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how to kill a mockingbird

1. One of the novel’s key themes is the difference between rumor and fact. Look at the passages in the first chapter in which Scout describes what she knows about Boo Radley. Which statements seem to be fact and which seem to be fiction? And do you think the child (Scout is six years old when the story begins) can tell the difference? How can you tell?

2. Scout never says how old she was when the book’s events begin, but she offers clues that tell us her exact age at the time. How old is she when she meets Dill? Is her age important to keep in mind as you read the novel? Why or why not?

3. What kind of relationship does Scout have with her brother and her father? How does the loss of her mother affect her and Jem differently, at least according to Scout?

4. In Chapter 2, why does Walter Cunningham’s jaw muscle twitch when his teacher asks him if he forgot his lunch? What other evidence from Chapters 2 and 3 offers insight into the social and economic differences in Maycomb?

5. In Chapter 3, what is the “simple trick” that Atticus advises Scout to use? What evidence is there in this chapter that Atticus uses this “trick” himself? Is there any evidence that he doesn’t always use this “trick” when he talks about people?

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