4 Plot Summary / Key Incidents Chapters September and October 1935.Bob Ewell attempts revenge on Judge Taylor & Helen Robinson.Bob Ewell attacks Jem and Scout.Boo Radley saves the children by stabbing Bob.Atticus thinks Jem has killed Bob Ewell, but Heck Tate proves it was Boo.Boo and Scout visit Jem.Scout takes Boo home.
5 Circular Structure Novel’s structure comes full circle. Novel ends by explaining how Jem breaks his arm in the attack by Bob Ewell.Jem’s broken arm is the opening line of the novel,“When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jemgot his arm badly broken at the elbow”.The circular structure links the beginning and the end of the novel and suggests that all the events in the novel are interconnected – leading up to the final act of violence.
6 Key Incident - ClimaxChapter Bob Ewell’s attack on Jem and Scout and Boo comes out to save them. Scout finally sees Boo, but Jem does not.
7 Key Incident - ClimaxForeshadowing of Climax:Scout says that three things of interest happened during theFall that did “not directly concern us – the Finches, but in away they did”.Bob Ewell loses another job.Bob Ewell tries to break into Judge Taylor’s house.Bob Ewell harasses Helen Robinson .These three incidents suggest that Ewell is serious about his earlier threats to get even with Atticus.
8 Key Incident - Climax Why is Bob Ewell so desperate for revenge? 1. “He thought he’d be a hero, but all he got for hispain was ….okay, we’ll convict this Negro, butget back to your dump”.2. He realises that despite the verdict, people knowthat he is a liar and that he has been made to looka fool.3. He is trying to get his revenge for what he regards asAtticus’s betrayal in court.
9 Key Incident - Climax There is a build-up to the climax: Previous chapter begins, “Boo Radley was the least of our fears”.Aunt Alexandra feels a sudden sense of doom beforethe children leave, but she ignores her“pinprick of apprehension”.As the children leave for the pageant, Scoutmentions setting out “on our longest journey together”.Cecil Jacobs jumps from the tree so scare them on theway to the pageant so they initially think he isfollowing them on the way home.
10 Key Incident - Climax Why is the attack so surprising? 1. All clues so far have suggested that Ewell would attackAtticus, not the children.How does Lee make the attack dramatic?1. They first hear the noise of their pursuer, but presume itis Cecil Jacobs.2. They are vulnerable as they are all alone.3. They are near their home in an area they assume tobe safe.4. Scout is still in her pageant costume so cannot see. . We canonly experience what she can remember feeling, hearing andsmelling, “I felt the sand go cold under my feet”.
11 Characterisation - Scout We are given the idea that she has matured by the end as she is thoughtful and considerate of Boo and makes it look as though he is escorting her.As she looks at the street from Boo’s house, she realises that she has never seen it from this angle before.Scout sees Boo for the first time as someone who belongs to to the neighbourhood and she imagines how Maycomb must have seemed to Boo through his shuttered windows.She now realises that Atticus is right – “you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around”She can now stand with tolerance and understanding in Boo’s shoes – or at least on his porch.
12 Characterisation - Scout Atticus is concerned that Scout will not understand why they have decided to say that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife.She does understand and says Mr Tate is right because to tell the truth would be, “like shootin’ a mockingbird”. This would be like shooting someone who has only done good.
13 Characterisation - Atticus Atticus makes an error of judgement over Bob Ewell as he does not believe his threats.Atticus believes that Jem has killed Bob Ewell and does not want there to be a cover up. He wants the facts dealt with fairly in a court of law,“ I don’t want him growing up with awhisper about him”.
14 Characterisation - Atticus He eventually realises that Heck is right, but he is still troubled by the example he is setting for his children.When Scout shows she does understand, Scout says his “youthful step had returned”.
15 Characterisation – Bob Ewell Negative portrayal continues:i) fired for lazinessii) Suspected of breaking into Judge Taylor’s houseiii) He follows Helen Robinson and harasses her.iv) He attacks the children rather than Atticus.v) He does not have the courage to face the childrenin the daylight, but attacks them in the darkness.Why is he so bitter?Atticus “I proved him a liar, but John made him looklike a fool”.
16 Characterisation – Boo Radley As the name suggests. Boo is a sort of ghost, but this is not to do with his appearance out of no-where after the pageant, but with Scout’s hollow understanding of him.Scout does not recognise her saviour as Boo, thinking he is “some countryman I did not know”.This failure to recognise him symbolises the inability of Scout and the people of Maycomb throughout the novel to see Boo as a human being.
17 Characterisation – Boo Radley When Scout finally realises who has saved her, Boo the childhood phantom becomes Boo the human being:“His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbour’simage blurred with my sudden tears. ‘Hey, Boo,’ I said.”
