Complete summary of "To Kill A Mocking Bird" By Harper Lee with character analysis and vocabularies.

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To Kill A Mockingbird

By: Harper Lee

Published by Warner Communications Company, 1982

Copyrighted by Harper Lee, 1960


Scout (Jean Louis Finch): Main character of the story and also the narrator. She's a six year-old girl who is a tomboy at heart, by wearing overalls instead of dresses. Has an older brother named Jem, and her best friend, Dill. She is overall smart for her age and often finds herself in trouble with others.

Jem (Jeremy Finch): Brother to Scout and acts as her playmate and protector. He helps Scout on how to get along in school and reminds her to respect Atticus and their other elders.

Atticus Fitch: Father of Jem and Scout. He is in the Alabama State Legislature and acts as Maycomb's leading attorney.

Dill: Friend of Scout. Spends his summers with his relatives and he comes from a broken family.

Boo Radley: Scout, Jem and Dim talks about rumors about him.

According to the rumors, he stabbed his father in the leg when he was a young boy.

Calpurnia: The Finch's black housekeeper. She acts as a mother in the household.

Walter Cunningham: He is from a farming family. His family lies in the class above African Americans but below the Finch family.

Chapter Summaries:

Chapter 1: Scout the narrator, describes her family's history and her town, Maycomb. She and her brother, are also introduced to Dill and they shared stores and fantasies and myths about the man (Boo Radley) next door.

Chapter 2: In this chapter, Scout goes to school for the first time. She described it as a "not so good" day. She also explained why Walter couldn't pay back Miss Caroline's money if he had borrowed it for lunch. Later Walter made bad comments on Miss Caroline.

Chapter 3: Scout was upset about the bad remarks Walter made on Miss Caroline so she starts a fight with him. Jem breaks up the fight and invited Walter over for dinner. Scout learned a lesson in manners when Walter comes to dinner. She also learned a lesson in compromise from her father, Atticus.

Chapter 4: Scout and Jem passed the oak tree and found gum and two, polished Indian-head pennies dated in the early 1900s. They wondered who had left it there for a while. Dill comes back from Meridian and as usual they played act stories. They acted the scheme where Boo Radley stabs his father in the leg with a pair of scissors. The neighbors saw their act and told Atticus. Atticus took the scissors away and asked what they were doing. The children lied about what they were doing. Later they lost interest in the act.


spittoon (n.): a jar-like container to spit into; usually used to spit tobacco juice into.(p9)

malevolent (adj.): evil. (p13)

indigenous (adj.): belonging to a particular region or country. (p21)

discernible (adj.): understandable. (p36)

To Kill A Mockingbird

By: Harper Lee

Published by Warner Communications Company, 1982

Copyrighted by Harper Lee, 1960


Scout (Jean Louis Finch): In chapter 5, Scout was excluded from Jem and Dill's plays. She stayed at Miss Maudie to have some fun.

Jem (Jeremy Finch): Frighten in the 6th chapter because of "a walk".

Atticus Fitch: He caught the kids doing wrong things a few times in these chapters.

Dill: It was the end of summer, so of course it was time for Dill to leave. On his last day the three children had quite an adventure.

Miss Maudie Atkinson: Scout's so called playmate or friend. Scout goes to her when Dill and Jem excluded her from their play. She tells Scout about Boo Radley and his family. She was happy in the end of chapter 8 about her house being burnt down by making more room for her garden.

Chapter Summaries: Pages 46-78

Chapter 5: In the beginning of the chapter, Jem and Dill excluded Scout from their play. Dill childishly engaged to Scout, but still she was unwelcome in their play. She often goes to Miss Maudie Atkinson. There she watched the sun sets and eat Miss Maudie's fine cake. Scout also asked her about the Radleys. The next day Jem and Dill were trying to leave a note in the Radleys' window. Later Atticus found out that the boys were trying to do that.

