To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Guidon Study Guide Questions


Part I

Chapter One

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

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

3)      Explain the manner of narration.

4)      Cite details, which establish the setting of the novel.

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

6)      Contrast Dillís family situation with the Finchesí.

Chapter Two

7)      What satirical points are being made about education through Scoutís experiences in school?

8)      Why does Scout explain Walter Cunninghamís situation to Miss Caroline?

Chapter Three

9)      Cite examples of contrast in Jem and Scout.

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

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

Chapter Four

12)  What is learned about Jem and Scout from their diverse reaction to the pennies in the knothole?

13)  What characteristics of children in general are revealed through the Boo Radley game?Why doesnít Scout enjoy the game as much as the boys do?

Chapter Five

14)  What function does Miss Maudie Atkinson serve in the novel?

Chapter Six

15)  What is significant about Jemís decision to make a lone, nocturnal return to the Radley place?What is the significant outcome of the return?

16)  What is the significance about the townís conclusion regarding the disturbance at the Radley place?

Chapter Seven

17)  What bewildering incidents occur to Jem and Scout?

18)  Why is it significant that Jem had been crying?

Chapter Eight

19)  How do people react to the fire at Miss Maudieís house?

20)  What characteristics does Miss Maudie show following the fire?

Chapter Nine

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

22)  Contrast Aunt Alexandra and Atticus.

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

Chapter Ten

24)  Explain the symbolic meaning of the mockingbird.

25)  What are the effects of the chapterís main events on Atticus, Jem, and Scout?

Chapter Eleven

26)  What causes Jem to strike out against Mrs. Dubose?

27)  As the nature of Mrs. Duboseís affliction is discovered, what is learned about her character?

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


Part II

Chapter Twelve

29)  What accounts for the changed relationship between Jem and Scout?

30)  What insights do Jem and Scout gain from attending church with Calpurnia?

Chapter Thirteen

31)  What elements heighten the contrast between Atticus and Aunt Alexandra?

Chapter Fourteen

32)  Cite examples of prejudice and lack of human understanding.

33)  In what way does Jem break the one remaining code of childhood?

34)  Further contrast Dillís home life with Scoutís.

Chapter Fifteen

35)  Contrast the two groups of men Atticus faces.

36)  Explain Jemís reason for following Atticus to town.

37)  Why does the group at the jail disperse after Scoutís talk?

Chapter Sixteen

38)  Why does Scout cry after returning home from the jail?How does Jemís treatment of Scout show his maturity?

39)  What does Maycombís turnout for the trial imply about human nature?

40)  Why is Scout confused after overhearing remarks about her fatherís defense of Tom Robinson?

Chapter Seventeen

41)  What does Atticus attempt to establish through Heck Tateís testimony?

42)  What devises does the author use in Chapter Seventeen to characterize the Ewells, especially Bob Ewell?

43)  What does Atticus attempt to establish through Bob Ewellís testimony?

Chapter Eighteen

44)  What does Mayellaís testimony add to the case?

45)  What startling revelation is made about Tom?

Chapter Nineteen

46)  Scout acquires an important realization during Tomís testimony.Discuss the realization and its significance.

47)  What tragic racial situation is illustrated in this chapter?How does it apply to the theme?

48)  Why is it significant that Dill should be the one to get sick in the courtroom?

Chapter Twenty

49)  What thematically related insights do Scout and Dill receive outside the courtroom?

50)  In reference to Dill, what pessimistic note does Dolphus Raymond cast?What is the implication of the remark?

51)  What is Atticus actually condemning in his closing remarks to the jury?What is the target of Atticusí final plea?

Chapter Twenty-one

52)  How does Scout know the verdict before it is read?What is the broader implication of the juryís behavior?

Chapter Twenty-two

53)  What finally forces Jem over the threshold toward adulthood?What symbolic incident occurs that testifies to Jemís move toward adulthood?

54)  What hope and what fear are expressed at the end of the chapter?

Chapter Twenty-three

55)  Give Atticusí interpretation of recent events.

56)  Cite examples, which demonstrate Jemís continuing maturity.

Chapter Twenty-four

57)  What is ironic about the missionary circleís conversation?

58)  Why did Tom try to escape?

59)  What insight is gained into Aunt Alexandraís character?

Chapter Twenty-five

60)  Discuss the mockingbird symbol in relation to Tom Robinson.

61)  How is the feeling of apprehension conveyed at the end of the chapter?

Chapter Twenty-six

62)  What satirical points are made on the subject of education?

63)  Why is Jem unable to speak about the trial without becoming angered?

Chapter Twenty-seven

64)  What three incidents concerning Bob Ewell occur?From these incidents and from Atticus what do we learn about Bob Ewell?

65)  What comic incident is related in this chapter and what function does it serve in the novel?

Chapter Twenty-eight

66)  What details in this chapter and the last add to the mounting tension before Jem and Scout are attacked?

67)  Discuss the attack and the events that follow.

Chapter Twenty-nine

68)  Discuss the credibility of Booís defense of Jem and Scout.

Chapter Thirty

69)  What insight is gained into Heck Tateís character?

70)  What situation do both Atticus and Scout recognize?

71)  Discuss Scoutís comment about the mockingbird in relation to Boo Radley.

Chapter Thirty-one

72)  In what way does Scout demonstrate sensitivity and compassion in the previous and final chapter?