To Kill a Mockingbird chapter reviews, chapters 1-11 (Part I)
Chapter Summary – up to 3 sentences Essential Quotation (page)
Include characters introduced and key events
1 Scout, Jem, and Atticus Finch live in a small Alabama town in Jem: “Turtles can’t feel, stupid” (14).
the 1930s. One of their neighbors is Arthur “Boo” Radley, a
recluse. A boy named Dill comes to visit for the summer and
the children speculate about the many rumors they’ve heard
2 Scout starts school, where Miss Caroline, a new teacher from Scout: “Miss Caroline, he’s a Cunningham” (20).
northern Alabama, is ignorant of Maycomb County’s social
complexities. Scout gets in trouble, first for being able to
read, then for trying to explain why Walter Cunningham won’t
accept a quarter for lunch.
3 Walter Cunningham has lunch at the Finches’ house and Atticus: “You never really understand a person until
shocks Scout with his table manners. Burris Ewell makes you consider things from his point of view” (30).
Miss Caroline cry. Scout and Atticus make a compromise that
they can continue to do this if Scout continues to attend
school. Atticus encourages Scout to “climb into [other
people’s] skin” and they discuss the way the town turns a
blind eye on some of the Ewells’ activities (skipping school and
hunting out of season).
4 The school year passes; Scout and Jem find “treasures” Scout: “Grown folks don’t have hidin’ places” (35).
(chewing gum, special pennies) in the knothole of a tree near
the Radleys’ yard. Dill returns and the children make up a
new game about life in the Radley house, which Atticus
witnesses and forbids them to play again.
5 Jem, Dill and scout talk to their neighbor Miss Maudie about Scout: “Atticus don’t ever do anything to Jem and
Boo Radley and she believes that he is not dead. Dill came up me in the house that he don’t do in the yard” (46).
with the idea of communicating to Boo by writing him a note,
Then Atticus found this out and got mad and told them to
leave Boo alone.
6 Scout, Jem, and Dill sneak into the Radley’s yard, when Mr. Jem: “Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can
Radley tries to shoot them with a shotgun, Jem loses his remember. I wanta keep it that way” (56).
7 After Jem’s failed attempt to get into the Radley house he Jem: “… they were folded across the fence like
and Scout continue their lives. They receive many treasures they were expectin’ me.” (58)
from the tree until one day they find it plugged by cement.
When they ask Nathan why he plugged the knothole, they
believe his reason was false.
8 Jem and Scout make a snowman to look like Mr. Avery. That Atticus: “Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at
night Miss Maudie’s house burns down. Scout gets a blanket the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket
draped over her and later finds out that it was Boo Radley. around you” (72).
9 Christmas at Finch’s Landing. Scout hears first Cecil Jacobs, Atticus: “I’m simply defending a Negro—his name’s
and then her cousin Francis, insult her father for “defending Tom Robinson” (75).
nemos” and being a “nemo-lover.” Uncle Jack finds her Later: “You know what’s going to happen as well as I
swearing un-ladylike; Aunt Alexandra tries to persuade her to do, Jack, and I hope and I pray I can get Jem and
like dresses, pearls and tea parties. Atticus explains to Scout through it without bitterness, and most of
Scout and later to Uncle Jack (when she can overhear) his all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease. Why
duty to defend Tom Robinson as well as the burden it creates. reasonable people go stark raving mad when
anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I
don’t pretend to understand” (88).
10 Scout and Jem complain about Atticus not being willing or Atticus: “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (90).
able to hunt, fish, play football, or do other things that other
fathers do. A rabid dog appears on Main Street—Cal warns
all the neighbors--and Atticus comes home and shoots it dead
with one shot, to his children’s astonishment. Jem learns
that being a “gentleman” is refraining from bragging and
develops a new respect for Atticus.
11 Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose’s camellias after she insults Atticus: “I wanted you to see what real courage is,
Atticus. As punishment, he is required to read to her every instead of getting the idea that courage is a man
day for a month. After she dies, Atticus tells the children with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re
that Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict who managed to free licked before you begin but you begin anyway and
herself of addiction and that, despite her faults, he admired see it through no matter what” (112).