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1.Time and place: Describe the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, the setting for the novel, and how it presents life in a small Southern town during the Great Depression.
Maycomb is a very small town where the streets are still made of dirt and the residential sections are segregated by both class and color. It shows that in the South during the Depression, even the middle and upper class struggled to get by. There are four main sections of town- downtown, Scout’s neighborhood which appears to be upper middle class, a section for Blacks, and a section for poor, white people. The people in Scout’s neighborhood try to help each other out and are “neighborly” to the point that anyone who wants to be left alone must be some kind of monster. The neighborliness only extends so far for most of them however since both poor white people and black people are treated as second class citizens.
2.What themes are being introduced? List as many as you can discover thus far in the book. ◦Can you anticipate how they will play out?
a) One theme is that good and evil are not mutually exclusive. Both are present in most people and either could be the outcome of most situations. Scout and Jem will learn that just because society labels something evil or good, does not make it so.
b) Another theme has to do with the loss of innocence. In this book, Scout loses her childhood innocence through watching how the adult characters interact. Scout spends so much time with and watching adults that she is able to make moral judgments beyond her years.
c) Practical and moral education are as important as academic education. In several places, Lee implicitly compares going to school with real life experience. This will be important when Scout has to face a real life fear.
3.List the main characters (Atticus, Scout, Jem, Calpurnia, and Dill). What do you learn about them in the first part of the book?
Atticus is a widower and a lawyer raising two young children on his own. Scout is a young tomboy who is very smart, but very stubborn. Jem, Scout’s older brother, is on the verge of puberty and struggles with the emotional loss of his mother, the perceived weakness of his father, and his own place in the world. Calpurnia is the Black caretaker for the Finch household. She provides both moral and disciplinary support for the children as well as being the representation of the Black community for them. Dill is an orphan who befriends Scout and Jem and who is prone to tell stories in an effort to fit in.
◦Atticus Finch is the moral center of the book. How is this communicated?
Atticus constantly uses moral values to direct Scout and Jem to do the right things. He tells them they have to walk around in someone else’s skin before judging them and of course he tells them it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. All of the moral lessons he imparts show him to be the moral center of the book.
4. What conflicts are being introduced?
Man vs. Society- XXXXX XXXXX is up against the tightly held beliefs of the time period.
Man vs. Man- Atticus is berated by the townsmen and Bob Ewell for defending a black man.
Man vs. Self- Although Atticus never wavers in his resolve, Scout has to come to terms with her own beliefs about what is right and wrong.
5.Comment on the narrator’s voice, which is in the first-person perspective of a little girl. Does she actually write/sound like a little girl, or has the author used a memoir technique by including memories and viewpoints as she understood them looking back?
Scout has a very believable voice, but her ability to analyze situations seems beyond her years. Lee is able to differentiate however when Scout talks to other characters and her narrator’s exposition. In the exposition, she sounds like an adult reflecting on the past, but when Scout’s character talks, she sounds very much like a little girl.
6.What memories of your own childhood come to mind as you read about Scout’s adventures and experiences?
I grew up with two brothers, so the games that Dill, Jem, and Scout play are familiar in tone if not action. We may have had more toys and more complicated games, but we often dared each other to do things, we ganged up, and we made believe anything we could.
◦How has childhood changed since the Great Depression? One way to answer this question is by interviewing one person in your life who lived through the Depression, which lasted from 1929 to the beginning of the Second World War (early 1940s).
As stated above, childhood is different today in that children have more high tech toys, video games, and other diversions to keep them happy. During the Depression, few children could afford even the few toys that were available like dolls and trucks.
Here are the first questions. The answers are in bold. I would be willing to write the paragraphs at the end for a higher price. Let me know if you would like me to do those as well.
Part A: This week, your assignment is to write about the conflicts or struggles between the forces that animate the novel. There are external conflicts, where characters struggle with another person, nature, society, or fate. There are also internal struggles, where a person is wrestling internally with two opposing thoughts or desires. Write about the conflicts portrayed in the book as the trial unfolds and intensifies.
