FC: A Literary Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird | By: Logan Jakuboski | Written by: Harper Lee
1: Table of Contents | Setting: Pages 2-5 Point of View: Pages 6-7 Conflict: Page 8 Characterization: Pages 9-10 Symbols: Pages 11-12 Themes: Pages 13-14 Personal Reflection: Page 15
2: Setting | To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, Alabama. "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it" (Lee 6). Maycomb was a boring, old town with not a lot of excitement. It was run down and small. "In rainy weather the streets turned into red slop; grass grew on the side walks, the courthouse sagged in the square" (Lee 6). The roads would get washed away in the rain because they weren't blacktop. The townspeople would allow the grass to grow out of control taking over sidewalks. "The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the color of the slate-gray yard around it" (Lee 10). The house has been around for a long time. This tells me that the setting is in a more run down town.
3: Setting Continued | Understanding the context of the setting helps you picture what time period the story takes place. This is important to understanding the characters and the conflicts because people haven't always thought the same. People today act different then how someone may have acted fifty years ago.
4: Setting continued | The Scottsboro boys were nine boys accused of raping two women. Even after one of the white women admitted to making the whole thing up, the boys were still convicted. Emitt Till was a black boy visiting his cousin in the south. He was took in the middle of the night and hung for saying "thanks baby" to a white woman.
5: Lawyer defending the Scottsboro boys believed they were innocent and inspired Atticus's character.Atticus defends Tom Robinson and believes he is innocent. The Scottsboro boys were accused of raping two white women. Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white woman just like the Scottsboro boys. Two women lie about being raped. Mayella Ewell lies about getting raped by Tom Robinson. Emitt Till was kidnapped by two white men and hung during the night.A mob came to the jail in the middle of the night to take Tom Robinson, but didn't succeed.
6: Point of View | The point of view in To Kill a Mockingbird is 1st person. "I think Atticus knows it anyway."(Lee 54). The narrator is Scout Finch. She is a 6 year old girl that really doesn't understand what is going on. We learn what she thinks about in the story since it is told from her point of view.
7: POV continued. | Harper Lee chose to tell the story from Scout's perspective because she allows everyone to see how Scout matures and grows throughout the story. Scout could also go into more depth about Atticus's teachings and Calpurnia's lessons for Scout. If the story was told from Atticus's perspective, then we wouldn't have learned about Boo Radley and all the adventures the kids had.
8: Conflict | 1. Miss Maudie's house burnt down in the story. This is an external conflict that is man versus nature. Miss Maudie was more upset about her garden than her actual house. She wasn't too upset since she will get to make a bigger garden now. | 2. Jem and Scout got in an argument about running back and getting Jem's pants. They argued because Jem wanted to go get his pants while Scout didn't want to go. This is an external conflict that is man versus man. In the end, they went back and got his pants. | 3. Scout had an internal conflict when her teacher told her to stop learning to read and write from her father and Calpurnia. She didn't want to get in trouble in class but didn't want to tell her father about it. This was man versus self. Scout ended up learning from her father anyway.
9: Characterization | Atticus: Atticus is the father of Scout and Jem in the story. He is a lawyer and plays an important role in the trial of Tom Robinson. He is a static character because he stays the same throughout the entire story. Scout: Scout is the protagonist in this story. She lives with her father, brother, and their black cook. Scout is a considered a tomboy due to the time period. She is also a round character because we know a lot of things about her. Jem: Jem is the brother of Scout and changes throughout the story. He is a dynamic character because his bravery changes in the story. Aunt Alexandra: Alexandra is the aunt of Jem and Scout. She comes to Maycomb to help raise Scout and Jem because of Atticus's involvement with the trial. She is a flat character because there wasn't much of a description of her.
10: Calpurnia: Calpurnia is the black cook that lives with Atticus, Jem, and Scout. She is a dynamic character in the story because she changes from just being the cook to taking on the role of being like Scout and Jem's mother. Miss Maudie: Miss Maudie is an old lady that lives in Maycomb. She always looks at the good side of things with things. Her house burned down but she only thought of the room for a bigger garden. I would consider her a static character since she doesn't change in the story. Boo Radley: Boo Radley is a strange figure in the story. There were many rumors about him at the beginning of the story and everyone thought he was dead. He is a flat character because we don't know much about him. Dill: Dill is a friend of Scout and Jem. He moves away but comes back every summer to play and hang out with them. There are many things we know about him so he is considered a round character.
11: Symbols | To Kill a Mockingbird has a very good title for the story. It says in the story how it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because a mockingbird does nothing but make beautiful music for people to listen to. Therefore, the mockingbird symbolizes innocence against evil. There are a few things in the story that are considered a mockingbird.
12: Boo Radley- He is considered a mockingbird because he hasn't done anything wrong. He also does good deeds like saving Scout and fixing Jem's pants. | Tom Robinson- He is also considered a mockingbird because he was accused of raping a girl when he didn't do it. He was proved innocent in court when they found out that the girl's father was guilty. | Scout Finch- She is a mockingbird in the story because she never did anything wrong. All she knew was that her father was defending a black man in court.
13: Themes | One theme in the story is that the color of someone's skin shouldn't determine how you treat the person. "Seventeen bullet holes in him"(Lee 315). They shot Tom Robinson many times when he was hopping over the fence. They didn't have to shoot him seventeen times. This theme can be applied in real life by treating everyone equally. | Another theme from the story is that racism blinds people from seeing the truth. "I ain't ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man"(Lee 279). The jury decides Tom Robinson was guilty only because he was colored. It was also his word against a white person's word. This theme can be applied to real life because people see only what they want to, not necessarily the truth.
14: Theme continued | One more theme in the story is that children have innocent views on the world. "If you had been on that jury, and other boys like you, Tom would be a free man"(Lee 295). Children see the truth in situations because they don't understand how adults think. This applies to the real world because as children grow up they are corrupted by their parents to believe certain things.
15: Reflection | To Kill a Mockingbird had a very powerful meaning in the book. I didn't really favor the book. I thought it was bland throughout the book. There wasn't really a least favorite part for me. The beginning was very boring to read though. Although this wasn't my favorite book, there was interesting parts in the story. I did enjoy reading the parts about Boo Radley because he was a very mysterious character in the story.