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To Kill A Mockingbird: Part Two Summary

Below, you’ll find a full summary of the main events in Part Two of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, when the children are older and experience Tom Robinson’s trial and its outcomes for the people of Maycomb. It’s useful for anyone studying the text at any level (high school / GCSE / IGCSE, A-Level / College and above).

Before you can properly understand and write essays about any novel, you should always read a summary to remind yourself of the key events and the order that they come in.


To Kill A Mockingbird: Summary Part One.

To Kill A Mockingbird: Context.

Thanks for reading! If you find the summary useful, take a look at our full ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ course and other English Language / Literature lessons here.


Summary: Part Two

Chapter 12

  • Jem is getting older, he’s 12 and doesn’t want to be followed around by Scout anymore. Scout is further disappointed because Dill won’t be coming to Maycomb any more as his father has remarried. Atticus’ work also forces him to travel more, and Calpurnia looks after Scout and Jem in his absence. She takes them to her ‘colored’ church, it is a First Purchase building that was bought with the first money earned by freed slaves.
  • Reverend Sykes is kind to them even though a few of the others there show disapproval. They learn that Bob Ewell accused Tom Robinson and that Tom’s wife Helen can no longer find work because of it. Though the members of the church are all struggling black people living in poverty, they are depicted very positively.
  • They leave and find Aunt Alexandra waiting at home for them.

Chapter 13

  • Aunt Alexandra thinks that the children need a ‘feminine influence’, so she stays with them for a while. She is welcomed into Maycomb, and ladies in the town bake her cakes. She tries to educate the children in ‘Finch breeding’ — their family history, forcing Atticus to take her side and making Scout cry.

Chapter 14

  • Aunt Alexandra is frustrated when she learns that Calpurnia took the children to her church, and refuses to let Scout go to Calpurnia’s house. She tells Atticus that they no longer need a cook and tries to get him to fire her; he refuses.
  • Jem tells Scout not to annoy Aunt Alexandra, but she takes offense and attacks him. They are sent to bed early, and Scout thinks she sees a ‘snake’ in her room — it turns out to be Dill hiding under the bed.
  • Dill has run away from home — his parents had been ignoring him, so he took a train to Maycomb Junction and part walked, part rode on a cotton wagon to get to the town of Maycomb itself.

Chapter 15

  • A group of men including the sheriff come to tell Atticus that Tom Robinson has been moved to Maycomb jail, they are worried that there might be a lynch mob (a group of people who band together to take the law into their own hands and kill someone they perceive as a criminal).
  • Alexandra and Atticus have been arguing about the trial — Alexandra thinks it is shameful for Atticus to be involved. Atticus goes into town and Scout and Jem sneak after him. They see a group of men get out of a car and threaten Atticus, Scout runs into the middle of the crowd, followed by Jem and Dill, and tension rises. Scout notices Mr. Cunningham, Walter’s dad, in the crowd and asks him to say ‘Hey’ to Walter. He is ashamed, and the men leave. Mr. Underwood, the owner of the newspaper, comes out and says he was hiding with a gun ready to protect Atticus.

Chapter 16

  • The trial begins, everyone in town attends — except for Miss Maudie, who feels it is too brutal to watch a man fight for his life. A crowd of people eats lunch in the town square, Jem, Scout, and Dill sneak in late to watch, and Reverend Sykes lets them sit in the balcony with the black folk (as they are segregated from the white folk). Judge Taylor is introduced — an old man who reminds Scout of ‘a sleepy old shark’.

Chapter 17

  • Heck Tate is the first witness; he is interrogated by the prosecutor, Mr Gilmer. Tate says that on the night of November 21st he says Bob Ewell told him to go to the Ewell’s house — he saw Bob’s daughter Mayella bruised and beaten, she says she has been raped by Tom Robinson. Bob Ewell speaks next, he is a rough spoken and rude little man. He says he was collecting firewood from the local forest and on his way back home, when he looked up and saw Tom through the window with Mayella. Atticus asks why no doctor was present, Bob replies that it was too expensive — but this presents a problem as Mayella was not officially examined at the time of the incident.
  • Tate says that Mayella’s bruises were to the right side of her face, and Scout notices that Tom’s left arm is damaged (it was destroyed by a cotton machine when he was a boy), so he could not have attacked her that way.

Chapter 18

  • Mayella speaks next — she is a 19 year old girl, who seems sweeter than the rest of the Ewell family, and she is frightened. She says she asked Tom Robinson to fix a door for her, he came in, attacked her and raped her.
  • Atticus begs Mayella to admit that there was no rape and she was beaten by her father, but she refuses — she shouts and causes a fuss, accusing everyone of being too weak to prosecute Tom. She cries and won’t speak further.
  • Atticus calls Tom Robinson.

Chapter 19

  • Tom tells the truth: Mayella often asked him to do work for her, and she asked him to come in and fix a door. He got inside the house, but there was no broken door and the other children weren’t there either. Mayella hugged him and asked him to kiss her. At this point, Bob appeared — he called Mayella a whore and threatened to kill her, Tom ran away.
  • Link Deas, Tom’s white employer, also stands up and states that he never had any trouble with him. Judge Taylor is angry and sends Link out of the courtroom.
  • Mr. Gilmer questions Tom harshly and intensely. Tom admits he may have had the strength still to hurt Mayella, and that he feels sorry for her.

