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To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

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I. Main Characters

Jean Louise (Scout) Finch

a) “Scout yonder’s been readin’ ever since she was born, and she ain’t even started to school yet.”(7). Not even six years old, Scout was already literate. This quote showed that Scout was very intelligent compared to other children.

“‘Yes sir, I understand,’ I reassured him. ‘Mr. Tate was right.’ Atticus disengaged himself and looked at me. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?'”(276). This quote shows that people give Scout less credit than she really deserves. Atticus once told her that killing a mockingbird is a sin, and in this quote, Scout shows that she understands this concept that most of the people around her do not.

b) Jem was Scout’s best friend and older brother that she respected and looked up to. When went to him with questions and advice when she didn’t think Atticus would understand. Other than Jem and Dill, Scout did not have other friends; thus, Scout thought of Jem as an equal when he really was four years her elder. “… I knew he was fighting, he was fighting me back. We were still equals.”(138). Other than being her friend and source of advice, Jem also influenced Scout’s behaviour and character. Scout despised wearing dresses and “acting like a lady” because she had grown up with Jem who was a boy. In a way, Scout’s dislike for changing could be tied to her dislike for a change in her relationship with her brother. Her close relationship with Jem can also be seen when Scout decides to follow Jem to Mrs. Dubose’s house for his punishment when she had the choice of staying at home.

Aunt Alexandra’s arrival in Scout’s life had a great impact on her mentally. When she first appeared, Scout disliked her almost instantly, for Aunt Alexandra tried to force different values on her. Scout had been raised without the concept of “being a lady” in her daily life. Suddenly, a woman told her to wear dresses, and to act like a “lady was supposed to”. Towards the end of the book, Scout slowly realizes that Aunt Alexandra meant no harm and that she deserved much more respect than Scout gave her.

c) When the story starts, Scout is less than six years old and already literate. “Scout yonder’s been readin’ ever since she was born, and she ain’t even started to school yet.”(7). On numerous occasions throughout the book, Scout proves herself to be more intelligent and bright than others her age. When she is unfairly punished for hitting Francis, she explains to her uncle Jack why his methods of handling children are wrong.

“‘Yes sir, I understand,’ I reassured him. ‘Mr. Tate was right.’ Atticus disengaged himself and looked at me. ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?'”(276). Atticus had taught Scout and Jem many values and lessons and in this quote, Scout shows that she understands this particular concept. In many ways, Scout resembles a combination of an adult and a child. She grasped sophisticated concepts while acting like a child.

“‘…she went on today about how bad it was him treatin’ the Jews like that. Jem, it’s not right to persecute anybody, is it? I mean have mean thoughts about anybody, even, is it?’ … ‘heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us. Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home – ‘”(256). At the age of seven, Scout can see the injustice, hypocrisy, and racism of their corrupt society. Although her thoughts and ideas might not be organized and well thought out, most of the people of Maycomb aren’t even at that stage at all.

Scout had a very impulsive nature. When other children irritated her, Scout often picked fights with them. For example, on the first day of school, Scout thought that Walter Cunningham had gotten her in trouble with her teacher; thus, she got into a fight with him. Also, when Francis called Atticus a “nigger-lover”, Scout immediately jumped him, without even knowing the meaning of “nigger-lover”. “‘Jee crawling hova, Jem! Who do you think you are?’ … ‘Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I’ll- I’ll spank you.’ … With that, I was gone. ‘You damn morphodite, I’ll kill you!’ … I knew he was fighting, he was fighting me back. We were still equals.”(138). Scout thought that fighting was the best way to solve her problems; whoever won the fight was automatically right.

d) Scout was a young child whose mind and ideas were not yet fully developed. This naivety and lack of experience stirred many external conflicts for her. Atticus raised both her and Jem with his own values and ethics, some that were different from those of the society around them. As Scout grows up, she learns that the world is not as she thought it to be. She faces racism, ageism, and sexism, ideas that never before did she have to worry about. Suddenly, her whole world is changing; she is harassed because Atticus is helping a Negro, Aunt Alexandra wants her to act more like a lady, even Jem is changing. Scout, only a child, tries to understand the problems around her, and from this, she matures and grows up.

Scout’s internal conflicts are derived from her external conflicts. Because she is only a child, she does not fully understand the problems of the society and its values. One of her internal conflicts occurs when Scout tries to understand the events around her and to make sense out of the problems of the society. She applies the values and lessons Atticus has taught her and tries to find her way through all her confusion.

