To Kill a Mockingbird
Chapters 1-5

Chapter 1, pages 3-14 (Robbie Cardina)

In the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jean Louise Finch or better known as Scout, begins by talking about her ancestors. The first person of the Finch family to come to America was an English fur-trader named Simon Finch. When he came to America, he sailed up the Alabama River and found an area of land that would later be named Finch’s Landing. On Finch’s Landing, Simon began to farm and this supported the Finch family for many years. There were only two members in the Finch family who did not follow in Simon’s foot steps. Scout’s father, Atticus Finch became a lawyer in a nearby town called Maycomb, Aalabama. The other person to leave the landing was Scout’s uncle, Jack Finch. He went to medical school in Boston. Scout’s aunt Alexandra stayed on the farm to run the landing.

Atticus makes a good living being a lawyer in Maybomb. Scout and Jem live with Atticus as well as Calpurnia who is the cook and helps to raise the children. Calpurnia helps to raise the kids because Atticus’s wife died when Scout was two and Jem was six years old.

Over the summer, a boy named Dill comes to stay with his aunt, Rachel Haverford. Dill and the two Finch children quickly become good friends and quick access playmates because they live next door to each other. For almost the entire summer, the three children play and act out stories until one day, Dill suggests they try to get Mr. Boo Radley to come outside of his house.
Mr. Boo Radley lives in the run down part of Maycomb. The children get this idea to try to lure him outside because nobody has seen him outside in several years. Boo has been inside because his father had made him stay there. Boo got in trouble with the law several years back and that was the last time anyone has seen the man outside. Many people were curious why he wouldn’t come outside. Rumors started going around that Boo may be crazy. Old Mr. Radley insured the citizens that Boo was not crazy and did not have to attend an asylum. When old Mr. Radley died, Boo’s brother Nathan came to the house to take care of things. Many people thought this was when Boo was going to make his “outdoor debut”. Nevertheless, Boo continued to hide his face in the depths of his house in Maycomb, Alabama.

Dill loves to make mischief. He finds it weird that a man would stay inside his house for years at a time. He wants to be the person to make Boo Radley enter sunlight. Dill dares ten year old Jem to run up to the Radley’s front door and touch it. Jem quickly and secretly runs up to the door and touches it. She then made her way back to the group of kids even faster than she had gone up to the door in an effort to not get caught. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of movement, then, Scout thinks she has seen a shutter move as if a man were to be looking at them.

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“Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.” (p.6)

Explanation: This is an important quote because it means there isn’t any real danger in Maycomb county, there is just a wide range of poverty. The roads are not paved and it looks like the town is poor and rundown.

“Our first raid came to pass only because Dill bet Jem The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that Jem wouldn’t get any farther than the Radley gate. In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare.” (p.13)

Explanation: This is an important quote because this is one of the first times that courage is truly shown. Many other people would have turned down the bet due to the fact that everyone thought Boo was crazy. Jem looked passed that and realized touching a door was touching a door and he did it.


On page 5, Scout opens her description of where she lives (Maycomb, Alabama) with “Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.”

Explanation: This is foreshadowing because you can tell what is going to happen later in the book. Scout is speaking in past tense which means she has to be looking back on when she first remembered Maycomb during her childhood.


The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts.”

The gray ghost is referring to a fictional character who was made up in 1917 and two Tom Swifts is referring to a teenage juvenile who creates inventions for technology and in his stories, Tom is always the hero.


Apothecary (p.1): a druggist; a pharmacist
Chattels (p.4): a movable article of personal property
Concession (p.14): the act of conceding or yielding, as a right, a privilege, or a point or fact in an argument

Chapters 2-3, pg. 15-32 (Kamal Patel)
In chapter two, Scout goes to school for the first time. She runs into a not so lovable teacher named Miss Caroline Fisher. She isn't really good with handling kids. When she finds out Scout can read, she assumes Atticus taught her and makes her feel guilty about being educated. Then, during recess, Scout tells Jem what happened. Jem tells her she is trying a new method of teaching.

Scout and Miss Caroline Fisher do not get along the rest of the day. Walter Cunningham, a student coming from a poor family, does not have money to pay for lunch. Miss Caroline Fisher offers him money to borrow. Of course he will not be able to pay it back. So, Scout tries to explain his situation to Miss Caroline Fisher, but Miss Caroline Fisher gets frustrated. As a result, Scout gets her hand smacked by a ruler.

In chapter three, Scout gets angry at Walter and rubs his nose in the dirt. Jem breaks up the fight and ends up inviting Walter to dinner. At the dinner table, Walter and Atticus discuss farm conditions. Then, Walter does something to annoy Scout. He puts molasses over his meat and vegetables. Scout criticizes him and ends up getting yelled at by Calpurnia in the kitchen. Then Calpurnia tells her to be a better hostess. Scout is changing to be tolerant from the experience of having Walter over for dinner. This is because she is taught that Walter's differences does not make him bad and he is still able to have an adult conversation. Symbol-
Walter acts as a helpless mockingbird when he gets his nose rubbed in dirt and Scout is hurting it.

