I. About the Author
III. Theme -- Prejudice
IV. Chapter Summaries
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28 1926 in Monroeville Alabama. Monroeville is in
southwest Alabama, about halfway between Montgomery and Mobile. She is the youngest of
four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Finch Lee. She has two sisters, Alice and
Louise and one brother, Edwin. Harper Lee attended Huntingdon College 1944-45, studied law
at University of Alabama 1945-49, and studied one year at Oxford University. In the 1950s
she worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC in New York City. In
order to concentrate on writing Harper Lee gave up her position with the airline and moved
into a cold-water apartment with makeshift furniture. Her father's sudden illness forced
her to divide her time between New York and Monroeville. In 1957 Miss Lee submitted the
manuscript of her novel to the J. B. Lippincott Company. She was told that her novel
consisted of a series of short stories strung together, and she was urged to re-write it.
For the next two and a half years she re-worked the manuscript with the help of her
editor, Tay Hohoff, and in 1960 To Kill a Mockingbird was published. This was her only
published book. In June of 1966, Harper Lee was one of two persons named by President
Johnson to the National Council of Arts.
Atticus Finch sets a standard of morality that no other character in the book comes close
to matching.Atticus is a stable and mature figure who is able to cope with the
unreasonable and highly emotional element of the town. He is one of the few people, in the
town of Maycomb, who understand the the individual worth of a persons regardless of the
color of skin.
Atticus was assigned to Tom Robinson's case. Atticus knows that the case will be unfair
and he will lose. He is the only lawyer to put some doubt in the minds of the jury. He
does a good job, but nevertheless he loses the case.
Atticus always teaches his children that they must learn to be compassionate and
understanding of the problems and conditions of life faced by other people. "You
never know the person until jump into their skin and walk around in it" said Atticus.
He is a great role model for his children.
Scout's older brother Jeremy, or Jem, Finch is a couple of yeas older than Scout. He tell
Scout to never talk to him in school. Jem is also the more thoughtful of the Finch
children. Unlike Scout, who is a fighter, Jem seems determined to obey his father's
request to avoid fighting. Jem is also think of plans to get Boo out of his house. At the
end of the book Jem brakes his arm at the elbow by Bob Ewell.
Calpurnia is the black cook and housekeeper for the Finches. She is treated almost as if
she were a member of the family. In some ways she even takes the place of Scout and Jem's
dead mother. She raised the children in a very strict manner. Aunt Alexander does not
approve of the Cal to be bring up the children.
Calpuria lives two lives. When she is with her black friends she talks like one of them..
When she comes back in contact with the white population she talks very proper. Cal has a
son that sings in the black church.
Miss Maudie is a lady who lives across the street from the Finch's. She is very fond of
the Finch children. She spends most of her time outside in her garden and little time
inside her house.
She is one of only a few people who really support Atticusin defending Tom Robinson. She
is one of the few people to defend Boo Radley's right to remain in his house.
She treats the children like adults and never tries to deceive them in any way.
Arthur Radley (Boo)
Arthur Radley, called Boo Radley by the children is a mysterious neighbor who the children
have never seen. Once, during the fire, Boo put a blanket around the children to keep them
warm. the children did not know who put the blanket on them until after the fire was out.
Boo Radley is the killer of Bob Ewell. When the kids are walking home from the play, Bob
Ewell tries to kill Scout and Jem. Boo jumps in and kills Bob with the kitchen knife.
Tom Robinson was a hard working young black man who was accused of raping Mayella. The
court found him guilty and he was sentenced to death. In prison he tried to escape, but he
failed. the guards shot him 17 times and he died.
Sykes was a Negro minister of the black church. He thanked Jem and Scout at the black
church about their father defending Tom Robinson. At the trial he help them get seats in
the balcony at the trial. He also saved their seats when Jem and Scout when home to eat
Scout is the narrator of the navel. Jean Louise Finch, whose nickname is Scout, is only
five-and-a-half years old when the novel begins.Scout's mother died when she was two and
her dad does not know how to interact with his children. Scout has taught herself to read
at an early age, and has a vocabulary equal to an adult. All the activities are threw the
eyes of a five-year old and therefore they are expressed as an innocent child who does not
understand some of the events she is talking about.
Scout is very open-minded and accepts people as they are and nothing more or less.
Throughout the novel we can see Scout change as the times go by. She becomes more
understanding of the events around her.
