TKM Chapters 11-15 (pg. 99-155)Group Members: Lauren Pezzica, Aimee Lewis, Nathan Cody & Connor Dickson

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Chapter 11:

During the summer, Scout and Jem find that to get to the places they want to go, they must pass a peevish, grouchy old lady who hastily sits on the porch of her house every afternoon. Obviously she has nothing good to say about them, but they keep there emotions and comments to themselves. With Atticus involved in helping out a “nigger”, the children are finding it hard to stand their ground and disregard the town’s nasty comments toward their family. But one day, Mrs. Dubose goes too far with her spiteful comments, and Jem finds it impossible to overlook. In revenge of calling Atticus a “nigger lover” and saying "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for,” (110)
Jem angrily destroys all of Mrs. Dubose’s precious camellias.
When Atticus finds out about what Jem did, he obviously is not happy and forces him to read to Mrs. Dubose everyday after school for a month. Jem and Scout enter Mrs. Dubose's room to find her in bed. During the reading, Mrs. Dubose always dozes off until an alarm goes off and her nursemaid enters and gives Mrs. Dubose her medication. Everyday for a month the children continue to read to Mrs. Dubose and follow the same routine. But soon after the month is up and Jem is free to continue his normal life, Mrs. Dubose passes away. The reason for her death was because she was a morphine addict, yet she knew she was dying. She vowed that she would leave this world "beholden to nothing and nobody." (120) Atticus explains later that the reason he wanted Jem to read to her was because he wanted Jem to see what real courage was, as stated: “She was the bravest person I ever knew" (121).

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Important Quote:
"'A lady?' Jem raised his head. His face was scarlet. 'After all those things she said about, a lady?'
'She was. She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe...Son, I told you that if you hadn't lost your head I'd have made you go read to her. I wanted you to see something about her. I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.'" Page 112


Mrs. Dubose is a cranky, old lady that lives nearby. Because she talks harshly about Atticus, Jem destroyed her flower bed. Atticus then made Jem read to her everyday after school. Despite Jem's knowledge, he was helping her get over her morphine addiction. After she had passed away, Atticus asks his children to think about the situation. He treats both Jem and Scout as adults and shows them how to be couragous.

Vocabulary-apoplectic (adj.): Apoplexy is a condition of sudden paralysis; a stroke. To be apoplectic, in this case, is to behave as if on the verge of having a stroke.calomel (n.): a laxative; often used as a cure for intestinal worms
oppressive (adj.): overbearing; hard to put up with
undulate (vb.): to move in waves or in a wavy manner
escapade (n.): reckless prank

Chapter 12:
During chapter 12, because of an emergency legislature meeting, Atticus had to send Jem and Scout to Calpurnia's home. Jem had reached the age of twelve, and with Dill gone, was acting bossy and hard to deal with. He lowered Scout's ego by telling her she needed to start acting more like a girl. While staying with Calpurina, Jem and Scout were introduced to a new lifestyle. They were acquainted to Calpurnia's negro church. They were harshly greeted by a lady named Lula who was against white people entering the black church. After a breif encounter, Rev. Sykes proceeded to warmly embraces their prescence. During the beginning of the service, Reverend Sykes introduced Jem and Scout to the whole congregation. After the service, Scout had many questions for Calpurnia about the case Atticus was defending. Some of these questions regarded what rape was and the harsh comments directed towards the Finches. As they approached home, Scout realized how much fun she had had with Calpurnia and asked if she had the permission to visit her at home again. The answer was an obvious yes! Once they arrived home, Aunt Alexandra was observed standing with her bags on the porch.

