To Kill a Mockingbird
By: Harper Lee
This story is broken up into two parts: One focuses on Boo Radley and the other focuses on Tom Robinson. Let's begin with Part One! This story revolves around Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus. The Finch Family lives in Maycomb, Alabama during the great depression. However, their father, Atticus is a well-known lawyer and the Finch family is relatively well off in comparison to the rest of the town. One summer, Jem and Scout become friends with a boy named Dill who is visiting his Aunt Stephanie. The three of them play games and act out different skits throughout the summer. The trio becomes fascinated with the spooky house on their street known as the Radley Place. The house is owned by Mr. Nathan Radley and his brother Arthur who is also known as "Boo Radley." Boo is known for never leaving the house. Scout and Jem find random gifts left for them in a knothole of a tree on the Radley Property. They believe that they are all from Boo Radley himself. Dill comes back to town the next summer and they begin to act out the story of Boo Radley until Atticus puts a stop to their antics and teaches them to try to see life from another person's perspective. However, the kids do not listen to Atticus and sneak onto the Radley property one night. Nathan comes outside ands hots his gun to scare the kids which causes Jem to lose his pants as he is running away! He frantically goes back to get them to avoid being punished by Atticus when he finds them mended and hung over the fence. The kids continue to find presents left in the tree and begin to believe that it is Boo Radley leaving them. This continues until Nathan Radley fills the the hole with cement. The next night a fire breaks out on the block and someone slips a blanket onto Scout's shoulders as she watches the fire. Scout and Jem are convinced that Book did it so they decide to tell Atticus about everything that has been going on. Part Two: Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson in the very racist town where he resides. Tom Robinson has been accused of raping a white woman. Because of Aticus' decision, Jem and Scout begin to get teased at school. Atticus' sister, Alexandra comes to live with the Finches to help take care of the kids since he is busy with the trial. Dill runs away from home and returns to Maycomb. Tom Robinson's trial begins and when he is placed in the local jail, a mob gathers to lynch him. Atticus tries to stop the mob when Jem and Scout show up. Scout recognizes one of the men in the mob and innocently begins talking to him. Without even knowing it she manages to get the mob to leave the jail. At the trial, Atticus provides clear evidence that Mayella and Bob Ewell are ling. Bob saw Tom with Mayella and he abused Mayella but pinned the whole thing on Tom Robinson because he knew it would be believed by the town and more importantly, the judge. Atticus provides impressive evidence to prove his innocence but despite his efforts, the all-white jury convicts Tom of the rape. He later tries to escape from prison and is shot to death. This causes Jem and Scout to lose faith in society along with their innocence. Bob Ewell seeks revenge on Atticus and attacks Jema nd Scout on the way home from school. Boo Radley intervenes and saves the kids but ends up stabbing Bob Ewell to death. Finally, Scout and Jem see Boo Radley as a human being and they understand why Atticus encourages them to practice understanding in a time filled with such hatred and prejudice.
Meet the Characters
Setting: Maycomb, Alabama
RL.9-10.1: "Cite strong and thorough evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text."
Analyze the following quotes from the text and reflect on the lessons that you have learned while reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis. How were these quotes portrayed in the novel? How can we apply these lessons to our own lives?