This GCSE English Literature quiz takes a look at character in To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is narrated by its main character, Scout, from the vantage point of adult life. The characters, therefore, feature to a greater or lesser extent depending on their relationship to Scout. Her younger self, her brother Jem and their father Atticus are at the centre of the novel. Their childhood friend Dill, their servant Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra also feature strongly. Boo Radley, the reclusive man who saves the Finch children’s lives at the end of the novel, is a key character. Many other inhabitants of the town play their parts in the plot, including Tom Robinson, whose trial is one of its most important events.
We see these characters through the observant eyes of the young Scout, but our own experience of the characters is also filtered through her more mature reflection.
Even as a child, Scout has a knack for judging other people’s characters, although her judgements can sometimes be harsh if she feels she has been treated unfairly, or, even more likely, if she is defending someone she loves.
Pay attention to the speech and action, as well as to narratorial description of characters. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout, as narrator, describes characters in a way that immediately invites judgement if she is not delivering her own verdict on the character (and she often is). Sometimes Scout’s innocence allows her to see better, as when she speaks to Mr Cunningham about his son Walter, unwittingly defusing a dangerous situation. At other times, her youth leads her to miss that which is apparent to the adults around her, and also to Jem as he begins to grow up.
Answer the questions below to see how well you understand the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.