to kill a mockingbird chapter notes

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  • Bush presents Harper Lee with the nation's highest civilian award Lee, the author of the beloved novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," was honored for her contribution to American literature. The book, one of the 20th century's best-selling novels, gives a child's view of racial injustice in a rural, Depression-era Southern town, much like her hometown of Monroeville.

  • CHAPTER 1Narration 1st person Narrator, told through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch, ScoutNarrative Parts narrator is an adult ScoutDialogue spoken as Scout, the child in the storyContrast of Dills family situation and Scout and JemsJem and Scout have been motherless since Scout was two/ Scout has no recollection of her mother and does not feel her absence/Jem does have periods when he misses herDill is also without a mother and father by reason of divorce/he has been shifted between relatives/Dill has the skill of imagination and fabrication because of his unstable home lifeJem and Scout have Atticus and Calpurnia to provide a stable home life for them

  • CHAPTER 2Satire of EducationMiss Carolines displeasure w/ Scouts skills in reading and writing satirizes schools preoccupation w/ structure and sequenceStory about the cunning little kittens reveals the tendency to impose standards of ones own experience instead of identifying and relating to the learners situation

  • CHAPTER 3Contrast of Buris Ewell and other kidsPhysical Description Miss Carolines reaction to his body lice/ that he is the dirtiest person Scout has ever seen/ implies that the other children are much cleaner/ lays the foundation for the Ewell family later in the book

    Atticus advice to ScoutYou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.Shows need for compassion and empathy/she must learn to consider other peoples points of view

  • CHAPTER 4The Boo Radley GameChildren can be imaginative, but they can also be unintentionally cruelScout wants to quit the game because Atticus doesnt approve and she heard laughter coming from the Radley house when she was rolled into the yard in the tireOak Tree knothole Jem and Scout find gum and Indian head pennies

  • CHAPTER 5Miss Maudie Atkinsons FunctionCharacterize others through her comments to Scout

    Has a positive effect on Scout

    Helps to shape Scouts understanding and character

  • CHAPTER 6Jem, Dill, and Scout attempt to peek into the window to get a look at BooThey were apparently discovered, so they bolt.Jem gets his pants caught and has to take them off to get away.Jem returns to get his pants because he know Atticus will be angry.Jem discovers that the pants were sewn and folded, lying across the fence.Apparently, someone was trying to keep Jem out of trouble

  • CHAPTER 7Jem and Scout find more stuff in the knothole.Soap Dolls carved in their images. They realize the things theyve found are for them.Nathan Radley cements the knothole shut, so that no more things can be put there, which makes Jem understand that Boo must have been the one leaving things.Jem Cries, which shows he understands Boo Radleys loneliness.

  • CHAPTER 8Miss Maudies house burns down

    Boo wraps a blanket around Scout because she is shivering.

  • CHAPTER 9Atticus CharacterTakes Tom Robinsons caseDefends him because he wants to remain true to his convictionsKnows he is beaten before the trial even starts, but he feels he must try

  • CHAPTER 9 (cont.)Aunt Alexandra Concerned w/ appearancesWants Scout to be a ladyHas influenced cousin FrancisCharacteristics of passivity, obedience, and good breedingAtticusMore concerned w/ how his children behave at moments of stressNot concerned w/ superficial manners and dressInfluence shown in Scout, who is open, not deceptive, has a fighting spirit, has an inner glow of sincerityReady and willing to defend the helpless and the underdogHas a respect for well-kept silence

  • CHAPTER 10Symbolic meaning of the Mockingbirda sin to shoot a mockingbirdCause no harm to anyoneGentle and give of themselves through songRefers to people whose natures are like that of mockingbirdsIt is a sin to destroy a gentle person

  • CHAPTER 10 (cont.)Ol One-shotBeginning of the chapter, Jem and Scout viewed Atticus as old and feeble/ not physically active/ his modest accomplishments (making a will air tight) are a source of shameAtticus shoots the rabid dog/ Jem and Scout are proud of his courage and skill, but they overlook his modesty

  • CHAPTER 11Mrs. DuboseSickly and sourly old lady who shouts nasty comments at Jem and Scout when they passCriticizes Atticus for the way he raises themCasts sarcastic remarks for Atticus defense of Tom RobinsonJem releases his pent-up emotions by destroying her camellia bushes with Scouts batonJems punishment is to read to her