When Aunt Alexandra decided to come and live with Atticus and his family, a new female influence had penetrated into Scout’s life. Aunt Alexandra who was born in the south, was born and raised in a society where being “lady-like” was a must for all females. This was the first time that anyone has told Scout that she must act like a lady, as well as dress like one. This external conflict resulted in Scout’s internal conflict of whether to give in to society’s customs and ethics. “‘Don’t you want to grow up to be a lawyer?’ … ‘Nome, just a lady.'” (230). At the tea party, Scout showed that she had accepted the society’s customs and rules.

e) This story was written in Scout’s point of view of her memories and past; therefore, Scout was the protagonist of

To Kill A Mockingbird as well as the narrator.

Scout was a dynamic character because undergoes many changes including: her acceptance of being a lady, her outlook on Arthur Radley, and her understanding of the society.

Because Scout is the narrator of the story, we see many sides of her. Her thoughts and problems are revealed to us, as well as her happiness and joy; thus, she is a realistic and round character.

Atticus Finch

a) “‘… if Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best…'” (45). Atticus was a lawyer whose character and personality contrasted those of many others of Maycomb. He was the typical hero who stood up for the truth and defeated the villains. This quote shows Atticus’ righteousness and goodness by comparing him to the “bad guys” of Maycomb.

“Atticus said to Jem one day, ‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.'”(90). Jem was only ten years old when Atticus introduced this concept to him. This quote shows that Atticus instilled his values and morals on his children at an early age. He did not want them to fall into the hands of the society; thus, he led them in the path he thought was right for them.

b) Because of his wisdom and ideal behavior, Atticus was respected by everybody in Maycomb with no exceptions. He was the moral backbone of Maycomb, someone others trusted in times of trouble and confusion. Even though his actions were not always supported by his friends and family, especially during the Tom Robinson case, Atticus never stopped being a character that was respected by those around him.

“…for several years thereafter he invested his earnings in his brother’s education. John Hale Finch was ten years younger than my father, and chose to study medicine at a time when cotton was not worth growing; but after getting Uncle Jack started, Atticus derived a reasonable income from the law.”(5) As a brother to John and Jack Finch, Atticus paid their ways through school while working to support his own family.

Atticus was one of the few people of Maycomb that was not racist. He saw character and actions over colour; thus, he treated Calpurnia as a family member. It is also because of this quality that Atticus helped Tom Robinson, a black man, instead of standing on the Ewells’ side.

Scout and Jem called their father by his first name, Atticus, unlike the other children in Maycomb. He talked to them as equals and not once did he lie to them. “I- it’s like this, Scout, … Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way.”(56). “Atticus, you’ve never laid a hand on her [Scout] .” (88). Atticus never used physical discipline on his children; instead, he taught them and disciplined them verbally and found punishments that they would learn from.

c) Atticus Finch was a character with great moral integrity, courage, and bravery. He instilled values in his children that, while contradicting those of Maycomb, were leading them in the right path. Even though Atticus knew that he could not change the society and that nobody would agree with his actions, this did not stop him from doing what he thought was right. “‘…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. You rarely win, but sometimes you do…'” (112) Even though Atticus was “Ol’ One-Shot”, he did not boast about this skill or use it to prove superiority or courage for he did not want his children to think of him as courageous for this skill. Atticus was a courageous man who did not take the easy way out.

He was not racist because the rest of Maycomb was, he did not give in to pressure. When the close-minded racist mentality of the Maycomb residents will not allow for proper justice to be rendered, Atticus stood up for his values and defended Tom Robinson knowing that he would lose. When asked by Scout about the uselessness of fighting the trial for Robinson, Atticus replied, “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” (76). Not only was Atticus courageous for doing what he thought was right, he also taught his children to do the same.

He kept racism to a minimal in his own home by declaring that Calpurnia was a member of the family, and not a slave or servant. Scout was allowed to wear clothes as she liked and never once did Atticus make her wear a dress. She could play with Jem and Dill instead of doing “lady” activities or play “lady” games. Even when Aunt Alexandra came to live with them Atticus did not approve of his sister trying to change Scout. His values and principles were much different from the corrupt society’s, and Atticus was not one to stand by with his arms crossed; he knew he had to take the first step in changing the society’s ways, and he did this in his own home.

