TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Chapter Questions, Part I (Chapters 1-11)

Directions:  These are guided questions to help you in your understanding of the novel. They are NOT REQUIRED and they ARE NOT EXTRA CREDIT.  Most of the quizzes will be short answers!


Chapter 1

  1. Describe the physical setting of the novel. (When & where)
  2. The story is narrated through whose perspective?
  3. Who is Dill?
  4. When the “routine” of Jem, Scout, and Dill’s summer becomes tiresome, what idea does Dill have?
  5. How had Mr. Radley seen to it that his younger son Arthur (Boo) caused “no further trouble” in Maycomb?
  6. Why does the Radley place fascinate Scout, Jem & Dill?
  7. What dare of Dill’s does Jem finally accept?



Chapters 2 & 3

  1. When Jem takes Scout to school for her first day, what “order” does he give her?
  2. When Scout tries to spare Walter Cunningham any further humiliation, what does Miss Caroline do to her?
  3. At the Finch’s for lunch, what reason does Walter give Atticus for not being able to pass the first grade?
  4. After Calpurnia makes Scout leave the table, what “lecture” does she give Scout?
  5. How does Scout describe Burris Ewell’s physical appearance? 
  6. At this point in the novel, what do you know about the Ewells?
  7. After Scout begs Atticus not to make her return to school, what advice does he give her for getting along with people?




Chapter 4

1.       What does Scout find and take in the Radley’s tree?

2.       What is the neighborhood’s opinion of Mrs. Dubose?

3.       Besides gum, what do Scout and Jem find in the knothole of the tree?

4.       What new “game” do Jem, Scout and Dill play?

5.       How does Atticus react to the children’s game?




Chapter 5

  1.  Explain why Scout becomes annoyed with Dill.
  2. With whom does Scout become closer to and why?
  3. What does Miss Maudie tell Scout about “some kind of men”?
  4. What is Jem and Dill’s plan to contact Boo?
  5. What order does Atticus give the children regarding Boo?
  6. According to Miss Maudie, what do “foot-washing Baptists” believe?



Chapters 6 & 7

1.        Why do Dill, Jem and Scout run from the Radley Place?

2.        How does Dill explain Jem’s missing pants?

3.        Who is blamed for trespassing on the Radley place? 

4.        What does the above blame reveal about the setting of the novel?

5.        What does Jem finally tell Scout about his pants that he retrieved?

6.        What do Jem and Scout realize about the carved soap figures they find in the knothole?

7.        When Jem and Scout find the knothole filled with cement, what explanation does Nathan Radley give?  What does Atticus tell Jem about the tree?


Chapter 8

1.        Why is Jem’s snowman so unacceptable to both Atticus and Miss Maudie?

2.        Why does Atticus wake the children in the middle of the night?

3.        Scout ends up covered with what?  How does Atticus explain the presence of what Scout is wearing?

4.        Describe Scout’s reaction to the news she receives from Atticus.

5.        What is Miss Maudie’s reaction to the loss of her house?



Chapter 9

1.        What causes Scout to forget what Atticus told her about fighting?

2.        What does Atticus tell Scout to do when she hears “ugly talk” at school?

3.        Why does Atticus feel he should defend Tom Robinson?

4.        Explain Scout’s reasoning regarding her “cussing fluently.”

5.        Why does Scout fight Francis?

6.        What does Atticus tell Jack he hopes Jem and Scout will do instead of listening to the town?

7.        Atticus tells Jack he hopes his children get through Tom Robinson’s trial without bitterness and without “catching Maycomb’s disease.”  To what is Atticus referring, or what is Maycomb’s “disease”?



Chapter 10

1.        Explain why Scout is upset over Atticus being “so old?”

2.        Atticus tells the children they’re not to kill mockingbirds because doing so is a sin.  How does Miss Maudie explain Atticus’ reasoning to Scout?

3.        Why does the sheriff ask Atticus to shoot Tim Johnson?

4.        What explanation does Miss Maudie offer for “Ol’ One-Shot” (Atticus) putting his gun down thirty years ago?

5.        What does Jem tell Scout to do about their father’s shooting of the dog?

6.        The mockingbird serves as a symbol for what other character(s) in the novel? Explain.

7.        Miss Maudie states that “people in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”  What does she mean? 



Chapter 11

1.        What does Atticus do that causes Scout to say she felt he was the “bravest man who ever lived?”

2.        What does Jem do to Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes?  Explain why he does that.

3.        What does Mrs. Dubose want from Jem as payment for his “crime?”

4.        How does Atticus explain the term “nigger-lover” to Scout?

5.        How does Atticus explain “courage” to Jem?

6.        Why does Scout believe her father is brave?