At first glance, the conflict between Jem and Scout appears to be typical sibling rivalry, but it also plays into the larger theme of lost innocence in the novel. Scout dislikes the fact that Jem is getting more mature and resents his attempts to correct her. Scout and Jem get into a fist fight which Atticus has to break up. It’s interesting because Scout is fighting against the inevitability of growing up to be a young lady and Jem is drawn back into the immature behavior of a younger boy by fighting back.
Scout’s internal struggle with the expectations society holds for her is intensified by Aunt Alexandra’s arrival.
A potentially more serious conflict occurs as Atticus guards XXXXX XXXXX at the jail. Men intending to lynch Tom show up and threaten Atticus. Here Scout unknowingly diffuses the situation by talking to one of the men about his “entailments.” While seemingly unaware of the intensity of the situation, Scout makes the men feel bad with her naive understanding of the way adult conversations are supposed to work.
The book is also a commentary on the American system of justice. Atticus’ summation states that "there is one institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal on an Einstein…That institution is…the court" (Lee, 1995, p. 173). Discuss the relevance of this statement today.
Few people today would agree with that statement. Although on paper our court system pledges to work for justice with no bias, it is clear that certain people, especially celebrities, have an unfair advantage when they commit crimes and get preferential treatment. One way this statement does apply today however, is that a jury is much more likely to include other ethnicities than white which helps to equalize the system.
Comment on the different points of view of characters in the courtroom, including the following: XXXXX XXXXX- Of all the people in the courtroom, Tom’s viewpoint is the least “visible.” By omission, Lee shows that Tom has no control over his fate. When Tom testifies, even he seems unaware of the point Atticus is making about his disabled arm. Tom is respectful and fearful. Mayella- Mayella is a foil for Tom in that she too lacks control of her own fate. She is forced to go along with the claim that her father has made due to a misguided sense of duty as well as fear of her father. She also shows fear of Atticus because she is unused to kindness. Bob Ewell- Bob Ewell is a disgusting man who represents the hatred propagated by ignorance during the time period. His abuse of Mayella is a symptom of his social status and his hatred of Tom and other Black people seems to arise at least in part as a way to identify in a white society that has shunned him. The judge- The judge seems to want to give at least the appearance of a fair trial, but he realizes that society will not allow Tom to go free regardless of the facts. The prosecutor- Mr. Gilmer is disrespectful to Tom during cross-examination, clearly indicating his own prejudice against the defendant. The jury- There is never any indication that the jury feels anything but contempt for Tom, which intensifies after Tom says he felt sorry for Mayella. The sheriff- Heck Tate is a good person and would like to do the right thing, but he shows his own prejudice since he never questioned Mayella and Bob Ewell’s word by having a doctor examine the girl. The black citizens in the balcony- The reader gets both a sense of anticipation and resignation from the balcony- while they seem to know that Tom has no chance, there is an air of hope among them. Scout- Scout’s observations seem to center on Atticus demeanor. She comments about how calmly he handles the questioning and how logically he deconstructs the prosecution’s case. Scout has not fully determined how she feels about the case however and her lack of emotion contrasts Jem’s passion in the courtroom. Jem- With his newly emerging maturity, Jem feels very strongly about Tom’s innocence, but Jem is still naïve enough to hope that justice will prevail. Through Jem, the reader ‘s understanding of the unfairness of the trial is intensified. Dill- Dill’s emotional reaction to the trial contrasts both Scout’s and Jem’s because he does not have Jem’s maturity to handle the unfairness, but he also lacks Scout’s narrative ability to remain detached. Atticus Finch- Atticus knows the outcome of the trial, but he also knows that his only choice is to defend Tom to the best of his ability. Through his deconstruction of the case, Atticus appears as the single voice of reason in a corrupt system. Which of these do you identify with at the trial? I identify most with Jem because I was also indignant at the result and no matter how unlikely, I really wanted Tom to be acquitted.
