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To Kill A Mockingbird: Summary

See a sketch of a summary on To Kill A Mockingbird.

The story is set in the times of the Great Depression. Scout Finch, a kid aged 6, lives in the town of Maycomb with her elder brother Jem and widowed father Atticus. Her father is a lawyer who works hard to make a living. When he is at work, their black cook Calpurnia watches the kids.

One summer, a boy named Dill visits the family and befriends the kids. The three of them visit a mysterious house nearby. This house is owned by Nathan Radley whose brother Arthur has a solitary and mysterious nature.

Next summer, Dill comes to the town again. The three kids reunite. This time they act more boldly and sneak into Radley’s house. Nathan notices the children. While they’re running away, Jem’s pants get stuck in the fence; he leaves them there and flees. When he comes back to get his pants back, he finds them mended and folded.

In several months, the kids see a fire in their neighbor’s house. While they’re gazing at the burning house, they see someone putting a blanket around their neighbor’s shoulders. The children think it is Boo Radley



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Soon their father Atticus gets appointed to defend a black man. His name is Tom Robinson, and he is charged with raping a poor white man’s daughter named Mayella. This case evokes racial tension in the town. Everyone, including Jem and Scout, becomes involved in it.

Before the beginning of the trial, Alexandra, Atticus’ sister, comes to the town to take care of the kids. She is more conservative that her brother. She treats Calpurnia like a servant and tells Scout that she has to behave in a more girlish manner. At the same time, Dill comes back after running away from his mother and new stepfather.

One day before the trial, a crowd comes to the jail where Tom Robinson is being detained. Atticus foresees the attack and goes there too. The three kids creep out of the house to join him. Scout doesn’t understand what is happening. She sees the father of her classmate and asks about his son. Feeling guilty, this man disperses the crowd.

The trial begins. Atticus provides evidence that Ewell’s accusations are false. The kids watch the trial, and Jem thinks that his father is going to win the case. However, he becomes shocked to learn that the biased jury consisting of the white people only accuses Tom. Jem loses his faith in justice completely when Tom gets shot trying to flee from prison.

Despite the conviction of Tom, Ewell is angry with Atticus and attacks his children. The kids are surprised to see that Boo Radley saves them from the attack and accidentally kills Ewell during the fight. Afterward, Boo takes Scout and Jem home. Scout learns to see the world from Boo’s viewpoint. In the end, Atticus read his kids before sleep.


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