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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Chapter one of this novel is set in Monroeville, Alabama.

Main Characters

Simon Finch- he is Atticus finch’s father.

Scout- she is originally known as jean Louise finch but uses the nickname scout. Scout is the daughter of Atticus finch and is nearly six years old when the story begins. She is a tomboy, eager, inquisitive and observant.

Atticus- Atticus finch is a lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama. He is a widowed father to Jem and scout.

Alexandra- she is Atticus finch’s sister

Jem- Jeremy Atticus finch, also known as Jem is scout’s older brother who is 10 as the novel begins. He is wildly imaginative and as curious as a scout.

Calpurnia- she has been a cook at the finch house since Jem was born. She becomes a mother figure to Jem and scout after the death of their mother.

Plot Summary

In this chapter, a brief introduction of the Finch family is given by Scout. Simon Finch established a homestead, ‘Finch’s landing’, on the banks of the Alabama River. He died a rich and prosperous man. One of his sons, Atticus, studied law; the other had studied medicine. Although both sons left Finch’s Landing, Alexandra, their sister, remained. Atticus practiced law in Maycomb, where he lived with his two children, Jem and Scout, and the cook, Calpurnia. Atticus’s wife died when the children were young, and Scout hardly remembers her.

Scout remembers the summer that her brother Jem broke his arm, and she looks back over the years to recall the incidents that led to that climactic event. Scout provides a brief introduction to the town of Maycomb, Alabama, and its inhabitants, including her widowed father Atticus Finch, attorney and state legislator; Calpurnia, their cook, and housekeeper, and various neighbors.

The story starts with the first summer that Scout and Jem meet Dill, a little boy from Meridian, Mississippi who spends the summers with his aunt, the Finchs' next-door neighbor Miss Rachel Haverford. From the children's point of view, their most compelling neighbor is Boo Radley, a recluse whom none of them has ever seen. Dill's fascination, in particular, leads to all sorts of games and plans to try and get Boo to come outside. Their attempts culminate in a dare to Jem, which he grudgingly takes. Jem runs into the Radleys' yard and touches the outside of the house.


  1. Prejudice. Prejudice is shown in this chapter by the many people living in Maycomb being racists and prejudiced against black people.
  2. Growth. Scout, Dill, and Jem grow up both physically and mentally. They begin the novel with a firm and uncomplicated idea of what’s good and what’s bad, but by the end of the novel, they’ve all lost their innocence and have come to a more complex understanding of how people and the world work.