As a lawyer, Atticus did not let the racist and prejudice mindset of Maycomb affect his practice. Atticus believed that justice did not concern one’s race, but one’s actions. Atticus stood up for what he thought was the truth and the truth that others were not willing to stand up for. “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience…” (104). When Atticus thought that Jem was Bob Ewell’s killer, without any hesitation or second thought, he wanted to bring his own son to justice. In Atticus was the integrity that allowed him to be a faithful and loyal servant of justice, a virtue that is not influenced by colors, age, or kin.

d) Atticus’ main external conflict was that against the society. Atticus was one of the few people of Maycomb that did not follow the racist, prejudice, and sexist ways of the society. The most obvious example of his values was when he stood on Tom Robinson’s side during the latter’s trial and took the black man’s words over those of the white man. This act caused riots in the white society’s values and morals; consequently, Atticus, as well as his children received many negative comments and opinions. Because he was white, he was expected to conform to the society’s values, which conflicted with his own.

e) Atticus was, without a doubt, the ideal hero with the perfect qualities and values. Throughout the entire book, Atticus was what we consider to be perfect; he did not use violence to solve his problems, he was not racist, sexist, ageist, or prejudice, and he was a great father. He did not undergo any changes; therefore, he is a static character.

He was the moral backbone of this book as he always knew what to do and was always true to himself and others. Even though Atticus might be the strong and great hero we make him out to be, he did show minor flaws such as when he underestimated Bob Ewell’s capabilities. He did not think that his acts would bring danger to his children, nor did he think that Bob Ewell would find revenge through children. Atticus was a human with a hero’s qualities; a realistic and round character.

II. Minor Characters

Jeremy (Jem) Finch

a) “…If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time…it’s because he wants to stay inside.”(240) This quote shows that Jem is maturing and his thoughts are become less infantile. He no longer thinks of Boo Radley as a monster, but a human just like everybody else. He is also starting to understand the social system in which he lives.

b) When Atticus decided to help Tom Robinson, Scout and Jem were taunted and scolded for their father’s actions. These remarks and comments especially hurt Jem for he looked up to Atticus and set him as his model gentleman. Throughout the story, we realize that Jem is much more fragile and vulnerable than Scout.

Jem was at an age where he felt the need of proving that he was a man and no longer a boy. On several occasions, Jem tried to tell his younger sister, Scout, what to do to prove his authority and superiority.

Jem was a very determined and persistent child. He wanted to be part of the football team of his school but he was not heavy and big enough so he decided to gain weight. “…when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn’t have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.”(3) Even with an injury, Jem did not give up his dream of playing football.

c) Jem plays the role of Scout’s wiser older brother, as well as Atticus’ eldest child. Because Scout looks up to her brother, and reflects his actions, Jem is Scout’s role model. It is also from Jem that Scout takes her behaviors and character. From Jem’s boyish violent nature, Scout learns to pick fights at school. She dresses like a boy as well as acts like one, behaviors that get her in trouble at home, at school, and in the community. Because of Jem’s importance in Scout’s life, he was a significant factor of her character. Also, Jem looked up to Atticus, his father. On several occasions, Jem said that he was like Atticus and that he wanted to be a lawyer like Atticus.

In the title To Kill A Mockingbird, “mockingbirds” represent the helpless victims of Maycomb, one of which was Jem. He was raised with the values Atticus instilled in him and with great respect for this father. When the trial of Tom Robinson started, both these aspects of his life were shattered; the society contradicted his values, as well as his father’s actions. Jem was an example of the innocence in a child and how this innocence is shattered by corrupt values.

d) Jem was a dynamic character; he underwent many changes during his tenth to thirteenth years. When the book started, Jem was only ten years old and his daily life consisted of myths and innocent fun with his younger sister. Throughout the course of the book, the many events of these two years triggered many changes in Jem. He matured and started to see the real world he lived in, the world of racism, prejudice, and immoral acts. He also started growing away from Scout, his childhood companion and little sister. “Jem was becoming almost as good as Atticus at making you feel right when things went wrong.”(259) With Atticus as a role model and all the events and problems he had to experience, Jem matured into a younger version of his father.

Jem’s character had many different sides. Around Dill, Jem felt the need of acting superior and older; thus, he accepted any challenges Dill threw at him such as touching the Radley’s front door. When others were mocking him for his father’s actions, he became very angry and confused. As he grew up, Jem tried to act like Atticus by questioning Scout’s behaviour. Jem was a very realistic and round character.

