Guiding Questions for Chapters 17 to 21
- What are the main points in Heck Tate's evidence? What does Atticus show in his crossexamination
- of Sheriff Tate?
- What do we learn indirectly of the home life of the Ewell family in this chapter?
- What do you learn from Bob Ewell's evidence?
- Why does Atticus ask Bob Ewell to write out his name? What does the jury see when he does
- this? Atticus wants to show that Bob is left-handed, which is what the jury sees.
- Is Mayella like her father or different from him? In what ways?
- What might be the reason for Mayella's crying in the court?
- How does Mayella react to Atticus's politeness? Is she used to people being polite?
- How well does Mr. Gilmer prove Tom's guilt in the eyes of the reader (you) and in the eyes of
- the jury? Can you suggest why these might be different?
- What made Tom visit the Ewell's house in the first place?
- Why does Scout think that Mayella Ewell was “the loneliest person in the world”?
- In your own words explain Mayella's relationship with her father.
- How does Dill react to this part of the trial? Why is this, in your opinion?
- Dill reacts very badly and breaks out into tears. He doesn’t understand how life can be so
- Scout says that “Mr. Dolphus Raymond was an evil man.” Is she right?
- In most states of the USA people who drink alcohol in public places are required to hide their
- bottle in a paper bag. Why does Dolphus Raymond hide Coca-Cola in a bag?
- What, according to Atticus, is the thing that Mayella has done wrong?
- Explain, in your own words, Atticus's views on people being equal.
- What does Jem expect the verdict to be? Does Atticus think the same?
- What is unusual about how long it takes the jury to reach a verdict? Is the verdict predictable or not?
- As Scout waits for the verdict, she thinks of earlier events. What are these and how do they remind
us of the novel's central themes?
- Why and how are the events related?