One of the salient lessons Scout learns from her father is not to judge others until you've walked in their moccasins. How does inhabiting the various characters’ point of view provide depth to the experience of the novel? (Lee is skilled at presenting the complexities of people and situations seen from multiple points of view.)
By showing all the points of view in the courtroom, the reader sees that it is really the justice system and white prejudice that are on trial. It is understood from the beginning that Tom will lose the case, but it becomes apparent that at least the unfairness of the trial is thoroughly revealed.
The courtroom drama is an archetypal theme portrayed in novels, films, and television in American literature. Note how this is presented in writing, in anticipation of comparing this to how the courtroom is portrayed in the movie version. Later, you will be asked to comment on which is more effective and why you think so.
Much of the trial is seen through the eyes of the children. They have a naïve filter that helps to portray the “bad guys” and the “good guys” clearly. Their innocence and hope is contrasted with the reality of the hatred in the courtroom.
I would be willing to write the paragraphs at the end for a higher price. Let me know if you would like me to do those as well.
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The character of Boo Radley is the most fascinating in the novel because, like Jem and Scout, the reader never gets a full or accurate picture of who he is. Jem opens him up with a horrifying description, “"Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained—if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (13). There are also rumors that he may be violent, such as the story of him stabbing his father in the leg with scissors. As the story goes on, it is also implied that Boo’s father has kept him locked up in their house for fifteen years due to a teenage transgression. The impression is that Boo’s father is unusually cruel and Boo has been emotionally damaged as a result. Eventually the children, and the reader, sees Boo as a benevolent force in their neighborhood, putting a blanket around Scout’s shoulders and eventually saving them from Bob Ewell, but even this is from the limited perspective of a confused Scout who has to reconcile her previous image of Boo with his reality. In the end, the reader finds that Boo Radley is innocent and good, but we still don’t know much about his past. Boo represents one of the “mockingbirds” in this story because he has not harmed anyone, but he is the target of brutality, lies, and fear. What makes him so interesting is that we only see him through the eyes of other characters until the very end, so it is impossible to know exactly what his story is.
Scout is one of the most sympathetic narrators ever written. Her innocence is complimented by her wisdom beyond her years to create an insightful, but often humorous character. At one point, when processing Aunt Alexandra’s lessons, she relates that she believes, “one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that ... I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.” Atticus’ response is equally clever, “there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn't mind me much the way I was” (86). While being funny, this exchange also reveals a tension between logic and fanciful notions. Atticus represents logic, but Alexandra is more preoccupied with appearances than substance. Scout analyzes everything that happens in Maycomb, from the trial of XXXXX XXXXX, to the rabid dog, to the widening gap between her and Jem. With her analysis, a picture emerges of the injustices people commit against each other on so many levels.
Atticus is my favorite character in the novel because he is the representation of not only all that is good, but also of all that is logical. One of the themes Lee builds throughout the novel is a picture of our society as being driven by emotion and irrational fear. Throughout, Atticus is reasonable and clearheaded. He explains to his brother Jack, with Scout listening, that he doesn’t want his children affected by the fear and hatred that the trial is causing in Maycomb and he hopes they will come to him for straight answers to their questions. Atticus knows that Scout is listening, and “it was not until many years later that [she} realized he wanted [her] to hear every word he said” (93). Atticus is portrayed as a wise and kind single father, always having the right words for his children. He never shies away from giving them a straightforward answer. Atticus is also the only person who really tries to help XXXXX XXXXX, acting with integrity when he says that if he didn’t defend XXXXX XXXXX, he wouldn’t be fit to raise Scout and Jem, or to represent the town in the state legislature. Lee leaves no doubt that if people were more like Atticus, the world would be a better place.