Arthur (Boo) Radley

a) “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 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) To the children of Maycomb, Boo was seen as a monster that had been locked up in his own home ever since he was a child. During Scout and Jem’s earlier years, rumors about Boo were a major part of their daily lives.

b) Despite the rumors and gossip, Boo Radley had a kind heart. Even though he does not appear in person in Scout and Jem’s lives until the end of the book, in a way, Boo was like a guardian angel for these two children. He occasionally left gifts for Jem and Scout in an old tree in his front yard. He also showed his kindness when he placed a blanket on Scout’s shoulder during the fire at Miss Maudie’s house. When Jem left his pants at Boo’s house, not only did Boo retrieve them for him, but he also tried to mend them. Most importantly, had Boo not come to the rescue when the children were attacked by Bob Ewell, Scout and Jem might not have escaped with only a few scratches and a broken arm.

Because of his many years lived in isolation, Boo Radley had a timid and shy nature. After Jem was rescued from Bob Ewell’s attack, Boo stayed in the shadows and did not make any noise. “Having been accustomed to his absence, I found it incredible that he had been sitting beside me all this time, present. He had not made a sound.”(277) Being alone for many years, Boo had become accustomed to his lonely life, and being around others was almost foreign to him.

c) Boo Radley was one of the “mockingbirds” in this book. When he was young, he did things that were considered unacceptable in the eyes of society. His father punished him by isolating him in his own home. Boo grew to despise the social system he lived in and ended up staying in this prison away from others. Boo was one of the main examples of the “mockingbirds” in To Kill A Mockingbird; a victim of his father and the society’s expectations of him, Boo was condemned for something harmless.

Were Boo not there to help Jem and Scout, they would have probably been killed by Bob Ewell. He was, in many ways, like Jem and Scout’s guardian angel. When Jem left his pants at the Radley’s yard, Boo mended them and placed them where Jem could get them. When he saw Scout standing on the street the night of the fire, he placed a blanket over her shoulders. On many occasions, he put out gifts for them in the tree hole of the Radley’s front yard. Boo was indirectly part of Jem and Scout’s everyday lives.

d) Boo Radley was a dynamic character. Boo’s first impression was that of a monster that was locked up in his house all the time. He never came out to play or simply for a walk. When Scout and Jem came into his life, it seemed as though they brought light to his miserable life. Instead staying isolated in his house, he started stepping out of the shade and into the lives of Jem and Scout. He mended Jem’s pants and occasionally left little presents for him and Scout. Boo saw the innocence in the two Finch children, the innocence that did not exist in the other residents of Maycomb. “Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”(278). This was not true for Scout and Jem changed Boo’s life by simply being who they were.

Boo Radley was a flat character because he did not seem to have different sides to his character and nature. His only appearances were through his faceless actions and for the very short time at the end of the story. Although Boo was an important character of this book, we never had the chance to understand him personally or see the different sides of his character.

III. Setting

To Kill a Mockingbird was set in Maycomb County in the 1930’s. Maycomb County was a fictional southern town of Alabama, United States. “Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned into red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square.”(5).

To Kill a Mockingbird was set in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. “A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.”(5) Maycomb was suffering from the Great Depression, a rapid decline in product sales and unemployment; consequently, Maycomb residents had slow and miserable lives.

The 1930’s was also a time where racism was very common, especially in the south where Maycomb was located. In

To Kill A Mockingbird, racism was part of daily life and not considered a problem. In the courtroom, the black people had their own balcony and in the town, they had their own church. Black people and white people were not allowed to marry, and those who were involved in close relationships such as Dolphus Raymond were looked down upon. In Maycomb, women were also expected to act like “ladies”. They wore dresses and attended tea parties with other women. Maycomb was divided in its own sort of social pyramid with each level being a family. Every family had its own reputations and the family members were judge by these traditions whether true or false.

IV. Theme

To destroy a harmless being is like to kill a mockingbird.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, there were many “mockingbirds”, including: Jem Finch, Arthur Radley, Mayella Ewell, Tom Robinson, Dill Harris, Dolphus Raymond, and others that were victims of the society’s corrupt ways. Because of the immoral values, prejudice, and stereotypes, many innocent people were condemned to a miserable life. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”(90) Mockingbirds are small creatures that do nothing harmful to humans, yet humans shoot them for mere pleasure. The “mockingbirds” in this book possess the same characteristics and personalities as these small creatures. It is the greatest sin to destroy something not only beautiful, but something that has not done anything harmful to begin with.

