To Kill A Mocking BirdThe Narrator of the story is Scout Finch, a five year old girl who lives in a smallsouthern town called Maycomb, Alabama.
She lives with her older brother Jem, and herfather Atticus, and the black family cook, Calpurnia. Atticus is a well-liked man in theThis summer, her and her brother found a new kid in town named Dill Harris, whowould spend summers next door at his aunts house. During most of the summer, Jem,Scout, and Dill play in a small area near their homes. A large part of the first chapter dealswith the Radley house, this house is the topic of gossip and talk among the residents ofMaycomb. Mr. Radley’s son, Arthur (known to the children as boo) had gotten into sometrouble with the law when he was a boy, and since that time Mr.
Radley has kept the boywithin the house instead of sending him away to a special school. The boy has never beenseen in fifteen years since the incident, and rumor has it that boo has done even morehorrible things since he has been kept in the house. One gossip in the town who has beenspreading these nasty rumors is Stephanie Crawford.
One day Dill dares Jem to run up tothe house and touch it, and Jem accepts. When Dill, Scout, and Jem are watching from adistance they think they see a shutter move.At the end of the summer Dill returned home. On Scouts first day of school her teachertells her that she should stop learning how to read and write from her father because it willinterfere with what she is learning at school, and later on before lunch a poor country boynamed Walter Cunningham had no food with him so the teacher tried to give him somemoney for lunch, but he wouldn’t accept it. When Scout tried to explain to the teacherwhy he wouldn’t accept the money, the teacher told scout to stand in the corner, and hitAt lunch Scout found Walter and tried to beat him up, but Jem stopped her, andinsisted that Walter joined them for lunch at their house, and he accepted.
That nightScout talked with her father hoping that he would allow her to stay home from school sohe could teach her, but Atticus bargained with her and said that if she would keep going toschool they could keep reading the same as they always did, and she agreed.Since Scout is in the first grade, she gets out of school a half hour earlier thanher brother, and one day when she is walking home from school by the Radley house shefinds some gum in a knothole in a tree on the property and she takes it. When her brothercame home he made her spit out the gum, and told her not to eat anything she found onthe Radley property cause it could be poison. Two days after the last day of school Dillarrived next door for the summer. Dill, Jem, and Scout decide to play a little game basedon a rumor going around about Boo Radley that he stabbed his father with a pair ofscissors. The group acts out this scene every day until Atticus catches them and takesAfter Atticus took the scissors away, Jem and Dill would keep playing the gamewithout the scissors, but Scout stopped playing with them for a while, and became friendlywith a neighbor, Miss Maudie Atkinson.
Miss Maudie grew up with Atticus’s brother,Jack. They would both sit on Miss Maudie’s porch and talk. One day Scout and MissMaudie have a talk about Boo Radley, and Miss Maudie has a totally different attitudeabout the Radley family than most of the town because she could remember that whenArthur was small he had been nice to her. Miss Maudie always denies the nasty rumorsabout boo, and called the Radley house a sad place.
The day after, Dill, and Jem tried todrop a note into the Radley house using a fishing pole, and while they are doing thisAtticus warns them that they should just leave the Radleys alone.In spite of the warning that Atticus gave to Dill and Jem, the two boys could not helpthemselves, and on the night before Dill was to return home, they decided that they wouldsneak onto the Radley property, and try to peek through one of the windows. WhenScout heard about the plan she did not want to go along but when Jem put her on the spotshe decided to go along. When the three of them were trying to look through a window,they saw the shadow of someone passing by, and as they are trying to escape through theback fence, they hear a shotgun go off. They manage to escape, however Jem’s pants hadgotten stuck on the fence so he had to return for them later that night.School started again, and one afternoon Jem told Scout that when he went back to theRadley place to get his pants they had been hung out over the fence, and that someone hadfixed the tear he had gotten from the fence. After this Jem, and Scout started finding more items in the tree where scout found the chewing gum.
These items included a ball of twine,two soap dolls, and an old watch. One day when they decided that they should givesomething back to whoever was giving them these items in return so they wrote a thankyou note, but when they went to place it in the tree, they found that the hole had beenfilled with cement. Boo’s brother said that he filled the hole because that was the only wayto keep the tree from dying, but when Atticus came home he said that the tree was fine.
When Jem realized that Boo’s brother sealed the tree because he didn’t want Boo to havethis special contact with the outside world he cried because he thought it was simply cruel.One night during the winter it snowed in Maycomb, and this was very exciting for thechildren especially Scout, because she had never seen snow before in her life because thewinters were usually very mild in Maycomb. Since the night was so cold, everyone had afire burning in there house, and Miss Maudie’s house set on fire.
For safety everyone nearby left their homes and had to stay outside in the cold, and while Scout is paying attentionto the fire, someone slips a blanket over her shoulders. Later on Jem, and Atticus realizedthat it had been Boo who must have given Scout the Blanket. When Scout realizes it she isscared about Boo even touching her, but when Jem finds out he is more worried aboutwhat Nathan would do if he found out that Boo had given her the blanket.
