Study Guide for to Kill a Mocking Bird

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1. Chapter 1 introduces readers to the town of Maycomb, its appearance, its inhabitants, and the particular attitudes of many of its people. Find a sentence or paragraph which illustrates each of the following attitudes/ideas. Quote at least a portion of the sentence or paragraph and give the page number.

a. pride in ancestry and “tradition”
b. pride in conformity and distrust of those that are different c. awareness of the difference in social classes
d. narrow span of interest locally and almost no interest in the world outside of Maycomb 2. Scout makes three mistakes during her first day of school. What are her mistakes and why do they make Miss Caroline so angry?

3. Calpurnia lectures Scout on manners when Scout criticizes Walter’s manners. Atticus supports Calpurnia. What does this tell you about how both Calpurnia and Atticus feel about others? 4. In what specific ways does Scout criticize the school she is attending? 5. Explain Miss Maudie’s statement: “…sometimes the Bible in the hands of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hands of –oh, your father.” 6. After the incident at the Radley house, Jem’s real desire is not just to recover his pants but to keep on good terms with Atticus. What does this tell you about Jem’s relationship with his father?

7. What was the condition of Jem’s pants when he found them? Why did their condition frighten him further?
8. Explain why Mr. Nathan Radley fills the hole in the tree with cement. Why does Jem cry about this?
9. After the fire is over, how does Miss Maudie feel about the destruction of her house? What does this tell you about her character, her values?
10. Explain Atticus’ statements about the following:
a. the use of a racial slur
b. his personal reasons for defending Tom Robinson
c. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”
d. “Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I...
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