Chapter 1 TKAM
The chapter opens with the introduction of the narrator, Scout Finch, her older brother Jem, and their friend and neighbor, Dill ·
her brother Jem breaking his arm.
She launches into a brief family history, beginning with her grandfather, Simon Finch. ·
Scout tells of her days living on the main street with Atticus and Jem, along with cook, Calpurnia, Their mother passed away when Scout was two, and she hardly remembers her. ·
Scout then recalls meeting Dill, a seven-year-old boy from Mississippi who lives next door to the Finch’s place, who spends every summer in Maycomb with his aunt. ·
The Radley house is described as broken and decaying. A “baseball hit into the Radley yard was a lost ball no questions asked.” Mr. Radley, who lives in the house with his wife and two sons, keeps the family locked up in the house; they do not attend church, go to the market or communicate with neighbors. ·
Dill dares Jem to run up and touch the Radley residence, and after much deliberation, Jem sprints over and slaps the side of the house, then sprints away.
Chapter 2 TKAM
Dill leaves to return to Meridian in early September, and Scout realizes that she will be starting school in a week. This will be her first time ever attending school, after spending years “looking over at the schoolyard, spying on multitudes of children. ·
Jem walks Scout to school and shows her around her classroom, but tells her to leave him alone during school hours. ·
Scout’s teacher, Miss Caroline, a young “peppermint-scented” idealist. ·
Miss Caroline calls on Scout to say the alphabet, and after Scout successfully reads it aloud, Miss Caroline tells her to “tell her father not to teach her anymore because it will interfere with her reading." During recess, Scout tells Jem about what happened in class, and Jem convinces Scout that Miss Caroline uses a new way of “college” teaching. ·
Miss Caroline then asks all of her students to put their lunches on their desks, and when one boy, Walter Cunningham, does not have anything on his desk, Miss Caroline offers the boy a quarter to buy lunch. Scout is then pressured by her classmates to explain that the Cunninghams “never took anything they can’t pay back."
Chapter 3 TKAM
Jem finds Scout beating up Walter in the schoolyard after class for making her “start off on the wrong foot.” Jem interferes and scolds Scout for picking on someone smaller than her. Because Walter looks “as if he has been raised on fish food” and “there is no color in his face,” Jem takes pity on him and invites him over for dinner.
Chapter 4 TKAM
Each day, Scout is released thirty minutes before Jem, and has to run by the Radley house alone. She recalls one day seeing two sticks of gum nestled inside a tree root in front of the Radley property, and after some deliberation, she snatches them up and chews them. When Jem finds out, he nearly faints with panic, and immediately tells Scout to dispose of it. ·
It is the last day of school and the children eagerly anticipate a lazy summer. They are released, and as Jem walks by the Radley place with Scout, she spots another piece of tinfoil in the roots of the Radley tree. Inside, they find a small case with two Indian-head pennies inside. Jem tells Scout that “these are important to somebody,” and that “they’re real strong magic, they make you have good luck,” then decides to keep them. ·
One day, Atticus inadvertently witnesses them playing the game and questions what they are doing. Scout has always felt uncomfortable playing this game, and Atticus’ admonishment furthers her disinterest in it. She also thinks she hears a laugh coming from inside the Radley house, and begins to fear Boo has witnessed her making fun of his family.
Chapter 5 TKAM
Miss Maudie, “a chameleon lady who worked in her flower beds in an old straw hat,” is widowed and loves all of the world’s offerings, except nut grass, which she hates with a passion. She has been in the community for...
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