They decide tokeep what happened to themselves, and keep the blanket. The children noticed that MissMaudie was not too anguished by the loss of her house, and that she looked at it as moreOne day when Scout is in the schoolyard, a boy named Cecil Jacobs told everyone thatScout’s Dad defends niggers. The next day Scout is itching to fight Cecil but sheremembers what her father told her and instead she goes home and asks Atticus whatCecil meant when he said that, and her father told her that he was defending TomRobinson, a black man. He explained to the children how morally important the case wasto him, and that they should try to ignore any talk that they hear. Even members of theFinch family call Atticus a nigger lover, and believe that he is ruining the whole family.Scout responds to this talk the only way she knows how, by fighting.
In this chapter a mad dog is running down the block one day, and Atticus has to shootit. This is an important event in the story because it shows a different side of Atticus, itshows that while he seems to be a simple and weak to his children, when he is called on todo something he is confident, and even may be seen as brave. When Atticus shoots thedog Jem, and Scout are both amazed, Jem is especially surprised and admires his fatherThere is a mean old woman, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, who lives near the Finchhouse, and she always screams at the children from her front porch about one thing oranother that bothered her about them that day. The children hated her naturally becauseof this, but they never did anything about it until one day she made some nasty remarksabout Atticus, and called him a nigger lover.
On the way home that day, Jem ruined all ofthe woman’s flowers. When Atticus found out about this he made Jem apologize, andtold him he had to read to Mrs. Dubose every day for a month. While Jem is reading toher she often has fits that make Jem very nervous. Soon after this Mrs. Dubose dies.After her death, Atticus explained to the children that she had been a morphine addict,and when she found out she was terminally ill she decided she wanted to kick the habitbefore she died.
The reason Jem had to go over to read for her was to help distract herwhile she was having her fits. Atticus told Jem that he sent him to read because he wantedhim to see that courage was not a man with a gun in his hand, it was something different.While Atticus is away at the state capital, Calpurnia takes the children to her church. There are many things that the children notice are different about the black church.
Inchurch they had a collection for Helen Robinson, Tom’s wife. Scout did not understandwhy Helen did not go to work, and the reverend explained that it was because no whiteman would hire the wife of Tom Robinson. Scout still does not completely understandallot of what is happening, but Jem is trying to act very mature. When they return homefrom church, the children find Aunt Alexandra on the front porch waiting for them.Aunt Alexandra had come to spend the summer with her brother and the rest of thefamily.
She was going to try to have a feminine influence on Scout, and she was also thereto tell the children more about the roots of the family, and tries to enforce the importanceof the family on them, however she is careful to leave out any dark family history. Thechildren are not happy about their aunt staying for the summer, however Atticus reallyneeds the family support during the trial.One day Scout asks Atticus if she can go visit Calpurnia’s house, and Aunt Alexandraoverhears them talking. When Aunt Alexandra hears this she urges Atticus to fire thecook immediately, but he said he could not do that because she had been a faithful memberof the family too long. After Atticus and Alexandra have this disagreement, Jem tellsScout to try not to upset Atticus because he is very busy with the trial. That night thechildren find out that Dill has run away from home and was hiding under Scouts bed.
Dillmade up a story about how bad his new stepfather treated him, but he really just wanted tobe with his friends. When Jem tells Atticus about this, Atticus arranges it so Dill can stay.One night some friends of Atticus come to the house to warn him that there may besome trouble when Tom Robinson is moved into the county jail the next day, but whenJem sees the group of men and hears them talking he is frightened because he thinks thatthese men have come after his father. The next night Atticus leaves to go to the jail tomake sure nothing happens to Tom. Later that night Jem, Scout, and Dill go into thetown and find Atticus sitting in front of the county jail.
They watch from a distance untilthey see a group of men coming out of there cars, and Jem is even more frightened thistime because he knows that these men are after his father. Jem, and Scout run to theirfather’s side. When Atticus sees the children he tells them they must return home but theyrefuse. One man in the crowd grabs Jem, but scout kicks him.
Then, Scout sees Walter’sfather in the mob of men and starts talking about the money troubles that their family had. Scout made the men so ashamed that they all turned around and left. Atticus was relieved,and so proud that his children wanted to try to help him when he was in trouble. Whenthey were returning home they found out that the editor of the Maycomb Tribune hadbeen watching the whole incident with a shotgun in hand.Monday is the day of Tom Robinson’s trial. Before Atticus leaves he tells the childrennot to follow him, so they listen and wait for him to return at lunchtime. Scout looks atthe day in a childish way and describes it as being like a Saturday with all the peoplecoming into town.
