Chapter One – Plot Summary Early summer 1933 The main characters are introduced. Scout explains her Family History The children make friends with a boy called Dill Boo Radley is portrayed as a terrifying character.
Chapter One - Structure The novel is CIRCULAR – the story begins where it ends. The first line of the novel introduces Jem’s broken arm and the novel then flashes back to cover the events leading up to his accident.
Chapter One - Narrative Scout is the NARRATOR of the story. She is an adult when she tells the story, but it is from the POINT OF VIEW of Scout as a child. The NARRATIVE uses ADULT VOCABULARY and has the benefit of HINDSIGHT and ADULT WISDOM.
Characterisation - Scout Scout is six at the beginning of the novel. Initially, she is portrayed as a young carefree child. She is a tomboy who likes to play with her older brother. Quotation Homework X 2
Characterisation - Jem Novel begins when Jem is 10. At first, he is portrayed as a stereotypical child – playing football, inventing games. Quotation Homework X 2
Characterisation – Boo Radley Arthur Radley – Boo – is a figure of fear and mystery at the beginning of the novel. He has been locked in the house by his father for fifteen years after stealing a vehicle and resisting arrest. Rumours have sprung up around him : Scout describes him as a “malevolent phantom”. Jem tells Dill that Boo is “six – and – a – half – feet tall” with blood stained hands from eating raw cats and squirrels. When flowers are damaged by frost, people say it is because Boo has breathed on them.
Theme –Innocence (Childhood Innocence) Lots of time in Part One is spent describing childhood games, dares, friendships. Quotation Homework X 1 The children’s attitude to Boo in that they believe all the rumours and superstitions about him without questioning them, further shows their innocence. Jem thinks that Boo must be chained to the bed to make him stay in all those years.
Theme - Innocence Boo Radley symbolises innocence. He is portrayed as a monster Quotation Homework X 2 but he is simply a young man who fell in with the wrong crowd and got into trouble. His father felt his son had disgraced the family and kept him locked up for fifteen years. Quotation Homework X 1
Theme – Growing Up Novel is a coming of age story – BILDUNGSROMAN. It is about children learning about the world. Chapter One clearly portrays the children as carefree and young. Quotation Homework X 2 This is because as the novel progresses, they develop and become far more mature and understanding of things.
Theme – Prejudice & Intolerance Boo Radley is a VICTIM of PREJUDICE. He is judged without people knowing the truth about him or his situation. There is a great deal of fear and superstition regarding Boo Radey in the adult community. He has been built up to be some sort of insane monster. Quotation Homework X 2 The Radley family are regarded as strange and different because they do not conform to the behaviour that Maycomb residents expect. Quotation Homework X 2
Setting The novel is set almost entirely in Maycomb. Nothing ever much changes – even a covering of snow is rare. The pace of life is also slow. This suggests that it will take a while to change attitudes within the town: “A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.”
Setting In this town, the rules of society are clearly set. One's social survival depends on how well he or she follows the rules. Scout, Jem, and Dill come to question these conventions as the story progresses. Where a person comes from — his ancestry — is important, and like many small towns, Maycomb's citizens are suspicious of outsiders.
Setting This chapter makes clear that Maycomb has very different rules for blacks and whites in the town, as evidenced by the children's surprise when Calpurnia speaks ill of Boo Radley's father because "Calpurnia rarely commented on the ways of white people."