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What does this chapter reveal to us about Scout’s point of view? What is she learning about herself, her family, and her community? What is she struggling to understand? What parts of the story might the reader understand better than Scout? How does this dramatic irony affect the experience of reading the novel?This should be based on student opinion. Do a review of dramatic irony

Chapter 15 Questions

What does Scout mean when she says that “Do you really think so?” is Atticus’s “dangerous question”? When does he ask that question in this chapter? How do you imagine his tone of voice sounds when he asks it?

Scout means that this is type of question that allows for someone to change their minds. Attius knows that the outcome is not going to be good so he gives someone an opportunity to adjust their plans/thinks. Atticus says this when he talks to Heck Tate and when he talks to the mob- he is trying to redirect their intentions. I think his tone is ….(possible- stealy, icy, stern).

What does Atticus mean when he tells Alexandra that he is “in favor of preserving Southern womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life”? What is the polite fiction he refers to, and whose life does it threaten?

Atticus does not want to put proper etiquette on the back burner but he also needs to remember that being honest and true to your word is more important than tradition. Atticus is referring to the fiction of Tom’s guilt and whether he raped a woman. This would threaten Tom Robinson’s life.

When the group of men arrives, Atticus confirms that Tom Robinson is inside the jailhouse sleeping and tells the men not to awaken him. Scout reports: “In obedience to my father, there followed what I later realized was a sickeningly comic aspect of an unfunny situation: the men talked in near-whispers.” What is “sickeningly comic” about the situation? Why is it ironic that the men agree to talk in whispers?

What is comic about the situation is that these men are just farmers; they are not scary and intimidating. The men talk in whispers because they are afraid, ashamed, and/or nervous. Maybe they know they are doing something wrong…

Analyze Scout’s attempts to engage Mr. Cunningham in conversation. Why does this exchange convince Mr. Cunningham and the other men to leave?

This exchange remind Mr. Cunningham that he is a father and Atticus is a father. Scout’s exchange reinforces that value of life and dignity.

13. Early in the chapter, Atticus describes how Sam Levy made the Ku Klux Klan members so ashamed of themselves that they left him alone. How does Atticus suggest Levy made the Klansmen feel ashamed? How does that story parallel the scene at the jailhouse? What do both of these incidents suggest about mob mentality and how Harper Lee thinks it might be defeated? Compare Harper Lee’s perspectives with the insights shared by historian Paula Lee Giddings in the video “The Origins of Lynching Culture.”

Levy made them ashamed because he identified the hypocrisy of their belief system. Here they were threatening Levy while wearing the sheets that he sold them- they wouldn"t be who they were without Levy. This parallels the jailhouse because Atticus had helped all them men in the mod at one point or another and here he was just helping Tom Robinson and giving him they same dignity that they had been afforded.

