"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, Chapters 1–6

In this classic coming-of-age story, Scout Finch recounts her childhood in Maycomb, Alabama. When Scout's father is appointed to defend a black man in a high-profile trial, racial tensions in the small town come to a head.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–6, Chapters 7–11, Chapters 12–15, Chapters 16–19, Chapters 20–25, Chapters 26–31

Here is a link to our lists for Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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definitions & notes only words
  1. consult
    seek information from
    We were far too old to settle an argument with a fist-fight, so we consulted Atticus.
  2. unsullied
    spotlessly clean and fresh
    Atticus's office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama.
  3. satisfactory
    meeting requirements
    Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.
  4. tyrannical
    characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule
    She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could remember.
  5. absence
    failure to be present
    Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absence.
  6. revelation
    an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
    Dill had seen Dracula, a revelation that moved Jem to eye him with the beginning of respect.
  7. concede
    be willing to yield
    It was all right to shut him up, Mr. Radley conceded, but insisted that Boo not be charged with anything: he was not a criminal.
  8. employ
    put into service
    Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time.
  9. decline
    refuse to accept
    In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare.
  10. foray
    a sudden short attack
    Jem threw open the gate and sped to the side of the house, slapped it with his palm and ran back past us, not waiting to see if his foray was successful.
  11. miserable
    very unhappy
    We saw him off on the five o'clock bus and I was miserable without him until it occurred to me that I would be starting to school in a week.
  12. condescend
    do something that one considers to be below one's dignity
    Jem condescended to take me to school the first day, a job usually done by one's parents, but Atticus had said Jem would be delighted to show me where my room was.
  13. compel
    force somebody to do something
    Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces.
  14. expound
    add details, as to an account or idea
    Atticus was expounding upon farm problems when Walter interrupted to ask if there was any molasses in the house.
  15. erratic
    liable to sudden unpredictable change
    She was furious, and when she was furious Calpurnia's grammar became erratic.
  16. contradict
    prove negative; show to be false
    "There's some folks who don't eat like us," she whispered fiercely, "but you ain't called on to contradict 'em at the table when they don't.
  17. humiliation
    strong feelings of embarrassment
    I retrieved my plate and finished dinner in the kitchen, thankful, though, that I was spared the humiliation of facing them again.
  18. amiable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    He waited in amiable silence, and I sought to reinforce my position: "You never went to school and you do all right, so I'll just stay home too.
  19. exclusive
    not divided or shared with others
    He said that the Ewells were members of an exclusive society made up of Ewells.
  20. withdraw
    remove something, as by lifting, pushing, or taking off
    I stood on tiptoe, hastily looked around once more, reached into the hole, and withdrew two pieces of chewing gum minus their outer wrappers.
  21. unanimous
    in complete agreement
    Mrs. Dubose lived two doors up the street from us; neighborhood opinion was unanimous that Mrs. Dubose was the meanest old woman who ever lived.
  22. arbitrate
    act between parties with a view to reconciling differences
    Jem arbitrated, awarded me first push with an extra time for Dill, and I folded myself inside the tire.
  23. inquisitive
    showing curiosity
    If he wanted to stay inside his own house he had the right to stay inside free from the attentions of inquisitive children, which was a mild term for the likes of us.
  24. peculiar
    beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
    What Mr. Radley did might seem peculiar to us, but it did not seem peculiar to him.
  25. ramshackle
    in poor or broken-down condition
    The back of the Radley house was less inviting than the front: a ramshackle porch ran the width of the house; there were two doors and two dark windows between the doors.
Created on February 13, 2013 (updated July 16, 2018)

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