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Important Quote:
"'It's not necessary to tell all you know. It's not ladylike -in the second place, folks don't like to have someone around knowin' more than they do. It aggravates 'em. You're not gonna change any of them by talkin' right, they've got to want to learn themselves, and when they don't want to learn there's nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.'" Page 126
Calpurnia is explaining her understanding of the world and other people. Cal makes sure she always speaks proper English in the Finch home, so that she shows that she is educated. She also shows respect for the people at her church and in her community by speaking the way they do. Calpurnia is trying to show Scout how to be ladylike.


contemptuously (adv.): To behave or speak contemptuously toward someone is to treat that person as if he or she is unworthy or beneath one's dignity.
ecclesiastical impedimenta (adj. + n.) items used during a church service
voile (adj.): a thin, cotton-like fabric
contentious (adj.) always ready to argue

Chapter 13:
In chapter 13, Aunt Alexandra and Atticus decided that it would be a good idea if Aunt Alexandra came to live with them for some more feminine influence. Jem and Scout already did not have a very good relationship with Aunt Alexandra and were not too excited by the big news. All of the neighbors welcomed Aunt Alexandra and she fit in great. If you did not know any better, it seemed like she lived in Maycomb her whole life. Maycomb was a small place, far away from a lot of public transportation. The same families married the same families and there were barely any outsiders. All people in Maycomb are characterized by their last names and the way you were treated depended on your last name. When Aunt Alexandra found out that Scout did not know much information on her family, she was shocked and insisted that Atticus talk to Jem and Scout about it. Atticus did not seem himself when talking to the kids but managed to explain how Aunt Alexandra wants them to learn about their family and the Finch name and act accordingly. By the end of his lecture, he noticed what Aunt Alexandra was trying to do, and did not feel comfortable with it. He eventually told Jem and Scout to forget what he had said. Scout was relieved and knew this was the real Atticus. At the end of the chapter Scout exclaimed that she "know[s] now what he was trying to do, but Atticus was only a man. It takes a woman to do that kind of work."(pg. 134)

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Important Quote:
"I never understood her preoccupation with heredity. Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was." Page 130
Scout is explaining the difference in how Aunt Alexandra sees people and the way she sees people. For Scout's age, she has a very mature understanding of what is going on. Here, Aunt Alexandra is showing a keen sense of wisdom.

Vocabulary-curtness (n.): To be curt is to be brief and short to the point of being rude.
myopic (adj): Myopia is an abnormal eye condition, often called nearsightedness. Someone who is myopic cannot see objects clearly.
spun (v.): To spin a tale is to tell a story in a creative, fanciful way.
tactful (adj.): To be tactful is to be able to say the right thing to a person without being offensive. Scout realizes that her question about her aunt and uncle was not tactful and may have been offensive or, at least, embarrassing.
caste system (adj. + n.): class distinctions based on birth, wealth, etc.


During this chapter, the Finch's family name continues to become demoralized for Atticus' act of defending Tom Robinson. After hearing the accusation, Scout becomes curious and asks Atticus that night what it meant. During the conversation, Aunt Alexandra pipes in to say that Culpurnia is not worthy enough anymore to have around the house. She believes that Culpurnia is raising Scout and Jem, and not Atticus. Aunt Alexandra feels that this is an atrocious way for a Finch to be raised.

During the argument, Jem escorted Scout upstairs to explain to her not to bother Atticus about the case because he is bothered by it enough as it is. During his talk with Scout, he refers to himself as a grown up, and upsets Scout. Scout and Jem begin to fight until Atticus sends both of them to bed. On the way to bed, Scout steps on something believed to be a snake. Upon closer observation, it was not a snake at all. It turned out to be Dill running away from his parents who allegedly do not care about him any longer. After the discovery, Atticus treats Dill as if he was a family member. Miss Rachel, Dill's summer caregiver, was notified that he would be spending the night. After being served food from Atticus, Jem, Scout and Dill retreat to their bedrooms again.

After sleeping for awhile, Scout is awoken by a punch. It was Dill only wanting to sleep next to her and talk to her. He told her of the many ways that his parents ignored him and would lock themselves in their room and never associate with him. After a long conversation, Dill suggested that Scout and him should get a baby by rowing across the river with the man who gets the babies. Scout said it was not true and that babies came down from chimneys. After a long night, all three children were sound asleep in their beds.