The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was released at the height of the civil rights movement in 1960. Harper Lee was raised during the turmoil of this time and her father was a southern lawyer. She wrote from what she knew in an effort to create awareness about what she saw as unfair in the world. Another element of her life she drew from was the character of Dill, who was based on Truman Capote. Her childhood friend’s struggles and her father’s profession gave Lee fodder for the novel in setting, characterization, and thematic issues. Lee saw prejudice and hate in her own world, which led her to write the novel. Though it is set in the 1930’s, Lee wanted to make a statement about the ways people treat each other, specifically when it comes to race and ability. Through the characters of Boo Radley and XXXXX XXXXX, Harper Lee exposes the injustices of our society and why it’s “a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Miss Maudie Atkinson
There are a variety of antagonists in this story from Bob Ewell, who is truly a bad person, to Aunt Alexandra, who is simply too ignorant to understand her own prejudice. Likewise, there are a variety of protagonists, from Atticus, who stands up literally and figuratively for justice, to Dolphus Raymond, who just tries to do no harm to others. The children, Scout, Jem, Dill and even Mayella Ewell serve as the vehicle for the message Lee is trying to get across to the reader. The children must choose to stand up for what is right, to put aside prejudices ingrained in their society, or to embrace the social mores of their times. While Mayella Ewell serves as a reminder to the reader how hate and prejudice can be perpetuated over generations, the Finch children and Dill learn the moral lessons of the book, most importantly that it is wrong to do harm to the innocent.
The mockingbirds in this novel are plentiful as Lee drives her point home again and again but the primary ones are XXXXX XXXXX and Boo Radley. One of the many moral lessons Atticus imparts is that "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” (94). Lee’s point is that too often people are cruel to others because of things over which they have no control. She says that it is wrong to hurt something that does no harm to others based only on its difference to ourselves. Jem, Scout, and Dill make up stories about Boo Radley and the rest of the town shuns him simply because they don’t understand why he lives the way he does. In an even bigger travesty, XXXXX XXXXX is accused and convicted of rape simply because of the color of his skin. The benefits of the civil rights movement and of works such as Lee’s are apparent today through more equality for other races and people of other abilities with programs such as affirmative action and the individuals with disabilities act. However, racism and prejudice still exist in our society which makes To Kill a Mockingbird just as relevant today as it was in 1960. Lee assured that her novel would remain relevant by using a wide variety of symbols to represent the mockingbirds in the book. Boo Radley, even though the kids are making fun of him, enjoys watching the children’s games and leaves them gifts to show his appreciation. He doesn’t even know that he is the object of their entertainment. Likewise, Atticus has to shoot a rabid dog, XXXXX XXXXX, for the good of everyone on the street. The rabid dog knows not what it does, just as many of the “rabid dogs” or malcontents in the story know not what they do. In contrast, Mrs. Dubose, a bitter old woman who is hooked on morphine attempts to kick the habit before she dies, and Atticus makes Jem read to her every day. This becomes another of Atticus’ lessons because he, "wanted you to see what 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 see it through no matter what." Even though Mrs. Dubose is not a nice person and is prejudice against both children and Black people, she wants to die “beholden to nothing and no one,” unlike Bob Ewell and others who remain hateful throughout the story. With this, Lee shows how people can change for the better, even when the rewards don’t seem that great. In the end, the message is that even when the battle is lost, it is important to do the right thing.
The climax of the story occurs when Bob Ewell stalks the children coming home from the play. XXXXX XXXXX, the first “mockingbird,” has already been killed because in the 1930’s and even in 1960, at the time of the novel’s release, that is the inevitable outcome for Tom. While a happy ending is not really possible, Lee mitigates the outcome by having the other “mockingbird,” in place to save the children and defeat the antagonist. A Heck Tate says, “There’s a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it’s dead. Let the dead bury the dead” (278). It is a type of poetic justice when Heck Tate and Atticus realize that Boo has killed Bob Ewell and they refuse to drag him into court and into the spotlight for defending the children when all Boo wants is to be left alone. The stories come together to show that there are consequences for our actions. For all the people who choose “to kill a mockingbird,” there are always people who stand up for what is right.
