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To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

A STEP BEYOND

ANSWERS

TEST 1

  1. B
  2. A
  3. B
  4. A
  5. B
  6. C
  7. A
  8. C
  9. C
  10. B

11. In answering this question you might begin by taking note of the ways in which Scout's sense of humor make her more trustworthy and likable as a narrator. If it were done without humor, Scout's criticisms of adults- such as her first-grade teacher, Miss Caroline- and her explanations of the ways of Maycomb County might make her seem like a brash know-it-all. The humorous point of view also makes you more tolerant of the shortcomings and foibles of the white people of Maycomb, underlying the novelist's view that human beings do evil things out of ignorance, not because they are innately bad. You might also discuss the ways in which the humor in the early chapters of the story makes us aware of Scout's- and to an extent, Jem's- innocence. The children's confusion about words, and Scout's naivete about sex, demonstrate their straightforward, childlike understanding of the world around them. The contrast between the humorous, light tone of the first part of the story and the serious developments in Part Two, makes the novel all the more emotionally affecting. -

12. Dill is the first friend Scout and Jem have ever had who comes from outside the neighborhood. If you look back at the scene in Chapter 1 where Scout and Jem meet Dill for the first time, you will see that even the most ordinary facts about Dill strike them as exotic and unfamiliar. Scout and Jem have a long way to go in learning the lesson of tolerance. Dill, the outsider, is also the instigator of some of the most important events in Part One. It is his curiosity about Boo Radley that sparks the children's games. (Even the nickname "Dill" suggest that his presence adds spice to the children's games.) In Part Two it is Dill the outsider who is confused and sickened by the conduct of Tom Robinson's trial. Although Dill is a southerner, in a sense he may represent the way people from the North (also outsiders) viewed the white South at the time this novel takes place. Northerners were repelled by southern prejudice, as Dill is, but like Dill they could also put the subject out of their minds and forget it. You see Dill doing this when he says that he is going to grow up to be a clown and laugh at the world. Scout and Jem, who must continue to live in Maycomb, cannot afford to take this point of view. -


13. Whatever direction your answer to this question takes, you should begin by recalling the definition of courage given by Atticus in Chapter 11. Courage, says Atticus, is when "you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." You might then go on to discuss how the actions of various characters in the story exemplify this definition of courage. Atticus obviously lives up to his own standard. He is a brave man. Miss Maudie also shows courage because she does not give in to self-pity when her house and garden are destroyed by fire. In some cases you may find it harder to decide whether characters have acted courageously or not. For example, was Tom Robinson's attempt to escape from the prison yard an act of courage? Certainly the odds were against him. Or was it a gesture of despair, or even a sign of weakness? What is the difference between courage and recklessness? Courage and stubbornness? Again, you might find at least a partial answer to these questions in the example of Atticus, a man who avoids openly heroic gestures, but who holds onto his values over a period of time, regardless of what others think of him. -

14. At first you may feel that there is no connection between these two stories at all- except, of course, that Boo Radley's sudden appearance during the attack on Jem and Scout provides an exciting and surprising resolution to the novel. On second thought, however, you may begin to see other relationships. In the early chapters you see the children trying to think up ways to tease Boo, and lure him out of his house- not out of meanness but out of simple, childlike curiosity. If it were not for this aspect of the story, Scout would be in no position to judge the people of Maycomb for their persecution of Tom Robinson. As it is, you see that Scout herself is capable of intolerance. She does not take a position of moral superiority, since she herself has shared the small-town complacency she comes to blame for Tom's fate.

Note that the answer above is not necessarily the only correct response to this question. You may be able to think of other ways in which the two plot lines of the novel are related. Or you may even feel that the author has not done such a good job after all of tying the two threads of plot together. Whatever answer you give, just be sure you can defend it by citing specific examples from the novel. -

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