It can be observed at the very end of the chapter when Dill says, "Maybe he doesn't have anywhere to run off to..." This quote becomes important to the book later when Atticus talks about some people just do not want to leave their houses referring to Boo Radley (144).


Important Quote:

"'That's because you can't hold something in your mind but a little while,' said Jem. 'It's different with grown folks, we-'
His maddening superiority was unbearable these days. He did not want to do anything but read and go off by himself." Page 138

As the story progresses, Jem and Scout's feelings towards eachother change in a big way. Since Jem is growing older, the brother and sister differences start to come through. Scout understands that Jem is getting older and feels more mature but she still wishes they could play together and talk together like old times.

Vocabulary-antagonize (vb.): oppose; make angry
bushel (n.): a unit of dry measure equal to 32 quarts
infallible (adj.): never wrong
manacles (n.): handcuffs
taut (adj.): tightly stretched

Chapter 15:

In chapter 15, after Dill ran away, it is decided that he can stay in Maycomb. One evening, when Dill is over, Heck Tate knocks on the door. Atticus goes outside to talk to a group of men. They are discussing Tom. Heck is saying that Tom is being moved to the Maycomb jail. Also, they are discussing the idea of a possible lynching. Later that night, Scout and Jem hear Atticus and Aunt Alexandra bickering about the case. Aunt Alexandra says how Atticus is disgracing the family by defending Tom. The next night, Atticus said he was a going out, and he would not be back until the children were asleep. He took the car and left. Jem found this peculiar because his father enjoyed walking, and he rarely drove. Jem decided that he was going out to investigate what was going on. Scout proclaimed that she was going no matter what Jem said, and she woke up Dill to come as well. When they got downtown, they saw Atticus sitting in front of the door of the county jail. Suddenly, cars began pulling up in front of the jail. The children listened quietly to the conversation. Next Scout called out Atticus's name. Atticus told them to go home. Next, Scout found a familiar face in the crowd. It was Mr. Cunningham. Scout tried to strike a conversation about entailments. Mr. Cunningham stood still with a look of awe on his face. Scout tried to get him to remember her. She said that she was in his son's class. Abruptly, Mr. Cunningham told Scout that he would tell his son that Scout said hi. Then, all the men left.

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Important Quote:

"'What's the matter?' I asked.
Atticus said nothing. I looked up at Mr. Cunningham, whose face was equally impassive. Then he did a peculiar thing. He squatted down and took me by both shoulders.
'I'll tell him you said hey, little lady,' he said.
Then he straightened up and waved a big paw. 'Let's clear out,' he called. 'Let's get going, boys.'" Page 154

This exchange occurs after Scout has diffused the dangerous crowd of men outside the jailhouse. Scout realizes something is wrong and talks to Mr. Cunningham. She does as she has been told and tries to connect with him by talking about his son who is a schoolmate of hers. By talking to Scout, Mr. Cunningham notices he must behave honorably and leave Atticus and Tom Robinson alone.

An example of courage in chapter 15 was when Tom Robinson was moved to the county jail for a few days before his trial. It was inevtiable that there was going to be a mob there. Atticus went to the jail, and sat in front of the door protecting Tom. When a social gaffe arrived, Atticus was there to wave them away.

(Page 150)- "The Maycomb jail was a miniature Gothic joke, one cell high and two cells wide, complete with tiny battlements and flying buttressess."
(Page 151)-"Called' em off on a snipe hunt," was the succinct answer.
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acquiescence(n.): agreement without protest
façade (n.): the front of a building; the part facing the street (pronounced: "fah - sawed")
futility (n.): feeling of being ineffective; uselessness, hopelessness
shinnied up (adj.): drunk
uncouth** (adj.): crude, unmannerly