Charles Baker Harris (Dill)
Charles Baker Harris, known as Dill, is Jem and Scout's first friend from outside Maycomb.
Dill has white-blond hair and blue eyes. Dill has seen and done many things that Jem and
Scout have not; he has even seen the movie Dracula. Dill also wants to get Boo out of his
and he is on most of the plans to get him out.
Aunt Alexander was a very proper women who came to live with the Finches because she
thought that the children could use a women influence. She also takes care of the children
during the time of the trial.
Mrs. Dubose was an old lady who lives down the street and screams nasty things at the
children as they pass her house. She is hooked on morphine and when she tries to quit, she
Mr. Gilmer was the prosecuting attorney at the trial.
Bob Ewell is an irresponsible and disgraceful father of a brood of children, who receives
welfare checks and uses them for alcohol. At the end of the book, he is kill when he tries
to kill Jem and Scout behind the school.
Mayella Violet Ewell
Mayella Violet Ewell accuses Tom Robinson of raping her. She takes him to trial and he is
Walter Cunningham is an upright farmer who refuses to accept charity. His is very poor and
his children go to the same school as Scout. He has brought up very caring children.
Judge John Taylor
Judge Taylor is the presiding judge at the trial. He permits smoking in his court room,
but he does not smoke. He will sometimes chew on a whole cigar. he will keep chewing until
the whole thing has vanished.
The title of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is a key to some themes of the novel. The
title is first explained in Chapter 10, at the time that Scout and Jem Finch have just
received air rifles for Christmas. Atticus tells his children that it is a sin to shoot a
mockingbird. Later Miss Maudie explains to the children what Atticus meant: Mockingbirds
are harmless creatures who do nothing but sing for our enjoyment. Therefore, it is very
wrong to harm them.
It is easy to see that the "mockingbird" in this story is Tom Robinson--a
harmless man who becomes a victim of racial prejudice. Like the mockingbird, Tom has never
done wrong to anyone. Even the jurors who sentence him to death have nothing personal
against him. They find him guilty mostly because they feel that to take the word of a
black man over two whites would threaten the system they live under, the system of
segregation. Tom himself is guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong
It is possible that the mockingbird of the title has more than one meaning. Today
mockingbirds live in many northern states, but only a few decades ago mockingbirds lived
principally in the southeastern United States. Like the mint julep or the song
"Dixie," the mockingbird symbolized the southern way of life--a culture that
emphasized good manners, family background, and a relaxed, unhurried pace of living.
Unfortunately, another aspect of this way of life was racial segregation, a system that
had been tolerated for decades by many southerners who knew in their hearts that it was
By the time this novel was written perceptive southerners could see that the opportunity
for them to take the lead in ending segregation was already past. The civil rights
movement, led by blacks and supported by whites in other parts of the country, was not
only ending segregation, it was transforming the politics and class structure that
southerners had taken for granted for decades.
To Kill a Mockingbird contains criticism of the prejudice and moral laziness that allowed
Southern society to have a double standard of justice. The novel also presents a somewhat
optimistic view of white Southerners that was somewhat unusual at the time the novel
appeared. The story indicates there are good human beings like Atticus Finch everywhere,
even in the midst of a corrupt society. Even those who do wrong, the novel goes on to
suggest, often act out of ignorance and weakness rather than a deliberate impulse to hurt
There are always a few readers who feel that the novel offers an overly optimistic and
simplified view of human nature. On the other hand, the hopeful note it strikes may be one
of the reasons for the book's great popularity. The author does not ignore the existence
of evil in society, but she does suggest that human beings are born with a desire to do
the right thing.
Although most readers think of To Kill a Mockingbird as a novel about racial prejudice,
you will notice that the mockingbird theme does not apply only to victims of this form of
discrimination. Boo Radley, the eccentric recluse, is another "harmless
creature" who becomes a victim of cruelty. Here again, the author seems to be
emphasizing the universality of human nature. Tom Robinson's problems may be bound
up with the complex social problem of racial prejudice, but any neighborhood can have its
Boo Radley, all but forgotten except as the subject of gossip and rumor.
The narrator, Scout Finch, lets you know right away that Jem was not seriously hurt; he
recovered in time to realize his dream of playing high-school football. But at the same
time, Scout is in no hurry to tell you how her brother happened to break his arm. You will
not learn the answer to this question until the final chapters of the story.
