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To Kill a Mockingbird | Discussion Questions 91 - 100


In Chapter 27 of To Kill a Mockingbird after Bob Ewell lands a WPA (Works Progress Administration) job—and quickly loses it—who does he blame when he's fired?

When Ewell loses his job, he blames Atticus, saying that somehow Atticus got his job taken away from him.

In Chapter 27 of To Kill a Mockingbird what harassment incidents does Scout relate for which Bob Ewell is blamed?

Chapter 27 describes vicious and frightening incidents in which Bob Ewell harasses people involved in the trial. One is a description of his harassment of Helen Robinson; another is breaking into Judge John Taylor's home.

In Chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird why does Scout walk home wearing her costume from the school Halloween pageant?

Scout is embarrassed that she missed her cue to come on stage for the play. She thinks that in leaving her costume on she'll be able to hide both her face and her embarrassment.

In Chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird how does wearing her Halloween pageant costume help Scout on the walk home?

Scout's costume helps protect her from Bob Ewell's knife.

In Chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird, following the Halloween pageant what does Sheriff Tate find when he arrives at the scene of Scout and Jem's attack?

Sheriff Tate reports that he discovered their assailant, Bob Ewell, dead at the scene with a knife between his ribs.

In Chapter 29 of To Kill a Mockingbird Scout describes the attack and points to the man who rescued her and Jem; who does she realize he must be?

When Sheriff Tate asks for details of the attack, Scout says that a man fought off their attacker and brought Jem home. When she turns to the man, who is in the bedroom with them, she realizes the man is Boo Radley.

In Chapters 29 and 30 of To Kill a Mockingbird how does Harper Lee present the pivotal moment when Scout at last meets Boo Radley?

There is deftness in the way Harper Lee handles this scene. Like the trial scene, it is simple in terms of plot but loaded in sensory detail—and the simplicity of the background puts the spotlight on Scout's slow-burn recognition and Boo Radley's shy smile. The interaction is touching but not sentimental, remaining in character with Scout's entire narration. There is more communicated in the chapter: Aunt Alexandra's feeling of responsibility about the attack; Atticus's continued grace under pressure when he casually introduces Scout to Boo Radley; and Sheriff Tate's behavior in light of what he obviously thinks transpired.

In Chapter 30 of To Kill a Mockingbird Sheriff Tate and Atticus discuss the killing of Bob Ewell. Who does Atticus think wielded the knife that killed him?

Atticus initially thinks Jem wielded the knife that killed Bob Ewell. Sheriff Tate works hard to make Atticus see—without saying it bluntly while Boo Radley is in the room—that it was Boo Radley, in defense of Jem and Scout—who killed Ewell.

In Chapter 30 of To Kill a Mockingbird what does Sheriff Tate show Atticus that he likely took from Ewell's body but insists he took from a drunkard?

It is apparent from what Sheriff Tate says that he took a switchblade from Bob Ewell—or, most likely, from the scene of the attack. By removing the switchblade from the scene, that leaves only one knife at the murder site, thus quelling any questions that might lead to the involvement of Boo Radley.

In Chapters 30 and 31 of To Kill a Mockingbird after Atticus thanks Boo for saving Jem and Scout, what are the events that follow, and what is their significance?

Scout realizes that, having been absent from society for so many years, Boo Radley finds it a challenge to communicate with others. As she reads his body language, Scout understands he would like to see Jem before going back to his house. Once in Jem's room Boo timidly gazes at the sleeping boy until Scout draws him over and encourages him to "pet" Jem. Boo expresses his affection by tentatively stroking Jem's hair, and then indicates by his body language that he wants to leave. Boo's affection for Scout and his fear of the outside world are both evident when he hesitantly asks, "Will you take me home?" By now Scout has assumed the adult role in this twosome; she positions Boo's arm so that she can place her hand on it, and they proceed down the street arm in arm like a gentleman and lady. Reaching the Radleys' front porch, Boo quietly opens the door, slips inside, and—without a goodbye—is gone. Turning to retrace her steps, Scout is struck by all the images that Boo must have seen of her and Jem growing up. It seems that he may have observed their lives wistfully, as though they were his own children until tonight when he knew that—at last—they needed him.

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