Chapter 20

  • Dill becomes upset and he has to leave the courtroom, Scout follows him. They return just in time to hear the last part of Atticus’ speech.
  • Atticus uses logic and reason in his presentation to the jury: he states that there was no doctor present to assess the situation and that the witnesses are highly unreliable because of their personal vested interests. He feels that Mayella was lonely, and wanted Tom’s company, but then became ashamed when she was discovered and so accused him of rape to protect herself. Atticus begs the jury to not just blindly assume that all black people are criminals with evil intentions. Calpurnia arrives in the courtroom.

Chapter 21

  • Calpurnia says the children have not been at home for hours, and Atticus sends them home. The jury debates for many hours and the children wonder what the outcome will be — Jem is hopeful. After 11pm, the jury enters. They do not look at Tom as they walk. They declare him guilty.

Chapter 22

  • Jem is very upset. The black community of Maycomb delivers a large parcel of food to Atticus’ house to give thanks for his efforts. The children speak to Miss Maudie, and Jem explains his positive perspective on Maycomb and its inhabitants has been ruined.
  • Miss Maudie is more positive, she says that some people were on Tom’s side and the jury took a long time to decide so they must have been unsure of their decision, which shows progress for the black community even if it’s too late for Tom.

Chapter 23

  • Atticus remarks that he wishes Bob Ewell wouldn’t chew tobacco, while Miss Stephanie explains that Bob Ewell swore and spat at Atticus, telling him he would get revenge. Jem and Scout are afraid, and Atticus explains that it is because Atticus damaged Bob Ewell’s reputation.
  • A few weeks later, Atticus and Jem discuss the legal system. Atticus explains that the jury may be made out of decent people, but those difficult situations may cause them to draw the wrong conclusions, especially when the race is involved.

Chapter 24

  • Aunt Alexandra invites her missionary circle to tea, and Scout helps — wearing a dress. The women discuss the African Mruna tribe, who are being converted to Christianity. They also complain about their own black servants, who have been badly behaved since Tom’s trial verdict.
  • Atticus appears and tells everyone that Tom tried to escape, so he was shot seventeen times and killed

Chapter 25

  • In September, Scout finds a roly-poly bug and tries to kill it but Jem persuades her not to.
  • Scout remembers Dill telling her that he and Jem went swimming in late August, they met Atticus and Calpurnia driving as they attempted to flag down a car for a lift. They all went to Helen Robinson’s house, and she collapsed before they even told her that her husband Tom was dead.
  • Mr. Underwood writes a long article about how Tom was innocent and his death was murder. Bob Ewell says that Tom’s death makes ‘two more to go’.

Chapter 26

  • Scout and Jem are older, but they still pass by the Radley Place often and think of Boo Radley, wishing to see him. At school, Miss Gates teaches Scout about the atrocities of Hitler and the Nazis, discussing the persecution of the Jews and inequality. Scout finds this hypocritical as Miss Gates openly showed racist opinions towards the black folk in her town during the trial, stating that someone needed to teach them a lesson.

Chapter 27

  • Bob Ewell briefly gets a job through one of the Great Depression job programs, but then he soon loses it and blames Atticus.
  • Link Deas, Tom Robinson’s former employer, gives Helen (Tom’s widow) a job, but Bob Ewell follows her to work and tries to frighten her. Deas threatens him with arrest, and Aunt Alexandra observes that Bob Ewell seems to have a grudge against everyone who was involved in the trial.

Chapter 28

  • The ladies of Maycomb organize a Halloween pageant, Scout is going dressed as a ham. They are on their way to the pageant when Cecil Jacobs jumps out and scares them. Scout accidentally falls asleep and misses her cue to go on stage, the ladies are very angry with her.
  • On their way home, Jem hears noises and at first, they think it must be Cecil Jacobs again. Scout is still dressed up and can’t see, but she hears Jem scream and someone tries to crush her — Jem pulls the attacker off and Scout drops to the floor, feeling around to try and find Jem — she only finds a man with stubble who smells of whiskey lying on the ground. She finally manages to see a man carrying Jem up to the front door. She thinks he’s dead.
  • Aunt Alexandra explains that Jem is just unconscious and calls for the doctor, Atticus calls for the sheriff. Jem has a broken arm and a sore head, but he will be fine.
  • Heck Tate (the sheriff) appears and tells Atticus that Bob Ewell has been found dead under a tree — he was stabbed.

Chapter 29

  • Scout tells everyone what she saw, and Heck Tate shows her where the costume was ripped by a knife. Scout realizes that the man who carried Jem into the house is Boo Radley.

Chapter 30

  • They all go down to the porch, Atticus and Tate discuss Bob’s death, and Atticus realizes that Boo Radley was the one who stabbed Bob Ewell. Tate says that Bob fell on his knife by accident, as he is trying to defend Boo. He doesn’t want the town to turn on Boo.

Chapter 31

  • Scout takes Boo upstairs to say goodnight to Jem, when he leaves she never sees him again. She returns home and Atticus reads to her until she falls asleep, he then goes to Jem’s room and stays with him there.

To Kill A Mockingbird: Summary Part One.

To Kill A Mockingbird: Context.

Thanks for reading! If you find the summary useful, take a look at our full ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ course and other English Language / Literature lessons here.

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