Dill, who was Scouts friend, can up every summer. Jem, Scouts brother, Scout
and Dill spent most of the summer trying to learn more about the Radley family who lives
next door. Boo Radley never comes out of his home and the children are determined to try
and get him out. Dill dares Jem to touch the porch. Jem finally gives in and when she
touches the porch she sees movement in the house.
When September comes Dill goes back to Meridian, and Scout begins to look forward to
starting first grade. Jem tries to warn his sister that school and home are two completely
different places. Jem basically tell Scout to never talk to him in school. Her teacher,
Miss Caroline Fisher, is a pretty young woman in a red and white striped dress. Miss
Caroline Fisher is not happy to find out the Scout already know how to read and write.
Miss Fisher has come prepared to install a modern system for teaching reading, and it
upsets her that Scout has managed to learn to read at home, without the benefit of any
system at all.
Miss Fisher is not from the rural area of Maycomb. She realizes that Walter Cunningham has
forgotten his lunch. She gives him a quarter and is expecting a quarter in
return the next day. She does not know that the Cunninghams are very poor and never see
three quarters at the same time. Scout tries to point this out to the teacher, but she is
confused. After a while she understands.
Jem decided to have Walter over for lunch. They are all eating when Scout makes fun of the
way Walter eats his food. Instantly Calpurina makes Scout leave the table. Calpurina( who
is black, and a servant) told Scout to leave the table and not Atticus. Calpurina is
raising the kids and does the job of the mother. Scouts mother dies before he could
remember. She makes rules, establishes order, and must be obeyed just like any other
Later that afternoon, back in school, Miss Caroline learns another lesson about country
kids. Burris Ewell, has "cooties" (lice). She told him to go home and
while he was leaving the class room he says some very mean gestures to the teacher. The
students try to comfort her with a glass of water and a nice talk. The Ewells are known to
go to the first day of school and never come back.
After school that day Scout tells Attiucs that the teacher told her to stop reading at
home. Scout does not want to give up one of the only good things she has with her dad.
They make a compromise: Scout can keep on reading at home, but she will have to go back to
school and try to get along better with her teacher.
An important line was said to Scout by her father. Atticus said "You never really
understand a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." She will
recall back to this quote many times through out the story.
Nothing really interesting happens until the spring, when Scout and Jem discover that
someone is leaving small objects in a knothole in an old oak tree on the corner of the
Radley property. At first, when Scout finds two sticks of chewing gum wrapped in shiny
silver foil. They also find two old Indian head pennies in the knothole. The pennies are
in very good condition.
One day they decide to take turns rolling down the street inside an old car tire they
found. On her first ride, Scout gets pushed too fast and ends up rolling into the
forbidden territory of the Radleys' front yard. She doesn't tell the boys, but she is sure
that she heard someone laughing at them from inside the Radley house.
As the summer goes on, Jem and Dill become inseparable buddies. For the first time, Scout
feels left out because she is a girl. She forms a special friendship with Miss
Maudie, a widowed lady who lives next door. Miss Maudie hates her house and so she spends
as much time as possible working outdoors in her garden. Miss Maudie also makes fun of
Miss Stephanie Crawford, the neighborhood gossip. At this point in the story, I feel that
Miss Maudie's opinions come out of nowhere.
On the last night of Dill's summer visit, he and Jem come up with their most daring game
yet. They are going to sneak up onto the Radley porch after dark and peek through a
window. Jem goes first, and he crawled across the porch to one of the windows when,
suddenly, Scout sees the shadow of a man fall across the porch. The three children run for
their lives, and as they flee they hear the gun fire of a shotgun. In their hurry to get
away, Jem's jeans get caught on a wire fence. He jumps out of them and runs for his life.
They try and fool Atticus with their explanation that Jem lost his pants to a game of
In the middle of the night Jem goes back to the Radley place to get his pants. To his
surprise the pants were mended and neatly hung over the wires.
Later in the fall Jem and Scout find more things in the knothole. They find two small
dolls carved out of soap, a whole pack of chewing gum, and finally an old pocket watch
with a penknife attached. Nathan Radley fills the knothole with cement suggesting that the
tree was dying. He said that the cement would stop the rot from spreading. However,
Atticus says that the tree is not dying.
