Chapter Summarys of To Kill A Mockingbird
Chapter 1: Scout’s father, Atticus Finch, studied law in Montgomery while supporting his brother, John “Jack” Hale Finch, who was in medical school in Boston. His sister Alexandra is living at the Landing. Atticus began his law practice in Maycomb, the county seat of Maycomb County, where his office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, and a checkerboard. His first case entailed his defense of two men who refused to plead guilty for second-degree murder. They instead pleaded not guilty for first-degree murder, and were hung, marking probably the beginning of my father’s profound distaste for criminal law.
Her father is a peaceful man, while her family’s black cook, Calpurnia, is strict, but nice. Scout and Jem’s mother died of a heart attack when Scout was two, and only Jem has occasional memories for her.
The real excitement begins with the first meeting between Scout, Jem, and “Dill”, a feisty, imaginative boy who is nearly seven but very small for his age. From Meridian, Mississippi, Dill will be spending the summer at the nearby house of Miss Rachel Haverford, his aunt. He impresses the Finch children with his dramatic acting of the movie Dracula, from which Dill gets Scout and Jems friendship and respect. By late summer the children turn their thoughts toward the Radley place, a mysterious household on a curb beyond the Finch house which is said to have a mysterious man, by the name of Boo Radley, living in it. Though never seen by the children, he is rumored by popular superstition to be over six feet tall, with rotten yellow teeth, popping eyes and a drool, eating raw animals. He is often named as the source of strange evil.
Mr. Radley has always only been seen only on his daily trip to collect groceries from 11:30am to 12:00pm, and the family worshipped in their own home on Sundays. Their youngest son, Arthur, become mixed with a gang of boys who were finally arrested and brought to court after driving an old car through the town square and locking Maycomb’s beadle in an outhouse. Though the other boys went to industrial school, Arthur, Boo, Radley’s family preferred to keep him hidden inside the home. After fifteen years of this invisibility, it was said that the thirty-three-year-old Boo stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors. Refusing to permit his son to be deemed insane or charged with criminal behavior, Mr. Radley allowed Boo to be locked up in the courthouse basement. Boo is eventually brought back to the Radley home. After Mr. Radley’s death, his older brother Nathan arrived to continue keeping Boo inside and out of sight.
Dill dares Jem to go inside the Radleys’ front gate. After three days of pondering, Jem’s fear of Boo subsides to his sense of honor when Dill changes his terms, daring Jem to only touch the house. Jem finally agrees to do this. He runs, touches the house, and the three scramble back to the Finches’ porch, where looking down the street to the Radley house Jem and Dill thought they saw an inside of a shutter movement, and the house was still.
Chapter 2: It is now September, and Dill has returned to his family in Meridian, and Scout goes to school for the first time. She is excited about starting school at last, but her first day of first grade leaves her feeling quite differently. Her teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, is a 21-year-old teacher new to the Maycomb County schoolsshe herself is from the richer and more cultured North Alabama, and she doesn’t understand the ways of Maycomb yet.
Half of the students failed first grade the year before. When Miss Caroline puts the alphabet on the board and asks the class if they know it, Scout reads it through, then reads from her reader and from the local paper. Miss Caroline forbids Scout to let Atticus teach her to read anymore, as she claims that Scout is learning wrongly. Scout doesn’t remember learning how to read. When Miss Caroline forbids her to continue reading, she realizes how important it is to