18 Characterisation – Boo Radley “Boo’s children needed him”Boo is ill-treated by his family and misunderstood by most of the Maycomb residents.Yet Boo is a normal human being in that he thrives on being needed.For a long time he has watched the children from a distance and wanted to be friends with them.When they are attacked by Bob Ewell, he can at last do something positive.
19 Characterisation – Boo Radley Boo is extremely pale, very thin and twitches nervously.Atticus suggests they sit on the front porch as the lights inside are too strong for Arthur Radley.He is unused to strangers, very timid and doesn’t like people looking at him.Heck Tate therefore wants to protect Arthur, not from prison, but from all the attention he would get if people realise he had saved the children. Arthur is too shy to enjoy being a hero.
20 Characterisation – Boo Radley Boo is another victim of the town’s prejudice.He is a kind man who is misunderstood.Think back to our impression of him at the beginning of the novel.Over the course of the novel he:i) put a blanket round Scout when she was watchingthe fireii) tried to sew Jem’s trousers when he caught themon the wireiii) left presents in the hollowed out tree for Jemand Scout to findiv) saved the children when they were attacked by Ewell
21 Characterisation – Boo Radley As Jem and Scout grow up they learn to empathise with Arthur.They realise he is simply a shy man who needs his privacy.Jem finally realises that “Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time … because he wants to stay inside”.Jem and Scout have been hugely important in Arthur’s lonely life. He may have enjoyed watching their games and leaving them treasures, but they only succeed in making him come out when they are in danger and he is there to protect him.
22 Theme – Prejudice & Intolerance Miss Gates is a hypocrite and unable to recognise her own prejudice.She tells her class that in America they, “don’t believe in persecuting anybody”.After the trial, however, Scout heard her say that the verdict was the right result because it was time somebody “taught ‘em a lesson” and “they were getting’ way above themselves.
23 Theme: CourageBoo Radley confronting Bob Ewell.
24 Theme – Growing Up “Boo Radley was the least of our fears” Since the trial, the children have become involved in the more serious concerns of the adult world.
25 Theme: Growing UpAs Jem and Scout grow up and gain a better understanding of Boo, he seems less like the town freak to them and more like a plaything.Jem finally realises that “Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time … because he wants to stay inside”.Standing on Boo Radley’s porch and when she sees the world through Boo’s eyes she has become the person her father has wanted her to be throughout the novel as she realises:“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really knowa man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.Just standing on the Radley porch was enough”.
26 Symbolism – The Mockingbird At the end of the novel Heck Tate tells Atticus that to bring Boo Radley to justice would be a sin:“It’s a sin and I’m not about to have it on my head”.Heck Tate is trying to protect Boo as to highlight what he did would put an end to the quiet life he chooses to lead.Scout explains to Atticus that she understands this by saying,“Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird,wouldn’t it?”
27 Symbolism - Mockingbird Boo is seen as a mockingbird because he is an innocent figure who has done only good.Two strands of the novel are linked within this one image as Tom Robinson was also linked to a mockingbird.
28 Ending EffectiveScout attains her childlike wish to see Boo Radley in person.When she sees him, she realises that she, Jem and Dill have judged Boo in a similar way to the way in which the residents of Maycomb judged Tom Robinson.Scout’s reaction to Heck Tate’s decision not to charge Boo“ would be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird”,shows that the lessons Atticus taught his children abouthuman nature, compassion and respect have sunk in,“you never really know a man until you stand in hisshoes and walk around in them”.
29 Ending - EffectiveAlthough maturing, Scout is still only eight and still onlya little girl. This is why the novel ends with Scout sittingon her father’s lap being read to.The story Atticus is reading is about a boy who has been misunderstood. People thought he was horrible, but he turned out to be “real nice”. Atticus tells Scout that most people are nice “when you finally see them”.
30 The ending provides hope for the future as things are beginning to change by the end of the novel: Lee makes Atticus an honourable man to encourage readers to agree with his point of view.Lee makes many of the racist characters seem horrible and unable to see how prejudiced they are – e.g. Mr Ewell, Mrs Merriweather, Mrs Dubose.Examples of racist behaviour are described in a way that makes clear how wrong they are.The jury takes several hours to reach a verdict. One jury member believes Tom is innocent. This is a “baby-step” towards a more equal and tolerant society.Link Deas gives Helen Robinson a job and threatens to take Bob Ewell to court of he carries on harassing Helen.
31 The Ending provides hope for the future as things are beginning to change by the end of the novel: Miss Maudie explains that Atticus is trusted by many to do the right thing and even Aunt Alexandra starts to accept that Atticus might be right towards the end.Atticus is re-elected by the people of Maycomb to the State Legislature.The fact that Jem , Scout and Dill are children who learn about the injustices of their society suggests hope for the future as it shows that the next generation could be different.