For the first time in more than a hundred years, snow falls in Maycomb County. Miss Maudie
attempts to keep her house plants from freezing by leaving the flue of her kitchen stove
open while she goes to bed. Her house catches fire and burns to the ground. While Jem and
Scout are freezing outside watching the fire, someone puts a blanket around them. They
suspect that Boo put the blanket around them because he was the only one who was not
helping out with the fire. Scout was disappointed because she had the chance to see Boo
and she didnt.
Chapter 9 starts off with Cecil Jacobs telling Scout her father is a "nigger
lover." Instead of fighting and letting Atticus down she decides to back down from a
fight for the first time. Christmas approaches and they go to Finch's Landing to spend
time with Uncle Jack, Aunt Alexandra, her husband, Uncle Jimmy and their grandson Francis.
Atticus gets Scout and Jem air rifles for Christmas. Scout could not stand it anymore and
gets into a fight with Francis. Francis had been telling Scout that Atticus is a
"nigger lover."Uncle Jack yells and spanks Scout but later realizes he was
wrong. He learns from Scout that he should hear both sides of a story before inflicting
punishment. Atticus is criticized by Aunt Alexandra for the manner in which he is raising
Scout and Jem realize that Atticus is relatively old and does not do all the things
Scout's schoolmate's fathers do. But after witnessing their father shoot and kill old Tim
Johnson who had gone mad, Atticus is a hero to them. They are later told that that their
father had the best shoot in town and was called "One Shoot Finch".
One day when Scout and Jem were going to town they passed by Mrs. Dubose's house. She
started to make fun of them and Atticus. Jem responds by cutting the tops of every
camellia Mrs. Dubose owns. Atticus finds out what Jem did and makes him go apologize to
her. She wants Jem to read to her every day for a month and Atticus makes him do so. Mrs.
Dubose is a morphine addict and wants to kick the habit before she dies. When she dies
Atticus teaches Scout and Jem what real courage is. It is not just a man with a gun, it's
when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through
no matter what.
Calpurnia takes Scout and Jem to the Negro church. They notice the differences between
their church and the Negro church such, as there is no hymnbooks. They notice that
Reverend Sykes has a collection being taken up for the wife of the Negro man Atticus is
defending. When they come home they find out their Aunt Alexandra is staying with them
while the trial is underway. Jem and Scout become afraid that Aunt Alexandra is
going to change the relationship they have with Atticus, but finally, even Atticus
recognizes the importance of their own relationship and tells them to forget all the
business about the importance of family. The case causes the Finch household to act
differently. Atticus and his sister disagree openly. The children realize that Atticus
must be troubled, since he has never disagreed so openly with anyone. When Scout goes to
her room she steps on something. She thinks it is a snake and calls Jem. Jem comes to her
room and they later find out that she stepped on Dill. Dill sneaked out of his house and
came to the Finch's house. Atticus calls next door, Dill's Aunt Rachael and they decide
that Dill can stay there.
At night Scout, Jem and Dill notice that Atticus is missing and go out and look for him.
They find him at the town jail protecting Tom Robinson from the lynch mob. Scout notices
that one man is Mr. Cunningham. She tells him that Atticus helped him with legal problems
and that she knows his son Walter and she and Jem invited him to have lunch at their
house. After hearing Scout Mr. Cunningham comes to his senses and he and his men decide to
leave. The trial starts Monday morning and the children see everyone heading toward the
court. They sneak out of the house and also decide to go to the court. The courtroom is so
crowded that Scout, Jem and Dill decide to go sit up in the balcony with the black
The children have arrived at the court room in time to hear Heck Tate testify about the
basic charges against Tom Robinson. Sheriff Tate was called to the house of Bob Ewell one
night, where he found Bob's nineteen-year-old daughter Mayella badly beaten. Mayella
accused Tom of raping her. The Ewell family lives near the Maycomb town dump, adjoining
the black section of town. They receive public assistance, but everyone knows that Mr. Bob
Ewell spends most of his relief checks on whiskey, letting his children go hungry much of
the time. Bob Ewell is a hero for saving his daughter and the town backs him. Atticus is
the only calm person in the room. He has already gotten Heck Tate to testify that Mayella
was bruised on the right side of her face. Now he tricks Bob Ewell into signing his name
in front of everyone: Bob Ewell is left-handed. Jem, seated in the balcony, immediately
sees the significance of this piece of evidence. If a left-handed person had beaten
Mayella, that would account for the fact that she was bruised on the right side of her
Mayella's takes the witness stand. Mayella testifies that one day she was sitting on her
porch when Tom Robinson happened by and she offered to pay him a nickel to break up an old
piece of furniture into kindling wood. Instead, Tom followed her inside the house, grabbed
her around the throat, beat her up, and raped her.Throughout her testimony Mayella is very
nervous. She seems afraid of Atticus, and thinks that he is making fun of her when he
calls her "Miss". It is obvious that Mayella is not used to being treated
politely. Mayella breaks down in tears as she describes her desperate struggle with Tom.