Chapter 6: It was the last day that Dill will be staying at Maycomb. He suggested "a walk" before he leaves but it was more, Jem and Dill sneak over to the Radleys' and peek in the window trying to see if anyone was there. Dill saw curtains and a small faraway light. Jem said a shadow of a man. As soon as the man passed, the children ran home. Jem got his pants stuck under the gate. As they were running they heard a shotgun sound somewhere behind them. When they got home they found out that Mr. Radley was shooting a "white Negro". Atticus asked where Jems' pants were, and Dill said that he lost his pants in a strip poker game. At night, Jem decides to go back to get his pants. Scout persuaded Jem about not going, but didn't listen so she went with him. Later he returns back with his pants, trembling.

Chapter 7: It was the start of a new school year; Scout finds the second year just as boring. As Jem and Scout walked home, Jem told her that the pants he gotten back yesterday was folded neatly and seemed to be waiting for him to pick it up, he finds his very eerie. Later then found a ball of twine in a oak tree, they left it there for a few days and found out that it was still there, so they decided to take it. A couple weeks later they found chewing gum and then a medal for winning the spelling bee and also a broken pocket watch. Jem and Scout wrote a letter and left it at the tree thanking whoever was leaving it there. The next day they were shocked to find out that the oak tree hole was filled up.

Chapter 8: Winter comes to Maycomb and it was harsh. Snow came; it was the first that Jem and Scout had ever seen. School was cancelled so they decided to make a snowman. There wasn't enough snow so they borrowed some of Miss Maudie's. In the middle of the night, Atticus woke Jem and Scout up. Miss Maudie's house was on fire. After the house burnt down, Miss Maudie stayed at Stephanie's house. Scout finds herself with a blanket around her, neither of the kids knew who gave it to them; then they realized that Boo must have put it on them during the fire. Miss Maudie was happy that her house was burnt down; she thinks that a smaller house will give more room for her garden.


benevolence (n.): in this case, a generous or thoughtful gift (p47)

ramshackle (adj.): loose or rickety; about to fall apart (p57)

palate (n.): the roof of one's mouth (p66)

cordial (adj.): warm and friendly (p78)


Scout (Jean Louis Finch): Often defends his father when people taunt him about being a "nigger lover".

Jem (Jeremy Finch): He gone mad after hearing what Mrs. Dubose said about his father and how she was acting. He grows up and becomes moody.

Atticus Fitch: He often has to explain to Scout why he defended a negro and how he was not doing a wrong thing.

Francis: Scout's cousin. He taunted about Atticus being a "nigger lover" at their Christmas dinner.

Uncle Jack: Receives a small lesson from Scout. He became shocked after hearing the "real" side of the incident.

Mrs. Dubose: Mean sick lady that often yells at Scout and Jem on her porch. She made Jem read to her for a month and one week. Later in the end of chapter 11 she dies from her illness.

Chapter Summaries: Pages 79-129

Chapter 9: Scout runs into trouble with a classmate taunting her about her father, whom he called a "nigger lover." Atticus explains to Scout that he will be defending a black man named Tom Robinson. The Finches went to Finch's Landing for a Christmas dinner. After dinner Scout's cousin, Francis, also taunted that Atticus was a "nigger love" and that he was the ruination of the family. Scout then punches him in the mouth and Francis screamed so everyone came out. He says that Scout called him a "whore-lady" and jumped on him, which Scout denied. Back at their home, Uncle Jack came to visit Scout. Scout tells him that he didn't understand children well enough. Scout tells Jack what really happened and he was shocked.

Chapter 10: At first Scout finds that Atticus, her father, was too old to do anything. Atticus tells them they can shoot their air guns that they got at Christmas at tin cans but was a sin to kill a mockingbird because they sang their hearts out for them. One day a mad dog, named Tim Johnson appeared. Calpurnia tells Atticus about it and he returns home with Heck. Heck tells Atticus to shoot the dog. He fired and killed Tim. Jem was amazed at his one-shot kill. Miss Maudie tells the children that he was once knew as the "One-Shot Finch". Scout wants to tell the school about it but Jem told her not to because he didn't care if Atticus couldn't do a blessed thing.

