S: Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird Literary Analysis
FC: Harper Lee's | To Kill A Mockingbird | The ultimate lesson of humanity
1: This book is a visual Literary Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird created by Kylie Thwing | Table of Contents Setting and Historical Context....................2-9 Point of View...........................................10-15 Conflicts..................................................16-19 Characterization......................................20-23 Symbolism...............................................24-25 Themes....................................................26-27 Personal Reflection..................................28-29
2: Setting | "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 city" (Lee 5). | This indicates Maycomb was a small town where nearly everyone knew each other. The people of the town didn't mind staying in Maycomb, but however, couldn't afford to travel elsewhere. | "They did not go to church, Maycomb's principal recreation, but worshipped at home" (Lee 9). | Maycomb was a town in which it was expected of people to go to church; that was their morality.
3: The setting is described that people, like the Cunningham's were tight on money and struggling to get by financially. With this being said, the audience can infer that the events of "To Kill a Mockingbird" took place during the Great Depression, which was from 1929-1939. | "The acres not entailed were mortgaged to the hilt, and he little cash he made went to interest. If he held his mouth right, Mr. Cunningham could get a WPA job, but his land would go to ruin if he left it, and he was willing to go hungry to keep his land and vote as he pleased" (Lee 21). | "Atticus's office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkboard and an unsullied code of Alabama" (Lee 4). | Atticus's office is important to Maycomb, Alabama. The town of Maycomb has much appreciation for Atticus Finch.
4: Understanding the setting is important because it gives the audience background information. The background information allows the reader to infer why the characters make certain decisions. Also, it brings foreshadowing into the text which makes it clear to the readers why certain events in the story occur. Without the setting, it would be difficult for the audience to clearly understand the purpose of the the characters' actions. For example, if Harper Lee wouldn't have set the time in the 1930s, the reader would find it hard to understand why the comments throughout the story are racist. Lastly, the audience would question why Maycomb was a town with poor people in it; using inferences from the setting, one can determine it was during the Great Depression.
6: The Scottsboro Boys was a group of nine black men that were falsely accused of raping two white girls. After six years of harsh trials, the nine men were finally released. Many of the men couldn't handle the times they experienced and sadly became alcoholics, and some even committed suicide.
7: Emmet Till was a young black boy that was put to death for saying "thanks baby" to a white woman. | Harper Lee was inspired to write "To Kill a Mockingbird" from these happenings, and even related characters from her book to the events.
8: Scottsboro boys accused of raping a white woman | Tom Robinson was a black man accused of raping a white girl | A white man defended the black Scottsboro Boys of rape | Atticus was a white man who defended a black man of rape | Real World vs. To
9: Not only were the whites racist toward the blacks, but the blacks were racist toward the whites | Bob Ewell disliked Tom Robinson: Lula disliked Jem and Scout because of their races | An innocent black boy was put to death with no intentions of hurting anyone | Tom Robinson was shot 17 times when he tried to run away even though he was innocent | Kill A Mockingbird
10: Point Of View | Harper Lee chose to tell the story from Scout's perspective because it emphasizes the innocence that happened through out the story. Although Scout is aware of Atticus's trial, she is unaware of it's effects. She doesn't realize that the racist words and comments intensified after the trial of Tom Robinson. Scout was oblivious to the dangerous position Atticus was in for defending a black man of raping a white woman. This act of innocence is an important motif that occurs throughout the entire story. | Scout Finch
11: "Jem looked so awful I didn't have the heart to tell him I told him so" (Lee 48). | Jean Louise (AKA Scout) Finch is the narrator of "To Kill a Mockingbird" which is told in a first person point of view. Scout is daughter of Atticus Finch and the sister of Jem Finch. Scout is an extremely intelligent six year old that loves to be adventurous. The tomboy that she is, is a mischievous child that is always wanting to do something. Oblivious to the meaning of the events that occur in Maycomb, Scout is very innocent.