Mob mentality is…

How does Scout’s limited understanding of the events in this chapter affect the reader? What parts of the story must the reader piece together on his or her own? What does this process reveal about her reliability as a narrator?Scout doesn’t understand these events because she doesn"t understand hatred and fear the same way these men are experiencing from the build up to the trail. Because we are seeing the story from Scout’s perspective we are limited in how much Harper Lee reveals through Scout’s perspective. We can trust Scout that she will be honest but we know she can’t see the whole picture.
1. Scout tells us the following about her teacher on the first day of school: Miss Caroline was no more than twenty-one. She had bright auburn hair, pink cheeks, and wore crimson fingernail polish. She also wore high-heeled pumps and a red-and-white-striped dress. She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop. Analyze the descriptive language Lee uses to describe Miss Caroline. What words or phrases help you visualize her? What figurative language does the author use? How does the author use the description of Miss Caroline to suggest something about her personality and style as a teacher? How does the description accentuate the personality clash between Scout and her teacher? 2. Scout reflects: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” What comparison is Lee suggesting in these two sentences? What does it suggest about how Scout thinks about reading?
3. When Scout introduces Walter to her teacher by saying, “Miss Caroline, he’s a Cunningham,” what does Scout assume that Miss Caroline will automatically understand about him? What characteristics do the residents of Maycomb automatically associate with “the Cunningham tribe”?
4. How does our membership in various groups—families, schools, neighborhoods, nations—affect how others think about us? How does it affect how we think about ourselves? Are those impressions ever accurate?
5. How are readers and Miss Caroline similar in their understanding of Maycomb society at this point in the novel? How does Harper Lee use the character of Miss Caroline to introduce readers to what everyone else in Maycomb already “knows”?
6. What words and phrases do Scout and Atticus use to describe the Cunninghams in this chapter? How are the Cunninghams different from the Finches? How are they similar?
1. What does Scout mean when she says, “By the time we reached our front steps Walter had forgotten he was a Cunningham”?
2. According to Atticus, who are the “common folk” in Maycomb? What characteristics does he say, or imply, are shared by the “common folk”? Who does Atticus say are not included in the “common folk”? Why are they excluded?
3. What do we mean when we talk about someone’s social or economic class? What is it supposed to tell you about someone? 36 Section 2 ❘ Maycomb’s Ways
4. How does Atticus distinguish between the Cunninghams and the Ewells? Is either family part of the “common folk” of Maycomb? How do the two families differ in class and status from each other and from the Finches? What specific evidence from the text helps explain why his opinion of the two families differs? 5. Compare and contrast the descriptions Scout provides of Burris Ewell and Little Chuck Little. How do the similarities and differences between these two classmates support Atticus’s opinion about the Ewell family?
6. In this chapter we learn about more about the Finches, the Cunninghams, and the Ewells. Which of the characters in this chapter have the most power and the highest status in Maycomb? Which have the least power and status? What accounts for those differences?
7. How does Calpurnia fit into the social hierarchy in this chapter? Which characters have more power than she does? Who has less?
8. How do race, class, and gender affect one’s position in Maycomb society? How might Atticus use race, class, and gender to describe the “common folk”? What role do they play in determining one’s position in your society today?
9. How do particular situations and circumstances affect how our identity is perceived? How might Calpurnia’s identity be different in the Finch home from her identity in her own home?
10. Atticus tells Scout, “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Can you ever fully understand another person’s point of view? What is the value in trying? How does Atticus’s advice relate to empathy? Take a moment to write a working definition for empathy in your journal.
1. Jem and Dill continue to swap gossip, superstition, and exaggeration in this chapter. What are some examples of superstitions that they discuss? What effect do they have on Scout? 2. What do Jem and Scout agree to do with the items they find in the tree on the edge of the Radleys’ yard? What conclusions about these items does Jem seem to be making without sharing with Scout? Scout says, “Before Jem went to his room, he looked for a long time at the Radley place. He seemed to be thinking again.” What do you think Jem was thinking about?
3. How does the fact that Scout is the narrator affect the reader’s ability to understand Jem’s point of view?
4. Despite Jem’s disagreement, Scout says she thinks that Boo Radley is in the Radley home and watching the kids play. Why does Scout feel so certain? When does Scout share her evidence with the reader? How does Lee foreshadow that revelation?
5. According to Scout, Calpurnia called the Hot Steam superstition that Jem and Dill describe “nigger-talk.”* What does Calpurnia mean?
7. How does Jem use stereotypes about gender to influence Scout? How does Scout feel about her gender? How do you know?
8. How can stereotypes, especially about race, gender, and class, affect our behavior, even when we are trying to disprove them?
1. What does Miss Maudie mean when she says that Jem “gets more like Jack Finch every day”? What details in the story she tells about her relationship with Jack help explain why Maudie thinks that Jem and Jack are similar?
2. What does Maudie’s comparison between Jem and Jack reveal to us about what Jem might really be thinking about Boo and the items left in the tree?
3. What is the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law? How does Maudie and Scout’s discussion about different kinds of Baptists explore that difference? How does the conflict between Jem and Atticus over playing the Boo Radley game explore that difference? Who in this chapter follows the letter of the law? Who follows the spirit of the law? What is the difference? What are the consequences of each approach for the characters in this chapter?
4. Why does Jem declare at the end of the chapter, “I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but I ain’t so sure now”?
1. Why is it so important to Jem to risk his safety to retrieve his pants from the Radleys’ fence in the middle of the night?
2. Scout states in this chapter, “It was then, I suppose, that Jem and I first began to part company.” What prompts her to draw this conclusion? What does she mean? As you continue to read the novel, look for evidence that Scout and Jem are growing apart.
1. Why is Jem moody at the beginning of Chapter 7? Is Scout able to understand by “climbing into Jem’s skin”? What does the rest of the chapter reveal about the source of Jem’s moodiness?
2. Jem tells Scout that when he retrieved his pants from the Radleys’, “they were folded across the fence like they were expectin’ me.” Of what type of figurative language is this an example? How does this language contribute to the sense of mystery around the Radley house? Does Jem know how his pants ended up that way?
3. What evidence does Chapter 7 provide to help the reader understand how Scout and Jem were “parting company”? What was Jem beginning to understand (about Boo Radley) that Scout could not yet see? Why does Jem keep his feelings secret from Atticus and Scout?
4. How do Jem’s responses to the objects left in the tree change in this chapter? What does this suggest about how he feels about the items and the person leaving them?
5. Why does Jem cry at the end of Chapter 7? What does Jem understand about Boo and Mr. Radley that he did not understand before? Find evidence in the text to support your answer.

See more: In Which Of The Following Situations Would The Price Of A Good Be Most Likely To Increase?


4. How does Atticus distinguish between the Cunninghams and the Ewells? Is either family part of the “common folk” of Maycomb? How do the two families differ in class and status from each other and from the Finches? What specific evidence from the text helps explain why his opinion of the two families differs? 5. Compare and contrast the descriptions Scout provides of Burris Ewell and Little Chuck Little. How do the similarities and differences between these two classmates support Atticus’s opinion about the Ewell family?
6. In this chapter we learn about more about the Finches, the Cunninghams, and the Ewells. Which of the characters in this chapter have the most power and the highest status in Maycomb? Which have the least power and status? What accounts for those differences?
7. How does Calpurnia fit into the social hierarchy in this chapter? Which characters have more power than she does? Who has less?
8. How do race, class, and gender affect one’s position in Maycomb society? How might Atticus use race, class, and gender to describe the “common folk”? What role do they play in determining one’s position in your society today?
9. How do particular situations and circumstances affect how our identity is perceived? How might Calpurnia’s identity be different in the Finch home from her identity in her own home?
10. Atticus tells Scout, “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of watch . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Can you ever fully understand another person’s point of view? What is the value in trying? How does Atticus’s advice relate to empathy? Take a moment to write a working definition for empathy in your journal.