Chapter 11: One Scout and Jems' way to meet Atticus after work. They were planning to get a steam engine and a sparkling baton with Jem's twelfth birthday money. They passed by Mrs. Dubose, a very mean sick old lady. Mrs. Dubose yells to Jem that he broke Miss Maudie's grape arbor, which was untrue and then she started to talk about Atticus defending a nigger. As they gotten back from buying the things, Jem grabs Scout's baton and cuts off all the tops of Mrs. Dubose's camellia brushes. Atticus came home and asked if Jem had done such a thing and he admits. His punishment was to read to Mrs. Dubose for two hours a day for a full month. At times when Jem was reading, Mrs. Dubose corrects him and at times she didn't notice that he had skipped some lines. The month ends but Jem had to read for one more week. A few weeks later, Mrs. Dubose died. Atticus shows his feelings toward her and called her "the bravest woman I ever knew".

Chapter 12: Jem grows up and becomes moody and often wants to be left alone. Calpurnia brought Jem and Scout to the First Purchase African M.E. church, which is an all-black congregation. As they got to the door of the church, Lula, a big black woman, tells Calpurnia that the white children do not belong to the church, but Calpurnia points out that they believe in the same God. The children found out the way they sang hymns. Later Reverend Sykes held a collection for Helen Robinson. After the service, Scout asked why they would need to collect money for Helen; he explains that it was hard for her to find a job when her husband is being accused of a rapist. Now Scout asked Calpurnia why they didn't all have a hymn book, she tells her that not all the blacks in the church can read, only four can and she was one of them. Then Calpurnia tells Scout about how she learned to read.


hookah (n): An oriental tobacco pipe with a flexible tube that draws smoke through a bowl of water (p82)

erratically (adv.): strangely; differently than normal (p97)

infuriated (vb.): angered greatly (p113)

austere (adj.): stern and severe (p124)

Chapter 13:

Aunt Alexandra comes to stay with Atticus and the children. She says that the "fine folks" are those who lived in the same land for a long period of time. She considered the Ewells, "fine folks" since they had lived by the land by the town dump for three generations. Scout then talks about how Maycomb was founded by a man named Sinkfield.

Chapter 14:

Scout asks what rape was and Atticus tells her that it was "carnal knowledge of a female by force without consent". Aunt Alexandra finds out that Scout went to the black church with Calpurnia and she tries to forbid contact between them. Later that night Scout and Jem found Dill under her bed. He ran off from home with the money he stole from his mother, which was used as transportation. Later Dill explains to Scout why he had run off.

Chapter 15:

A group on men paid a call on Atticus at his home, they were talking about the concerns about the 'Sarum bunch" will cause trouble during the case. On Sunday there was a lot of people at church, more than Scout could remember. Later that night Jem, Scout, and Dill went to downtown to see what Atticus was doing. They found him with a light bulb reading this book. A group of men emerged and they assaulted Jem.

Chapter 16:

Tom Robinson's trial began. So many people pour in to Maycomb to watch the trial. Lee introduced a new character, Dolphus Raymond. Dolphus, a white man, is the only white person in the county who associates socially with black people. In fact, he married a black woman and is the father of bi-racial children. Dill, Scout, and Jem, who secretly left Aunty's supervision to watch the trial, marvel at Dolphus and wonder why he would choose to socialize with black people and how he manages to do so in a county governed by social rules and barriers. The trial started and the kids didn't get a seat in the front section because they were late so they settled in the upper section where blacks sat.

Chapter 17:

Mr. Gilmer, the prosecuting attorney, called Sheriff Tate to the stand first. Tate recalled how Bob Ewell's daughter was badly beaten. Atticus revealed that no one had ever contacted a doctor. Everyone had simply assumed that a rape had occurred due to Mayella's injuries. Next Mr. Gilmer called Bob Ewell to the stand. Bob explains the story exactly as Tate explained it. He adds nothing new to the prosecution's story except that he claims he saw Tom Robinson beating Mayella. He didn't chase Tom, he says, because he stays in the house to help Mayella.