12: Jem's Point of View at the Lynch Scene | Little Sister, Big Teacher “Go away, Scout” I demanded tirelessly, “go on, get back to bed ‘fore you waken Aunt Alexandra.” Scout stayed right there in the middle of my doorway, disobeying my order, as I quietly, yet quickly put on my shoes. Why did I even bother? Scout’ll get what she wants; she’s determined. “Alright, alright, come along, but you’ve gotta listen to me if you’re gonna stay with me, Scout and I mean it, reckon this ain’t something to joke around ‘bout.” “Okay, Jem, I’ll listen, but where could you wanta go at ten o’clock at night?” Scout wondered curiously. “Just to town, that’s all,” I assured her. I don’t wanta worry her about my thoughts of Atticus’s danger. She’d get all worked up and worried about it and cause Aunt Alexandra to come and ask what’s the matter. But I don’t need her help, Atticus is my father and I can figure it out myself, with Scout beside me. We waited impatiently ‘til Aunty’s light was out, then silently sneaked toward the back of the house and carefully went out the door. “Jem, what about Dill?” whispered Scout, “he oughta be mighty upset at us if we don’t take em along.” Answering her question, I started heading toward Miss Rachel’s yard while Scout was right at my footsteps. We approached his window and I signaled to Dill we were here. His head popped up at the window and a few minutes later, Dill stepped outside with us. As soon as we were on the sidewalk Dill asked, “What’s up?” Scout replied, “Just decided to take a walk ‘round town.” “We’re going to check on Atticus,” I added,”I just don’t gotta very good feeling.” | Little Sister, Big Teacher “Go away, Scout” I demanded tirelessly, “go on, get back to bed ‘fore you waken Aunt Alexandra.” Scout stayed right there in the middle of my doorway, disobeying my order, as I quietly, yet quickly put on my shoes. Why did I even bother? Scout’ll get what she wants; she’s determined. “Alright, alright, come along, but you’ve gotta listen to me if you’re gonna stay with me, Scout and I mean it, reckon this ain’t something to joke around ‘bout.” “Okay, Jem, I’ll listen, but where could you wanta go at ten o’clock at night?” Scout wondered curiously. “Just to town, that’s all,” I assured her. I don’t wanta worry her about my thoughts of Atticus’s danger. She’d get all worked up and worried about it and cause Aunt Alexandra to come and ask what’s the matter. But I don’t need her help, Atticus is my father and I can figure it out myself, with Scout beside me. We waited impatiently ‘til Aunty’s light was out, then silently sneaked toward the back of the house and carefully went out the door. “Jem, what about Dill?” whispered Scout, “he oughta be mighty upset at us if we don’t take em along.” Answering her question, I started heading toward Miss Rachel’s yard while Scout was right at my footsteps. We approached his window and I signaled to Dill we were here. His head popped up at the window and a few minutes later, Dill stepped outside with us. As soon as we were on the sidewalk Dill asked, “What’s up?” Scout replied, “Just decided to take a walk ‘round town.” “We’re going to check on Atticus,” I added,”I just don’t gotta very good feeling.”
13: As soon as we got to the courthouse, I felt my nerves spread all the way through my body. I peered into Atticus’s office, but he wasn’t there. I began panicking and I could feel myself shaking, when I realized I had to be strong for Scout. I can’t and won’t show any signs of worrying. Scout is safe with me. “Let’s walk further down the street; He may be talking to Mr. Underwood.” Trying my best to not show any fear, I marched along the street until I noticed something peculiar.There, not even a football field away, an outside jail light was shining. “Hmm, I never saw a light outside the jail before,” I said a little too hesitant. Taking a few steps closer, I realized it was Atticus reading a book right under the light. Scout must of noticed right away because she started to run excitedly toward Atticus. As soon as I could, I grabbed her and ordered her to stay put. “Atticus is okay. We don’t need to be here, we might disturb him. Let’s go home now,” I told them, relieved. Four cars slowly and suspiciously came about as we were taking a shortcut home. The engines rattled off right at the jail where Atticus was sitting. Atticus looked as though he was expecting them; he closed his book, put it in his lap, and took a deep breath as he readjusted his hat. “C’mon,” I said as I waved Dill and Scout closer to the scene. We had just gotten about twenty yards away when several men started getting out of the car. Since it was dark, I couldn’t clearly see who the men were, but there wasn’t just one or two, it was a whole group. My heart began beating rapidly when a man sternly asked Atticus,” Where’s he at?” “He’s here, no need to bother him,”Atticus stated. You could hear the bravery in his tone of voice. “You know that’s all we want Mr. Finch, now hand ‘em over and there’ll be no trouble,” demanded a different man. “Mr. Tate’s around, Walter. You can turn around and go home now,” kindly replied Atticus. At that point, I realized how much I wanted to be like my father. Not the situation he’s in of course, but the way he handles tough situations like these. He makes it look so easy, like it’s part of his routine or somethin’. I don’t have a clue in my mind how he keeps all his fear from showing. How he replies with such confidence and respect. Hasn’t he got anything at all going through his mind of how much danger he’s in? That these men could possibly hurt him just to get to the blood of Tom Robinson? I suppose not, cause there ain’t one speck of ‘em that exhibits fear.