When Atticus returns he tells the children that the Jury has beenselected. After Atticus returns to town, the children follow him carefully trying not to benoticed. They wait until all the white people have been seated, but by that time therewasn’t even enough standing room left. Luckily the children find Reverend Sykes, whotakes them to sit in the black balcony. The prosecutor, Mr. Gilmer, called three witnesses, the first witness was Sheriff HeckTate. Mr.
Tate reports to Judge Taylor that Mr. Ewell came to get him, and when thesheriff got there he found the girl badly bruised, and the woman identified Tom Robinsonas the attacker. He also testified that most of the worst bruises on Mayella were on theright side of her face. The second witness was Mayella’s father, Bob Ewell. Bob testifiedthat when he came home he found Tom with his daughter, and tried to milk the Jury bygetting up and screaming.
However the most important part of the questioning was whenAtticus made Bob show the court that he was left-handed. Jem knew what Atticus was upFinally Mayella was called to the witness stand. She knows that Atticus is going to askher trick questions so she is very nervous. Marietta’s story was that she had asked TomRobinson to break up a chiffarobe for her, and when she went into the house Tomfollowed her. Then when she turned around he attacked her. Atticus repeated hertestimony over carefully, and then asked Tom to rise and show the court that he only hasone good arm, his right.
At this point it was obvious that it would be nearly impossible fora man with only one good arm to beet, and rape Mayella.When Tom Robinson takes the stand, he tells a completely opposite story. He statesthat Mayella had been asking him to do errands for her for months, and on the day of theincident, Mayella had kissed Tom, and tried to get Tom to continue, but he was so scaredthat he ran the first chance he had. When it is Mr. Gilmer’s turn to question Tom, he triesto make Tom look like a liar, and attacks him so forcefully that Dill, understanding Tom’sposition breaks out in tears, and goes outside to calm down.After Scout calms Dill down, they return to the courtroom, and find Atticus telling theJury that Mr.
Gilmer has not proven anything against Tom, and the truth is actually veryeasy to see. Atticus ends his speech asking that the Jury believe him.The first time Atticus knew that the children were present was when Calpurnia showedup. He sent the children home to eat dinner, after they were done they returned to thecourt to await the decision.
Tom Robinson is found guilty, as was expected. As Atticusexits the courtroom, the whole black balcony stands up as a sign of there respect forThe next morning the back porch is filled with gifts that the local black people havesent, but Atticus is so emotional that he cannot even eat. Later on when Atticus wentdowntown, Bob Ewell spit in his face, and swore revenge. Atticus takes this threat calmlybecause he knows that even though he has lost the case, he has proved that Bob was a liar.The children are scared because of the threats that Mr. Ewell has made to their father,however Atticus tells the children that he is only talk and there was nothing to be afraidof. There is a discussion about the trial and the children find out that Mr.
Cunninghamhad originally wanted an Tom to go free. Scout wants to become more friendly with Mr.Near the end of the summer while Aunt Alexandra is hosting a missionary tea, andScout is helping to entertain the guests, Atticus walks in and calls over Alexandra and tellsher that Tom Robinson has died.
He was shot by the guards when he tried to escape fromOn the way to Helen Robinson’s house, Atticus meets Jem, and Dill, so they arepresent when Helen Robinson hears he news of her husbands death. When Helen heardthe news she fainted, and had to be carried back into her house. The towns reaction toTom’s death is as if it never happened.
Even in site of an editorial written in the paper byMr. Underwood, the entire town gave it no importance.One day in school, Scout’s teacher mentioned how horible Hitler’s is, and this commentbothers Scout.
The reason Scout reacted like this was because on the night of the trial,she heard her teacher say that the blacks needed to be taught a lesson. Scout figures thather teacher is being a hypocrite because she is persecuting blacks right at home.After the trial Mr. Ewell loses his job with the WPA obviously because everyoneknows that Bob is a liar.
Then one night Mr. Taylor scares Bob away from his housewhen he is trying to rob him. One other thing that Mr. Ewell does as his revenge is that hestarts harassing Helen Robinson. Helen Robinson’s Boss, Link Deas has to threaten Mr.
During a pageant at the school, Scout falls asleep, and misses her part. She is soembarrassed that she doesn’t want to go home until everyone has left. While Jem, andScout are walking home, they are attacked by someone. by the time Scout could get freefrom her ham costume, all she saw was a strange man carrying Jem home.
She ran homeand found that her brother was hurt, and had a broken arm but would be fine. When thesheriff went to look at what was left at the scene, he found Mr. Ewell had been stabbed,Scout explains to the sheriff that it wasn’t Jem who killed Mr. EwellShe then points out that “Boo” had been in the corner of the room the whole time.Then everything is cleared up, and the doctor tells Arthur that Jem is going to be fine.
After everything Arthur asked Scout to walk him home, and she did. After everythingScout was more mature and saw the whole world differently with an open mind, and whenshe thought about everything that people said about Boo, she realized that you need to getto know people yourself, and as Atticus said “you need to really get under their skin.”Bibliography: