Literapiedia Book Notes for

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Characters

  • Atticus Finch (ch 1)—A lawyer in Maycomb County.
  • Calpurnia (ch 1)—The black housekeeper for the Finch family.
  • Jeremy “Jem” Atticus Finch (ch 1)—The son of Atticus. Scout's brother.
  • Jean Louise “Scout” Finch (ch 1)—The daughter of Atticus, and the narrator of the story. Jem's sister.
  • Charles “Dill” Baker Harris (ch 1)—A summer neighbor of the Finch children.
  • Arthur “Boo” Radley (ch 1)—A mysterious neighbor of the Finch family.
  • Miss Maudie Atkinson (ch 5)—A widowed neighbor of the Finches and a confidant to Scout.
  • Heck Tate (ch 10)—Maycomb County sheriff
  • Aunt Alexandra (ch 13)—The sister of Atticus.
  • Bob Ewell (ch 17)—Cocky, drunken, and dirty. Mayella's father.
  • Mayella Ewell (ch 17)—One of Bob's many children. The supposed rape victim.

Chapter Summaries

  1. The Finch family, Maycomb, and Boo Radley are introduced. The summer when Jem is ten, Dill comes to the neighborhood and dares Jem to touch the Radleys’ door.
  2. Scout gets in trouble on the first morning of her first day at school.
  3. Scout brings Walter Cunningham home from school for lunch, learns a lesson, and is convinced by Atticus to return the next day to school.
  4. Scout and Jem find treasures in the Radley’s tree, the school year ends, and Dill comes for the summer. Scout rolls in a tire into the Radley’s yard, and she, Jem, and Dill get in trouble for playing “Boo Radley.”
  5. Miss Maudie tells Scout about the Radleys. Jem and Dill are caught by Atticus trying to get a note to Boo.
  6. At the end of the summer, Jem and Dill try to peek in the windows of the Radley house and have to beat a quick escape. Jem returns later to find his torn pants mended.
  7. Second grade begins for Scout, and she and Jem start finding treasures in the Radley’s oak. As they decide to write their benefactor a letter, Nathan Radley cements the tree.
  8. It snows in Maycomb, and Jem and Scout build a snowman. Miss Maudie’s house burns down, and Boo gives Scout a blanket.
  9. Scout gets in a fight with Francis after he calls Atticus a "nigger-lover." Uncle Jack realizes that he doesn't understand children.
  10. Scout and Miss Maudie get into a conversation about Atticus, and Jem and Scout come across a rabid dog. Atticus shoots it, then Jem and Scout soon discover that Atticus used to be called "the deadest shot in town."
  11. Mrs. Dubose becomes an irksome presence. Jem hears Atticus called "nigger-lover" one too many times and snaps. They read to Dubose and she sends them a camellia. Jem goes to throw it in the fire, before learning Dubose was a morphine addict.
  12. Jem starts to mature, and Scout is disappointed that Dill's note says that he would not be coming. Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to church with her. A collection is taken up for Tom Robinson's wife, who can't find a job. Aunt Alexandra arrives.
  13. Aunt Alexandra is staying with the Finch family and tells them about the history of Maycomb and the people who live there. She also wants them to learn about the accomplishments of their relatives.
  14. Scout and Jem learn what rape means and Dill shows up at their house after being on the run from his parents. Dill tells the story of how and why he ran away.
  15. A group of men come to Atticus's door one night to express their concern about the Tom Robinson case. On Sunday night, Atticus goes to the Maycomb county jail to defend Tom from Mr. Cunningham's mob. Scout brings them to their senses, and they return home.
  16. It is the day after Atticus's encounter with the gang of men down at Maycomb Jail, and Jem, Scout, and Atticus are discussing what had happened the night before. Jem, Scout, and Dill go down to the courthouse and observe their father represent Tom Robinson from the “colored balcony.”
  17. Mr. Bob Ewell takes the stand. Atticus questions him and builds support for the defense.
  18. Mayella Ewell, daughter of Bob Ewell and supposed victim of Tom Robinson, is called to the witness stand. She gives her version of the story. Atticus asks her questions about her personal life. Then, he asks if she is telling the truth. Instead of answering, she loses control and cries.
  19. Tom Robinson takes the stand and tells his side of the story and endures cross-examination. Dill and Scout leave the courtroom because Dill gets upset.
  20. Atticus makes his closing arguments to the jury in the defense of Tom Robinson before deliberations begin.
  21. Calpurnia finds Scout and Jem in the courtroom and takes them home for dinner. They return to hear the verdict: Tom Robinson is guilty.
  22. Atticus receives an incredible amount of food from the black community in Maycomb. Miss Stephanie tells Scout and Jem that Bob Ewell spat in their father's face and threatened him.
  23. Jem struggles to cope with the unjustness of the trial. Atticus thinks that Mr. Cunningham voted for Tom Robinson to be found innocent.
  24. Scout starts to see the better side of Aunt Alexandra. Atticus tells Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie about the death of Tom Robinson.
  25. Scout remembers the story Dill and Jem had told her earlier of their trip to go swimming when Atticus and Calpurnia passed in the car and picked them up on their way to Helen Robinson’s house. Calpurnia and Atticus inform Helen that her husband is dead.
  26. Scout starts third grade. Cecil Jacobs presents a “Current Event” to the class about Hitler. When Mrs. Gates starts saying that it was wrong of Hitler to persecute the Jews, it confuses Scout because she had overheard Mrs. Gates being prejudiced against blacks.
  27. Time passes. Link Deas stands up for Helen Robinson to the Ewells. It is Halloween, and Scout gets a part in the town pageant.
  28. Scout and Jem are surprised on the way to the pageant by Cecil Jacobs. Scout performs her part in the pageant. On their way home, Scout and Jem think they hear something and realize they have company. Someone accosts Scout and Jem, then a mysterious stranger picks up an unconscious Jem and carries him home. Mr. Tate finds Bob Ewell dead.
  29. Scout goes through the night play by play, telling Mr. Tate what had happened. Scout realizes that Boo Radley carried Jem home.
  30. Mr. Tate decides after investigation that Bob Ewell fell on his knife, though he hints that Boo Radley actually saved Jem and Scout.
  31. Scout walks Boo Radley home, and Atticus sits with Jem all night.

Book Note Creators


Dominique Vines, Catherine Wise, Christian Boughner, Lizzie Barnett, Rosa Waters, Logan Webb, Michael Viray, Kerry Sawyer, Henry Rives, Jill Weakland

Edited by: Jessi Merry, '08