14: Even while I was deep in my thoughts, I paid close attention to Atticus and the others. They were talking ‘bout Mr. Tate when Scout shot toward the men. I screamed and cried and sprinted toward Scout but she got a real good start. Soon enough, we were inches from the unfamiliar faces, gasping for air, our hearts beating a million times a minute. Atticus stood up and ordered me to take Scout and Dill home this instant. I stared at him blankly. I couldn’t do that. I’ve come here to protect my father and I sure as hell ain’t leaving now. Disobeying my father, I stood facing the men, without one word. Again and again, Atticus told me to leave, until a man from the lynch grabbed my neck and shouted, “I’ll take him home myself!” I winced and tried to get his callused hands off me ‘til Scout furiously came about and kicked the man. Surprisingly, he fell back in pain and kept quiet. Atticus said, “Enough, Sco-,” “Make ‘em leave now, Mr. Finch! Get ‘em outa here!” The stranger was in utter seriousness. I thought about leaving right then and there but I realized Atticus would just be in even deeper trouble. So here, I stayed. Moments later, Scout noticed one of the men and began a conversation. Her innocence to the entire situation made it clear that she wasn’t one bit afraid. “Hello, Mr. Cunningham, ‘member me? I’m Jean Louise Finch. I go to school with your son, Walter.” I looked at Atticus, he seemed to be either shocked or frightened or just didn’t even know what to think. His eyes were wide, and mouth dropped. Scout continued, “Walter’s in my grade. He does well. He is a good boy. Real nice.” Mr. Cunningham gave an effortless nod. I couldn’t even focus on what she was saying after that because I was deep in my own thoughts. Maybe innocence is what everyone should have in a perfect world. No one would pick a fight with no one else. No one would call each other names or nothin’. If only people could grow up and go through any experience and still act as if, if they aren’t already, innocent. Our society would be such a kinder place. No reasons to treat others unfairly because of their skin color, because of their financial statement, because of their amount of education Mr. Cunningham bent down beside Scout and said he’d give a holler to Walter from her. Immediately after, he called out, “ Alright boys, let’s get home.” They all went back to their cars and you could tell their minds were turnin’. A little nine year old girl just defeated this mob with her mind-boggling words.
16: Conflicts | Atticus was in charge of defending a black man for raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Although Tom Robinson was innocent, he was convicted guilty. | External | Man vs Society
17: Jem was still just a kid and was oblivious to the position Atticus was in. When Jem opens his eyes and notices how Maycomb reacts to this case, he begins to understand and mature. | Before the case, Atticus was upset and said, "a lawyer gets a case like this at least once". He didnt think he could win. However, after the trial, he had much hope and thought this would be the new beginning of racism.
18: CONFLICT: Scout was punished for being able to read and write. | TYPE OF CONFLICT: Man vs society External | BEFORE: Scout was angry at Miss Caroline and the school's education system wouldn't let her read or write. AFTER: Scout explains to Atticus and they agree to read each night together. She realizes she still has to be respectful to Miss Caroline and the school. | Life
19: CONFLICT: Atticus experienced his daughter run out in front of the lynch that was trying to kill Tom Robinson. | TYPE OF CONFLICT: Man vs Self Internal | BEFORE: Atticus tried to be quiet when he left the house for Tom Robinson's safety. He didn't want his family involved at the scene. | AFTER: When he realized his children were there, he was worried and wanted them to go home right away. But, when Scout says something that makes the group of people clear out, Atticus is relieved. | CONFLICT: Lula makes a rude comment to Cal for bringing Jem and Scout to a black people church. | TYPE OF CONFLICT: Man vs Man External | BEFORE: Jem and Scout were excited to attend the church with Cal because they were curious to see how it was different from a white church. | AFTER: Both Jem and Scout realize how poor the black church was and that they deserve a better place to communicate their religious beliefs. Also, Jem realizes that racism goes both ways and starts to understand that it's wrong.