After she is finished speaking, Atticus asks Tom Robinson to stand up. Everyone present
can see that his left hand is useless and mangled.
According to Tom Robinson, the incident when he broke up a piece of furniture actually
took place months earlier. Since that time, he had done many small favors for Mayella. On
the day the rape is supposed to have happened, Mayella asked him to come inside the house
to fix a door. But once they were alone together, Mayella kissed him. Tom's reaction to
this was panic. He knew that any involvement with Mayella would mean trouble. And
when Bob Ewell came in and found him and Mayella together, Tom ran away as fast as he
could.At one point, he gets Tom to tell the court the reason why he did so many favors for
Mayella: He felt sorry for her. Mayella had no friends, and she spent her whole life
taking care of the house while her father and brothers just sat around. This would be
fatal for Tom. As far as the people of Maycomb are concerned, no black man has a right to
feel sorry for a white woman. Inferiors are not supposed to pity their betters. There are
many reasons pointing to the innocence of Tom Robinson. The jury would never let him go
because he is black.
While Scout and Dill are sitting outside the courthouse talking about the trial, they
discover that Dolphus Raymond is resting under the same oak tree. Raymond sees that Dill
is in tears and offers him a drink from the bottle he is carrying in a paper bag. To
the children's surprise, the bottle contains Coca-Cola. Raymond confesses that he is not
really a drunk. He only pretends to be one so that other people will leave him alone and
let him live the way he wants to. Dill and Scout go back into the courthouse just in time
to hear Atticus' closing speech to the jury. This speech is one of the most famous
speeches in a novel of all time.Atticus emphasizes that he does not believe in complete
equality: Some people may be born richer, or smarter, or with more talent than their
fellow human beings. But there is one kind of equality that he does believe in very
much--equality under the law. For this reason, he asks the jurors to do the right thing
and find Tom Robinson innocent.
Atticus has just finished his speech when Calpurnia appears in the courtroom with a note
from Aunt Alexandra. Alexandra has noticed that the children are missing and has been
searching for them all over town. At this point, Atticus realizes that Scout, Jem, and
Dill have been sitting in the balcony watching the whole trial. Atticus gives the children
permission to return to the courthouse after dinner to hear the jury's verdict.When the
jury returns it is almost midnight. They have found Tom guilty. It took a long time to
convict Tom because Atticus put some doubt in the minds of the jury.
Jem is the most upset of anyone because he had convinced himself that Tom had a chance to
win. There is no doubt in Jem's mind who is responsible for Tom's fate. He blames the
jurors.Aunt Alexandra s shocked when Atticus comments that he is glad the children saw the
trial because what happened to Tom Robinson is as much a part of Maycomb. Dill has already
started to look for ways to put the the verdict out of his mind. He tells Jem and Scout
that he wants to be a clown when he grows up, because "There ain't one thing in this
world I can do about folks except laugh....." Miss Maudie's reaction may be the most
interesting of all. She tells Jem and Scout that their father is one of those people who
"do our unpleasant jobs for us." Bob Ewell has promised that he will get revenge
on Atticus if it takes "the rest of his life."
Atticus is not upset by Bob Ewell's threat. He knows that Bob is angry because even though
he won the case, he was shown up as a liar in front of the whole town.Jem is starting to
become more aware of the class differences that separate the people of Maycomb. He
considers young Walter Cunningham to be basically a good person. The Ewells are even lower
on the social scale than the Cunninghams and the blacks are in a different category
Scout joins the women in there little get-together. They drink a lot of tea. In the middle
of the tea, Atticus arrives home unexpectedly. Out in the kitchen, where the guests cannot
hear him, he tells Alexandra and Scout some bad news: Tom Robinson has been killed trying
to escape from prison. The ending of the chapter is a bit surprising. Alexandra is
genuinely upset by the news, yet insists that she and Scout go back to entertain the
guests, and carry on as if nothing had happened.
