his experience with Mrs.Dubose?

Jem gains that you have to really understand somebody before you judge them and their actions. He didn’t know that she had an addiction, but he kept getting mad at her for her actions when it wasn’t all at her will.