To Kill A Mockingbird: Study Guide

Study Guide: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Author Details:

Harper Lee was an American novelist who was born in Monroeville, Alabama in 1926. She is best known for her novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Lee was a private person and did not give many interviews or make public appearances. She passed away in 2016.


“To Kill a Mockingbird” is set in the 1930s in a small town in Alabama. The novel was published in 1960 during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The novel deals with issues of racism, prejudice, and injustice, which were prevalent during that time.

Key Quotes:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch

This quote is spoken by Atticus Finch, the protagonist’s father, and is a key theme in the novel. Atticus is teaching his children about empathy and understanding other people’s perspectives, which is crucial in combating prejudice and discrimination.

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy… but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” – Miss Maudie Atkinson

This quote is spoken by Miss Maudie Atkinson, a neighbor of the protagonist, Scout. The mockingbird is a symbol of innocence and goodness, and Miss Maudie is explaining to Scout and her brother Jem that it is wrong to harm something that is innocent and does not cause harm to anyone.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch

This quote is spoken by Atticus Finch to his children, Jem and Scout. He is teaching them about the true meaning of courage, which is not about physical strength or violence but about standing up for what is right and doing the right thing, even when it is difficult or unpopular.

Additional Quotes: 

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – Judge Taylor

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Atticus Finch

“Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.” – Scout Finch

“The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.” – Atticus Finch

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Scout Finch

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.” – Scout Finch

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” – Atticus Finch


What is the significance of the title, “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

How does the novel address issues of racism and prejudice?

What is the relationship between Scout and her father, Atticus Finch?

Who is Boo Radley, and what is his role in the novel?

What is the significance of the trial of Tom Robinson, and how does it relate to the themes of the novel?

What is the role of empathy and understanding in the novel, and how does it relate to the characters of Scout and Jem?

How does the novel address issues of gender and sexism?

What is the significance of the ending of the novel, and what message does it convey?