i dont see it
these are diffence question
In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many themes but the primary one is the problem of racial prejudice. This is revealed through the interactions of several characters in the novel, but is emphasized by the XXXXX XXXXX trial. XXXXX XXXXX is a poor black laborer who has been accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. The jury consists only of whites, as the time period required, and though it becomes evident that Tom is innocent, he is convicted. The reader cannot help but sympathize with Tom and with Atticus and to consider the implications of a racially prejudice world.
Though by the 1930’s, the setting of the novel, slavery had been abolished, black people were still not accepted by whites. The protagonist of the novel is Atticus Finch, through whom the reader is shown fairness and justice in contrast with Bob Ewell and others who represent the racial prejudice in their society. Atticus has clear-cut values and beliefs, and it is his sincere wish that his children grow up with a broad outlook and an unprejudiced way of thinking. He is indifferent to what others have to say or think about his actions, and he is committed to his beliefs of equality and liberty. The courtroom trial is the culminating event in the novel and tension and suspense are built around this where Atticus tries to defend XXXXX XXXXX from the allegations of Bob and Mayella Ewell. The tension is maintained throughout the trial as to whether Atticus would or would not win the case. Although it is inevitable that Tom will be convicted, Lee is able to make the reader hope and believe that the jury may come to its senses and do the right thing. In the end, when Tom is pronounced guilty, it becomes evident that there could be no other outcome which only drives home Lee’s point in a disappointing, but enlightening way. The antagonist throughout comes across as an even more evil human being making him an easy target for the reader’s dislike.
Bob Ewell initially comes across only as a slovenly figure, uncaring about his family and brash in his dealings with others, but when events come out in the XXXXX XXXXX trial, it is discovered that he is truly a bad person who has no qualms about sending an innocent bystander to the gallows. Other characters such as Mrs. Dubose, Stephanie Crawford, Walter Cunningham, and Aunt Alexandra show that racial prejudice is not the domain of only poor slobs, but is prevalent in every social class and standing. The children, however, in their innocence, are free from this prejudice and represent the reader since they learn, along with us, how damaging racial prejudice can be. Instead of being angry at Atticus for losing the case, the black community shows him even more respect, bringing food and showing deference when he visits, because they appreciate that he at least took the case and did his best in defending Tom. This only serves to make them look better and Bob Ewell and other prejudice people of Maycomb look worse.
Besides the theme of racial prejudice, social snobbery is prevalent in Maycomb society. This snobbery does not allow Mayella Ewell to seek companionship with anyone and so she cannot lead a normal life. Her loneliness leads her to appeal to XXXXX XXXXX, but her understanding of social etiquette then leads her to blame him for her indiscretion when her father finds out. Aunt Alexandra does not allow Scout to be friends with Walter Cunningham or attend Calpurnia’s church because it is unbefitting their social status. Atticus is the one person who deviates from this norm. He favors the blacks openly, has a black housekeeper in his house, and does not even reprimand the children for attending Calpurnia’s church. For his egalitarian outlook and his judicious actions, he faces a lot of disapproval from the community, but is undeterred in his actions. There are also minor themes of morality, the need for love, concern, and a sympathy for the misfits of society. Atticus teaches his children to maintain respect for humanity and life in general. He himself never carries a gun. He instructs Jem never to kill a mockingbird, because they are harmless birds, which only sing to please others. Jem, in turn, learns the lessons of his father as he shows when he does not allow Scout to torment the earthworms that he has dug up. The characters of Dill, Boo Radley and Mayella are all deprived of love and affection in their lives, and they seek it through their actions. Scout and Jem, who have lived a life of constant affection, offer their love to others in various ways: Scout invites Walter home for lunch, Dill is often given shelter in their house, and they even make attempts to befriend Boo Radley.