One person’s voice can be the first step towards change.

When Atticus decided to practice law without the influence of Maycomb’s close-minded racist mindset, he took the first step towards eliminating this attitude from Maycomb. He did not agree with the society’s racist, sexist, ageist, and prejudice ways; instead of conforming to this mentality, he faced the majority and openly rejected it. During Tom Robinson’s trial, he humiliated Bob Ewell and showed Maycomb the man Bob Ewell really was. During his closing speech, Atticus addressed the racism in Maycomb. By exposing this problem to the residents of Maycomb, Atticus took the first step towards changing the racist ways of the society. Not only was Atticus courageous, but he also taught his children to be courageous. He told them to ignore the negative attitudes others gave them and to stand strong.

Mrs. Dubose was an old woman who was suffering from her morphine addiction. Instead of giving in to her addiction, she fought to her last breath. Much like Atticus, Mrs. Dubose took the first step towards a change that might have been perceived as impossible.

Maycomb was a small town that was isolated from the “outside” world. They could survive on their own and live in Maycomb all their lives without the need of going elsewhere. Because Maycomb was a white-dominant community, the courtroom, schools, and public facilities were all controlled and available to white people only; a clear sign of the racism in this town. In Maycomb, the law did not enforce justice, but the society’s values and beliefs. Like the community it protected, the law favoured the white population and gave it special rights which the black population did not have. “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads- they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.” (220) Maycomb was a racist town with a corrupt and slanted justice system.

Maycomb also had sexist values and rules, shown through the expectations of Scout. Women were expected to act “lady-like”, wear dresses, and participate in “lady-like” activities such as tea parties.

There were many stereotypes in Maycomb, such as classification by one’s family name. Each family had its own stereotypes and labels, for example, if you were a Ewell, you were only expected to come to school on the first day. If you were a Ewell, you were also seen as dirt and filth.

The Islanders, by John Rowe Townsend is similar to To Kill A Mockingbird in many areas. In The Islanders, there is a small community on an island that, after generations of isolation, has developed its own beliefs and social system. When strangers of another island arrive, they are automatically seen as evil beings sent from the devil. The problem of isolation is also present in To Kill A Mockingbird; in both isolated communities, there is a form of racism and prejudice.

V. Point of View

To Kill a Mockingbird is written in first person narrative with Scout Finch as the narrator. Because Scout is only a little girl, we can see what is happening through a child’s perspective. A child’s innocence and naivety allows him to speak the facts and unshielded truth. Scout does not fully understand the conflicts and problems of the adults. She does not see the events happening around her through the same view as those in Maycomb that have been brainwashed by the society’s values. During the trial of Tom Robinson it is also this innocence and lack of understanding that allows Scout to see what is hidden to everybody else: justice. She does not understand the concept of rape; even though she claims to understand, or the real power of racism; thus, the readers can see the trial and injustice through the same innocent eyes as Scout.

Atticus was different from the rest of Maycomb; he was not racist, sexist, or ageist because he understood the corruption of the isolated society. Atticus’ teachings and life lessons prevented Scout from entering the world of the others from Maycomb, a place where racism, sexism, and ageism were considered perfectly normal. Also, because Atticus was lawyer and did not keep anything from his children, Scout was more educated than other children her age. She had her own definite opinions and was not afraid to pass judgment on adult affairs. Because Scout was a child and was raised by a parental that wasn’t prejudice, she was the perfect narrator for the story.

Not only is this story told to the readers by Scout, it is also a flashback. Scout is recalling her memories and past; therefore, not only do readers see the story from a child’s perspective, it is also delivered to the readers sophistically in organized thoughts.

VI. Plot

a) In an isolated area of Alabama is the small southern town of Maycomb County, a community during the Great Depression. After generations of isolation, Maycomb’s prejudice and corrupt laws, rules, customs, and values had become part of every resident’s normal daily life. In Jem and Scout’s lives, summer is a time spent with Dill and the countless adventures of Boo Radley. When a black man is accused of rape, Jem and Scout’s lives are shaken as their father fights for the black man against the society’s wishes. The two children are brought into the adult world of prejudice, racism, and Maycomb’s corrupt ways.

b) Exposition: The exposition of To Kill A Mockingbird takes place in the first three pages of the book. This section is not part of Scout’s flashback like the rest of the book, but merely Scout recalling the setting, history, and characters of her hometown.