Chapter 18:

Mayella took the stand next. Mayella responded that she asked Tom Robinson into the yard to help her chop up a chiffarobe. As Mayella went inside to fetch a nickel for Tom, she said that Tom followed her into the house where he raped and beat her. Mayella revealed to Atticus that Bob Ewell is a good father except when he drinks and describes the poor conditions in which she and her seven siblings lived. When Atticus asked Mayella to identify her attacker she pointed to Tom Robinson who stands to face her. When Tom stands, they realized that his left arm had been mangled in a cotton gin when he was twelve. To Jem and Scout it is obvious that Tom could not have attacked Mayella with only his right hand.

Chapter 19:

Mr. Gilmer rested his case and Atticus called Tom Robinson to the stand. According to Tom, Mayella asked him to help her fix the door to her house. Tom enters the property and proceeds to examine the door. He found nothing wrong with the door and asked if she need anything else. She asked Tom to lift a box down from atop a high dresser. As he does so, Mayella grabs him around his legs. Tom steps down and faces Mayella who hugs him around his chest and kisses his mouth. Scared and confused, Tom tried to push himself away from Mayella without hurting her. Bob Ewell caught them together in his living room and proceeded to yell at Mayella. Tom admitted that he does not know who had beaten her. When Gilmer cross-examines Tom he called him boy and treats him with blatant disrespect. He asks Tom why he had helped. Tom explained that he felt sorry for Mayella who always seemed to do all the work on the property and had to take care of so many children. Upon hearing that Tom felt sorry for Mayella, the people in the courtroom begin to murmur and Tom realizes that he has made a mistake.

Chapter 20:

Dill ran out of the courtroom upset, by the way Gilmer treated Tom on the stand. Dolphus Raymond offers Dill a sip from the bottle he carries in a brown bag with him all the time. Dill takes a sip and realizes that Dolphus drinks Coca-Cola instead of whiskey as everyone had assumed. Then the children ask Dolphus why he wants everyone to think he drinks whiskey. Later, Dolphus and the children return inside the courthouse to hear closing arguments. Atticus points out the following: there is no proof that a rape ever occurred since a doctor never examined Mayella, Tom could not have both strangled and beaten Mayella because he has only one good hand. He also points out that Mayella's father could have been the one who beaten her. His case and his closing argument are very strong.

Chapter 21:

Calpurnia comes to pick up the children from court. Atticus then realized that they had been watching the whole time. He was a bit made about the kids leaving home without his permission but he allowed them to come back to hear the verdict. The jury took longer than usual to return the verdict, when this happen its usually "guilty". The lower level of the courtroom cleared while the upper level, filled with blacks waited for Atticus to depart. The blacks respected Atticus for his hard work and effort in the case.

Chapter 22:

In this chapter, the children and the town began to recover from the verdict. Black people sent large quantities of food to the Finch's to show their appreciation. Bob Ewell was angry about the way Atticus made him looked on the stand and he spits at his face and told him "he'd get him if it took the rest of his life".

Chapter 23:

Atticus discusses the finer details of the case with the children. He admits that he never thought he would win. Atticus has hope for the people of Maycomb. He feels that some of the white people had done their best to protect Tom without admitting that they were on his side. The judge could have assigned Tom's case to the younger, more inexperienced district attorney. Tom lost this case but Atticus was confident that he would win on appeal.

Chapter 24:

Aunt Alexandra hosts a women's group at the Finch house and Scout attended. She has difficulty following the conversation as the women gossip and discuss various topics. Atticus interrupts the event with the terrible news that Tom Robinson was shot and killed by guards as he tried to escape Enfield Prison Farm. Atticus describes the situation, "...the guards called him to stop. Thy fired a few shots in the air, then to kill. They got him just as he went over the fence. They said if he had two good arms he would have made it, he was moving that fast...We had such a good chance...I guess Tom was tired of white men's chances and preferred to take his own". Aunt Alexandra took the news hard and softens her prejudices. She agrees to let Calpurnia to go with her group and Atticus to visit Tom's widow wife, Helen.