  • CHAPTER 11 (cont.)Mrs. Duboses afflictionWas suffering from a terminal illnessStopped taking her morphine for the painWanted to die without being addictedJems gain from the experienceLearns what real courage isCourage is when a person fights until the end even when he knows he is beatenAlso learns a lesson in tolerance Scout and Jem lengthen their stays at Mrs. Duboses

  • CHAPTER 12Insights Jem and Scout gain by attending church with CalpurniaGenerous unity among First Purchase Church membersShow of support for Tom and his family which contrasts the white communitys reaction toward AtticusGain insight into Cals dual lifeIs in command of two languagesHas had long involvement with the Finch familyLearned and taught reading from Blackstones CommentariesAre informed by Cal that it is not necessary to tell everything one knows

  • Blackstones CommentariesBlackstone, Sir William (1723-1780), an English judge, author, and professor, won recognition for his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769). This book presented a comprehensive picture of the English law of his time, and became the most influential book in the history of English law. It was the basis of legal education in England and America for years. Blackstone's book greatly influenced American colonists. The colonists used it as their chief source of information about English law.

  • CHAPTER 13Aunt Alexandra comes to stay with the Atticus and his children/drives home the point that Atticus is very different

  • CHAPTER 14Dill has run away from home and ended up at the FinchsDill explains that his parents give him everything he needs but themselvesHe feels unneeded

  • CHAPTER 15Contrast Between Two Groups of MenTradition for men to stand in anothers front yard for death or politicsGroup led by Heck Tate there for a little of bothWarn Atticus of Old Sarum bunch thinking of lynching Tom RobinsonExpress fear for Atticus and his familyCrowd disperses in laughter

  • CHAPTER 15 (cont.)Contrast Between Two Groups of MenMob at the jail smells of pigpens and stale whiskeySerious in their intent to lynch Tom RobinsonTension is pierced by Scouts innocent talk

  • CHAPTER 15 (cont.)Mobs are powerful when they act as groupsScout causes Mr. Cunningham to see through Atticus eyesMr. Cunningham feels shame for endangering Atticus childrenScout reminds them of their individuality with talk of entailmentsOnce the individual members of a mob think as individuals, the mob mentality disappears

  • CHAPTER 17Heck Tates TestimonyHad been no medical confirmation of Mayellas alleged assaultWants to establish that Mayella was beaten by a left-handed assailantHad marks the whole way around her throat which suggests that someone choked her with both handsWants Heck to repeat the points made in the testimony

  • CHAPTER 17 (cont.)Characterization of the EwellsHave existed as parasites of the countyLive behind the town dump Live in a shack of patched, corrugated iron sheets with a tin can roofShack surrounded by junk that resembles the playthings of a mad child

  • CHAPTER 17 (cont.)Description of Bob EwellMayellas fatherStruts like a roosterChinless face and a red neckBeaklike noseCrows when he speaks

  • CHAPTER 17 (cont.)Bob Ewells TestimonyConfirms Heck Tates testimonyMayella was beaten on right side of her faceMayella was not examined by a doctorEstablishes that Bob Ewell is left-handedShows that Bob Ewell could have beaten his own daughter

  • CHAPTER 18Mayellas TestimonyDepicts a deprived backgroundHer day is extraordinary and almost animalistic survivalLives in isolation, no contact with other people and other life-stylesTries to keep her story straight, but faltersSuggests that her father beat her, not Tom RobinsonTom rises and it becomes apparent that his left arm is 12 inches shorter that his right and is useless

  • CHAPTER 19Toms TestimonyHe was kind to Mayella and often did chores for her because he felt sorry for herResisted Mayellas advances to kiss him by running awayDeclares he would never strike a white womanEstablishes that Bob Ewell saw Mayella make advances to kiss him and had threatened to kill her

  • CHAPTER 19 (cont.)Toms motivation to help Mayella were only a show of kindness, but kindness can be so uncommon that it is unrecognized and reacted to with hostilityToms only resistance to Mayellas advances was to run; striking a white woman would mean certain deathAttorney Gilmers treatment of Tom racially offensive

  • CHAPTER 20Dolphus RaymondConsidered to be the town drunkMarried to a black womanHas mixed childrenEntrusts Dill and Scout with his deepest secret that he doesnt drinkBelieves that if people believe he is under the influence of whiskey, then they are more comfortable with their prejudice of him and his lifestyle