Initiating Force: The initiating force is the rest of the first chapter. This is when the flashback starts and we are introduced to Dill. “it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first game us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.”(3) According to Jem, Dill was the start of all the events leading to Jem’s injury; thus, the flashback of all these events start with Dill’s arrival in Jem and Scout’s lives. During the initiating force, we are introduced to Boo Radley who was going to make a great impact on Jem and Scout’s lives.

Complication / Rising Action: The rising action took part between chapter two and the trial of Tom Robinson. Throughout this time, there were many crises. These events included: Scout’s first day of school, the summer with Dill, the fire at Miss. Maudie’s house, the snow, Atticus teaching Jem and Scout about mockingbirds and courage, reading to Mrs. Dubose, Atticus shooting Tim Johnson, Aunt Alexandra moving in with the Finches, going to the black church, and others teasing and scolding Jem and Scout about their father’s helping a black man. All these events happened between Dill’s arrival in Maycomb and the trial of Tom Robinson, an event that would be a part of Jem and Scout for the rest of their lives. It is during this rising action that Jem and Scout both matured and started to understand the racist and prejudice world they lived in.

Climax: The climax of this book was the trial of Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell’s attack. It was during the climax that the truths about the corrupt society’s values and of Bob Ewell’s character are brought out to the open. During the trial, Atticus explained the injustice in Maycomb’s ways and the problems of the society’s social system. Even though the verdict declared Tom Robinson guilty, Bob Ewell had been humiliated by Atticus. Seeking revenge, he decided to attack Atticus’ two children. Fortunately, Boo Radley was there to help Jem and Scout and also put an end to the evil that had ended the life of an innocent man.

Denouement: The denouement took place after Boo Radley had carried Jem home after he was attacked by Bob Ewell. Atticus, wanting to bring Jem to justice, was given one of his own concepts: “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?”(276). It is during the denouement that the concept of “killing a mockingbird” is summarized though Jem, Boo Radley, and The Gray Ghost by Seckatary Hawkins.

c) “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”(90). Maycomb is an isolated society with racist, prejudice, sexist, and ageist values and traditions. Because of these unwritten rules that the close-minded residents of Maycomb abide by, many become victims, helpless and innocent. The title of this book,

To Kill A Mockingbird, is the main plot of this story, the idea of destroying the “mockingbirds” of Maycomb.

d) For the first half of the first chapter, it was the grown-up Scout starting her story. She recalled the characters and setting of Maycomb while giving us a brief history of her hometown. The second half of the chapter was the beginning of a flashback in which the rest of the story was going to take place. Dill is introduced and through Jem and Scout’s conversation with Dill, we can understand what kind of life Scout and Jem led, as well as their characters. Their juvenile characters are seen through their perception and ideas of Boo Radley. The opening chapter was an introduction to the setting, characters, and atmosphere of To Kill A Mockingbird.

e) The ending of To Kill A Mockingbird was very effective for it tied in with the opening chapter. Boo, once a creature of the dark, was not brought to light and acknowledged for the favours he had done. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”(3). The ending of this book also brought an end to the flashback by ending where the story had started.

In contrast with Scout’s personality in the first chapter, in the last chapter, she demonstrated her maturity by walking Boo Radley home, a character that she once thought a mysterious monster. We see the effects all the events of the book had on Scout, the main character. It is also during the last chapter that the moral of the book is summarized through the story of The Gray Ghost by Seckatary Hawkins.

VII. Memorable Lines

* “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”(30)

* “A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishing pole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention. It was fall, and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Dubose’s. . . . Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day’s woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive. Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog. Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.”(279)

* “…I’ve got it figured out. There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes.”(226)

* “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”(227)

* “Mr. Finch, there’s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to ’em. Even then, they ain’t worth the bullet it takes to shoot ’em. Ewell ‘as one of ’em.”(269)

* “It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived”(100)

* “I’m gonna be a new kind of clown. I’m gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks.”(216)

* “They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”(105)

* “So it took an eight-year-old child to bring ’em to their senses…. That proves something – that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children.”(157)

* “There’s a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it’s dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time….”(276)

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