Chapter 25:

On their way to Helen, Calpurnia and Atticus find Dill and Jem. Atticus allowed Dill and Jem to come along. Later afternoon the two boys describe that afternoon's events to Scout when they return. Dill said that Helen felt that she was stomped on as if she was an ant. Dill also says that Calpurnia and Atticus lifted Helen to her feet and half carried her to the cabin. They stayed inside a long time, and Atticus came out alone. When they drove back by the dump, some of the Ewells hollered at them, but Dill didn't catch what they said. Scout recalled the fact the Maycomb's townspeople stayed interested in the news of Tom's death for only two days but she finds sorrow in an editorial written by B.B. Underwood.


aridity (n.): dryness

acquit (vb.): clear of a charge; find not guilty

ruefully (adv.): regretfully

infantile (adj.): childish

vague (adj.): not clearly felt; somewhat subconscious

impertinence (n.): disrespect

roly-poly (n.): a small bug that can roll itself into a ball. Also known as a pillbug, sowbug or wood louse.

veneer (n.): attractive outer surface


Scout: She was excited about the Halloween pageant at first then finds trouble afterwards. She was attacked by Bob Ewells, but was saved by Boo Radley. Later on Scout treats Boo with kindness.

Jem: He was also attacked by Bob; while walking home in the night. He was badly injured and remained in bed during the last few chapters in the story.

Boo Radley: I consider Boo as the "hero" in the story. He didn't have much role through out the story but played a big role in saving the children in the end of the story.

Bob Ewell: He was crazed and mad about how the people of Maycomb had treated him. He takes his anger by attacking the children. He was then killed by Boo (not stated but can be hypothesized).

Chapter 26:

Scout talks about her first day in the third grade. There, Cecil Jacobs gives a presentation of Adolph Hitler. After the class discussion, Scout was confused so she asked Atticus on more of the issue.

Chapter 27:

By mid-October life in Maycomb returned back to normal, but three events happened. First, Bob Ewell quit his job. Secondly, someone broke into Judge Taylor's house. Finally, Link Deas, Helen's employer, threatens Bob Ewell after Helen complains that he follows her to work every morning. Meanwhile, Scout was looking forward to Halloween pageant.

Chapter 28:

Scout and Jem went to the Halloween pageant. After the pageant they walked home in the dark. As they were walking they heard footsteps behind as if someone was following them. Suddenly, a man attacked Jem while he was telling Scout to run. Scout ran but tripped over a tree root. The man now turned to Scout, and grabbed her and squeezed the air out of her lungs. Suddenly another man interprets, the attacker dropped Scout where she heard heaving breathing and a smell of alcohol. She then regained cautions and saw a man carrying Jem. She followed the man and races toward home. When she got home she saw Jem lying in bed. Tate was called to investigate the crime, and Dr. Reynolds inspected Jem. Scout noticed another man, she assumed that it was the man that saved her and carried Jem home. Later Tate returned to the Finches and told that Bob Ewells was dead with a knife sticking out of his chest.

Chapter 29:

Scout retells the events that happened in the crime. Tate and Atticus realized that the man standing in the room was the one that saved the children, but unsure of whom the murderer of Bob was. After she finished her story, she realized that the man that saved her and Jem was Boo Radley. She was surprised that Boo had been watching and protecting them all this time. Scout treated Boo with kindness as if they had been friends for a long time.

Chapter 30:

Although it seems that Boo killed Bob, Atticus wanted Jem to take the blame. Tate disagreed and said that Bob die after failing on his own knife. Atticus didn't want to lie about it but he insisted in ending the conversation. After the discussion, Tate and Atticus agreed that Boo and Jem would not be prosecuted for the murder of Bob. Scout agreed as well and said that if Boo were prosecuted it would be like killing a mockingbird; witch was sin.

Chapter 31: (Final chapter)

Scout walks Boo home after patting Jem on the head. The two say goodnight and Scout never saw Boo again. Atticus reads to Scout from The Gray Ghost and tucks her in bed and returns to Jem's bedside. The story ends at this point. ļ


recluse (n.): someone who stays away from society and the company of others

florid (adj.): very flowery in style; elegant

eccentricities (n.): odd behavior

furtive (adj.): secret

blandly (adv.): smoothly; without excitement

connived (vb.): secretly cooperated or agreed to

railing (adj.): painful