Back at school, a cootie crawls out of Burris Ewell's (he comes from a family poorer and less respected than the Cunninghams) hair. Miss Caroline Fisher freaks out. Burris is known to come to school only on the first day of school every year. He does this so he doesn't get in trouble with the law. When he walks out, he makes rude comments and causes Miss Caroline Fisher to cry.
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At home, Scout tells Atticus she does not think she will go school anymore. She says he could teach her instead. He orders her to go to school but promises to keep reading to her, if she doesn't tell Miss Caroline Fisher.

"You never really understand a person from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Explanation of quote-
This was a quote from chapter three. Scout is telling her about her day and explains how she doesn't want to go to school anymore. She also mentions how Burris Ewell doesn't come to school. Atticus explains how the Ewells are an exception. You would not realize the Ewells' situation unless you were hit by poverty

Cootie- a small bug like a louce (plural- lice)

Chapter 5 (Derek Herr)
The fifth chapter starts out with Scout begging Jem to stop playing the "Boo Radley" game explained in chapter 4 because when she fell out of the tire in the Radley's yard, she heard laughing coming from within the house, which must have scared her. And the second reason was that Scout was afraid that Atticus caught on to their game, and didn't like it at all. But Jem's reply was always "Atticus hadn't said we couldn't, therefore we could,"(Lee 41). And then Jem would say that even if Atticus did tell them that they couldn't play their game, Jem would just switch the names of the characters, then they wouldn't be blamed for playing a game they were told they weren't allowed to play. Dill agrees with the plan, and Scout admits she is starting to get annoyed with him, because he follows anything Jem does. This shows that Jem is very determined to do what he wants, and no one can tell him otherwise. This section also shows that Scout can be more obedient, or can be scared into obedience, and it also shows that she isn't always so fond of Dill. The chapter then goes on to tell of how Scout isn't having very much fun with the other two boys that summer, because they are constantly scheming things on the subject of Boo Radley, and she is hardly ever invited to join them. She also made sure to stay out of their more foolish plans, because she was still scared of getting in trouble from Atticus. I believe she is also scared of meeting Boo at this point in the book, with all the rumors she has heard about him. She goes on to say about how she spends her nights with Miss Maudie, sitting on her neighbors' porch, which then sets the scene for a big part of chapter 5. The book them goes on to describe Miss Maudie as a woman who loves the outside and her garden, loves baking cakes, and is very good friends with the Finchs.


The chapter simulates a few days or weeks, and it starts back with Miss Maudie and Scout sitting and talking one evening. Scout finally sums up enough courage to ask if Boo Radley is still alive, and Miss Maudie replies matter-of-factly that of course he is alive, and that Scout should refer to him as Arthur, not Boo. The conversation then goes off track a bit with Scout asking how Miss Maudie knew that Mr. Arthur is still alive, and Maudie says that the only way she can tell if he is still alive is that his dead body hasn't been carried out yet. Then Scout comments about a notion that Jem had, and Miss Maudie responds by saying that Jem is getting more and more like his Uncle Jack.

This is when the chapter starts to get interesting, the conversation continues for a while, then Scout asks why Boo never leaves his house. Miss Maudie then states that Boo Radley is a foot-washing baptist, which means he takes the bible so literally, that he believes that people shouldn't take in any pleasure while on Earth. I believe that is the reason he stays inside all the time, to avoid all the temptations that the world has to offer. Maudie then tells Scout about how a group of foot-washing baptists told her that Miss Maudie and her flowers were going to hell. Scout then tries to visualze Miss Maudie, one of the nicest ladies she knew, would burn in hell. Maudie then says a very deep statement, she says, "If Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn't be as hard as some men are at their best,"(45). Which means that some people just need to let loose and live their life, and not constantly look into their next life.

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Scout then goes on to tell Miss Maudie all the different things she has heard about Mr. Arthur, and Miss Maudie basically tells her that most of those things are rumors. Most of which comes from people, such as Stephanie Crawford, trying to create gossip. That is basically the end of the conversation and Scout goes home thinking about all she learned.

The next morning she finds Jem and Dill in the backyard, coming up with one of the biggest plans yet. This time the idea is to pass a note on to Boo Radley through a fishing pole. Jem would be a safe distance away with the fishing pole in his hands, and drop the note through the window, while Dill would be the lookout, ringing a bell if anyone was nearby. They then forced Scout to be a lookout in the back of the house just in case. So they walk to the Radley house with each going to their designated posts, Dill in the front, Scout in the back, and Jem near the window he chose to slip the note into. However when Jem tries to place the note in the window, he realizes the pole is just a few inches short, so he starts leaning his body over and poking the pole through the window to try to get it off the hook. Suddenly Dill starts ringing the bell as loud as possible, and the other two turn to find Atticus staring at them. The three can tell he is infuriated, and he asks them just what are they doing. Jem who is scared and embarrassed shows him the note, and Atticus seems to get even more mad the more he reads. Then he looks up and calmly starts talking to Jem, who starts to get mad with the things that Atticus is declaring. Jem finally breaks and tells Atticus exactly what they were doing, then Atticus just smiles and tells the three to stop meddling with Boo. As Atticus is walking away, Jem realizes that he was just fooled with one of the oldest and most basic lawyer tricks.