20: CHARACTERIZATION | DYNAMIC: | -Scout Finch- Daughter of Atticus; very smart and adventurous | *progresses into a young lady because of Aunt Alexandra *discovers what racism is because of all the tension between whites and blacks due to the case *thought Boo Radley was scary and creepy, then decides he's a good man
21: -Jem Finch- son of Atticus; major role model to Scout; courageous and creative | *stands up for Scout and stops calling her a little girl *teaches Scout many important life understandings *Matures and becomes a protective brother; tells Scout to run to safety when Bob Ewell attacks them | DYNAMIC:
22: STATIC: | CHARACTERIZATION: | -Bob Ewell- father of Mayella Ewell; uneducated considered white trash because he and his family don't care to improve; accused Tom Robinson of raping his daughter | *Throughout the story, Bob Ewell is disrespectful and doesn't bother to become a better person in general.
23: STATIC: | -Arthur (Boo) Radley- neighbors to the Finch's; never is seen outside during the day | *Boo Radley has always showed signs of respect. He leaves gifts in the tree hole for Jem and Scout, stitches up Jem's pants, puts a blanket over Scout, and saves their lives from Bob Ewell
24: SYMBOLISM | Why is the title important if nobody actually killed a mockingbird? | Atticus states in the novel that it's a sin to kill a mockingbird because they do no harm to us. All they do is sing soft, beautiful tones. The title is actually a metaphor that alludes to the story itself. The mockingbird symbolizes innocence that compares to three important characters throughout the story: Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Scout Finch.
25: Boo Radley is an example of a "mockingbird" because he is a thoughtful man with no intentions to hurt anyone. The city of Maycomb judged Boo because of his distinct difference of staying inside almost all of the time. Altogether, Boo is an innocent character that plays a huge role in the story. | Tom Robinson is an example of a "mockingbird" because he was a respectful man that clearly DID NOT harm Mayella Ewell or anyone else for that matter. In the story, Tom was actually killed with 17 bullets. This is the most prominent symbol because it really showed the effects of destroying something so innocent. | Scout is an example of a "mockingbird" because she is an innocent child that can see the right from wrong in many cases. For example, Scout understands how wrong it was that Tom was convicted guilty and how wrong she was when she realized Boo Radley was actually a very thoughtful, kind man.
26: THEMES | "Most people are [nice], Scout, when you finally see them" (Lee 281). The quote proves not to judge a book by it's cover because you never know what is inside. In other words, you never know who a person truly is until you actually get to know them. This lesson can be applied to every person you meet from here on out. | "You [Atticus] are the last person I thought would turn bitter over this" (Lee 212). This quote indicates that one should stay strong even when times are tough. Good things will happen to those who care and stay strong; blacks eventually gained equal rights because of people like Atticus. Staying strong can apply at anytime in life.
27: "I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family" (Lee 205). Without a doubt, this quote exhibits the theme of standing up for what you believe in, even when others don't necessarily agree. Atticus was one of the first to stand up for what is right and slowly but surely, people followed him. This eventually led up to blacks receiving equal rights as a United States citizen. Standing up for what you believe in should stay in consideration no matter the situation. Sure enough, someone believes in the same thing as you, but too afraid to make a move.
28: Personal Reflection
29: In my opinion, Harper Lee did an outstanding job with every single part of her book, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. For the most part, the words she used to describe each scene set a detailed picture in my mind that kept me turning the pages. One of my favorite parts of the story was when Scout realized who Boo Radley truly was. Undoubtedly, this scene set a theme alert that not only spoke out to the readers during the time frame that she published it, but any reader at all. Her theme used here, which also occurred in other parts of the story, (Tom Robinson case and Dolphis Raymus’s character) states that one should not judge a book by it’s cover. To me, this is an essential life lesson because there are so many great people in the world that don’t get the opportunity to do what they want to do because of their looks or what others hear/say about them. On the other hand, however, I wasn’t satisfied when Lee finished the book without showing more of the character of Boo Radley. I feel as if Boo Radley was just introduced and not actually known by the readers. I wish Lee would have made additions to the story or even make a second book. By doing one or the other, I believe the audience would become clearer to whom Boo Radley is and it would also emphasize how important it is not to judge someone without knowing them. All in all, Harper Lee did a phenomenal job creating such a unique piece of literature. Her writing, exhibits several themes that the reader can take from it and possibly be inspired enough to make a change themselves. If I could rate this book on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best, I would rate it an eight. If you haven’t read “To Kill a Mockingbird” by now, I suggest you do as possible.