To Kill a MockingbirdChapters 15-17 Study Questions October 22, 2010
What did Mr. Heck Tate's mob want? • Mr. Heck Tate’s mob wanted to make sure Atticus and Tom Robinson would be all right. • We know that Heck Tate’s mob is concerned for Atticus because they ask about a change of venue and say that they are worried about the Old Sarum bunch trying something.
What was the purpose of Walter Cunningham's mob? • Cunningham's mob wanted to get to Tom Robinson to inflict their own justice upon him. • If that meant they had to beat up Atticus, they were willing to do that.
Why did Mr. Cunningham's mob leave? • Scout, Jem and Dill arrived on the scene. Scout came forward, and, while making her entrance and looking at the crowd, she noticed Mr. Cunningham. She identified him and began speaking to him on a personal basis, saying she was in his son's class and that he had come to lunch. • She also reminded him that Atticus had done some legal work for him. All of these things were said in an innocent conversation to Mr. Cunningham. It made Cunningham and others realize that they were individuals, neighbors, and that they really didn't want to hurt Atticus or anyone else.
What “subtle change” does Scout notice in her father? • The subtle change Scout notices in Atticus comes out when he talks to Aunt Alexandra. Scout notices that there was an undercurrent of irritation or “faint starchiness” in Atticus’ voice when talking to Alexandra. • Atticus may speak this way to Alexandra because she does not support him in the Tom Robinson case and because he is stressed out with the trial.
What sort of person is Dolphus Raymond? • Mr. Dolphus Raymond was a white man who married a black woman and lived with the black community. • Jem has heard a story that Mr. Raymond is always drunk.
How does Reverend Sykes help the children see and hear the trial? Is he right to do so? • Reverend Sykes helps the children hear and see the trial by bringing them upstairs to the balcony section where the colored folks sit. • It is a matter of personal opinion whether or not Sykes is right to do so. On the one hand, Sykes is allowing the children to see their father in the case of Atticus’ life. The other side of is that the case is a rape case and may not be suitable for the children to hear about.
Comment on Judge Taylor's attitude to his job. Does he take the trial seriously or not? • Judge Taylor is “a man learned in the law and although he seemed to take his job casually, in reality he kept a firm grip on any proceedings that came before him” (220). • Judge Taylor will take this trial seriously because he took the case of the Cunninghams vs. Coninghams seriously.
What are the main points in Heck Tate's evidence? What does Atticus show in his cross-examination of Sheriff Tate? Heck Tate observed bruises on Mayella’s throat and face. Atticus shows that these injuries were on her right side not her left.
What do we learn indirectly of the home life of the Ewell family in this chapter? • We learn that the Ewell’s home is a dump that resides behind the actual garbage dump. The Ewell’s are poor and pick stuff out of the garbage. Their home life is bleak and sad.
What do you learn from Bob Ewell's evidence? • Bob Ewell describes his version of the rape as follows: He heard Mayella screaming and ran to the house. Bob witnessed Tom Robinson raping Mayella. He ran to stop Robinson but Robinson ran off. Ewell then ran to get Heck Tate, the sheriff.
Why does Atticus ask Bob Ewell to write out his name? What does the jury see when he does this? • Atticus asks Bob Ewell to write out his name to show the judge and jury that Ewell is left handed. Since the injuries on Mayella are on her right side, they must have been done by someone who was left-handed.