Jem is the most deeply affected by Tom's conviction and Tom's death. He can not even stand
to see Scout kill a little bug. Jem and Dill were on their way back from swimming when
they saw Atticus on the road. He was on his way with Cal to bring the news to Helen
Robinson about the death of Tom. Jem and Dill decided to go with them and when they tell
Helen about the news, she faints. Mr. Underwood decides to make an editorial in his
newspaper, writing about that killing a crippled man like Tom Robinson is like killing a
In school, Scouts class is studying current events. Cecil Jacobs brings in an article
about Hitler's persecution of the Jews in Germany. Miss Gates, their teacher tells the
class how bad Hitler is and how lucky they are to live in a democracy. Scout overhears
Miss Gates tell Stephanie Crawford that the decision against Tom Robinson was a good thing
because it would teach the blacks in town their proper place. Scout wonders how anyone can
be so hypocritical as Miss Gates.
Mr. Ewell is fired from his WPA job on account for drunkenness. Judge Taylor was almost
attacked by Ewell in his own home but was able to scare him away. Mr. Ewell also followed
and threatened Helen Robinson on her way to her new job under Mr. Link Deas. After
Mr. Deas promises Mr. Ewell he will be sorry if he does not leave Helen alone, he stops.
Scout tells her family about the special pageant she is participating in at the Halloween
fair at the high school. Scout is dressed up as a ham. On Halloween night Scout and Jem
head for the high school but when they reach the great oak tree in front of the Radley
property, Cecil Jacobs leaps at them, scaring them. At the pageant Scout is so bored that
she falls asleep and misses her signal to go onstage. When she awakes and makes her
entrance the audience laughs at her. Scout is so embarrassed that she decides to stay at
the school until everyone leaves so she will not be laughed at. When Scout and Jem are
heading home Scout forgets her shoes but Jem convinces her to get them tomorrow. As they
walk home they here footsteps and someone is following them. They think that it is Cecil
just trying to scare them again. When they reach the great oak tree Jem notices that it is
not Cecil following them and tells Scout to run as fast as she can. Scout in her costume
can not run very fast and is attacked. Her costume gets stabbed and is ruined but
she is not really hurt. She realizes that there are now four people here. Scout trips over
someone and sees another person carrying Jem back to her house over his or her shoulder.
Scout follows them home and Atticus and Aunt Alexandra are calling a doctor. Scout thinks
Jem is dead but when Dr. Reynolds looks over Jem he confirms that he is not dead, but has
badly broken his arm. Mr. Hect Tate comes over and reports that Mr. Ewell is lying dead
under the great oak, stabbed with a kitchen knife. Mr. Tate asks Scout to describe what
happened. After hearing Scout they realize that Mr. Ewell was trying to attack Scout and
Jem as a way to get revenge on Atticus. They also realize the man who carried Jem home and
saved their lives is Boo Radley.
Everyone goes to the porch to talk about the incident. Atticus thinks Jem stabbed Mr.
Ewell for self defense, while Mr. Tate thinks he fell on his own knife. Atticus protests
at first and thinks the sheriff is trying to cover up for Jem. Atticus realizes that it is
not Jem, the sheriff wants to protect. Boo Radley, not Jem, stabbed Mr. Ewell. Mr. Tate
wants to protect Boo from going to court because of the publicity and he knows how Boo is.
Mr. Tate says putting Boo on trial is like killing a mockingbird.
Now Scout's dream of getting Boo out of his house is fulfilled. Scout lets Boo have one
last look at Jem and then takes him by the arm back to his house. Standing on the Radley
porch for the first time in her life, Scout can see as she never could before how the
neighborhood, and her own childish games, must have looked to Arthur Radley, how he must
have watched with shy curiosity, and enjoyed seeing their amazement when they found his
small gifts hidden in the knothole of the oak tree. Years later, when Bob Ewell attacked
the children under that same tree, Arthur Radley must have felt a special obligation to
protect them. Returning home, Scout finds her father sitting up reading a book of Jem's
called The Gray Ghost. Atticus refuses at first to read aloud to her. The story is a scary
one, he says, and Scout has had enough scary experiences for one day. But Scout is not
afraid. "Nothin's real scary except in books," she tells Atticus. Scout never
sees Mr. Arthur Radley ever again.