FC: My literary ananlysis of | To Kill A Mockingbird | By: Brendan Thornhill
1: Table of Contents | Setting and Historical Context - p. 2 - 3 | Point of View- p. 4 - 5 | Conflict- p. 6 - 7 | Characterization- p. 8 - 9 | Symbolism- p. 10 - 11 | Theme- p. 12 - 13 | Personal Reflection- p. 14
2: Setting This story takes place in a small town called Maycomb, Arizona in the 1930's. The Story follows the events of a young girl (Scout Finch). Maycomb is important because it is the county seat however it is a small, stagnant town where very little happens but everyone knows each others business. | "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it" (Lee 6). | It is important for readers to understand the context of the setting of this novel because it is set in a period of history that is known for racial injustice and segregation. These influences are seen in the conflicts faced by the characters.
3: Emmett Till, one of the Scottsboro boys, was put on trial for allegedly raping a white woman. All members of the Scottsboro boys were black teenagers accused and convicted of raping or assulting white females. During this time period racial conflicts were at a high. White juries sided with white victims even if the black defendant was innocent. | The novel To Kill A Mockingbird and the results of the trial of Emmett Till both were extremely influential to the Civil Rights movement and in addressing racial injustice that was in rampant during the 1930s in the South.
4: Point of View The point of view used in the novel is first-person. An example of this is "Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absence" (Lee 7). The narrator of this story is Scout. Scout is a young girl that is more of a tom-boy than the other girls. She likes to play with her brother outside rather than staying inside like other girls her age. | I think Harper Lee chose to tell this story from the perspective of a young girl because she herself was once a young girl. Therefore it was easier for her to write from the perspective of a feminine mind than that of the male counter part. She is able to easily convey the thoughts of a young girl when she may have had trouble with the thoughts of how a male character would think about certain event that happen through out the book.
5: My Point of View Short Story There are times when I think of To Kill a Mockingbird and I think of all the things that were missing just because it was written from my sister’s perspective. There are times when she was not seeing things the way Dill and I were. Proof of this is when Dill and I were sitting out in the backyard and she came out. We told her to leave because we didn’t want her to get into the conversation and then have to worry about keeping her quiet. This is when Dill and I were planning to stick a note on the Radley’s house window. She thought we were just trying to be mean. We were just trying to keep her safe and so she wouldn’t run her mouth to Atticus. -Jem
6: Conflict | Three conflicts that have arisen in the story are 1. Scout, Jem, and Dill messing with Boo Radley 2. The court case between Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell and 3.Scout and Jem having problems with their Aunt Alexandra. Jem and Dill were making plans to sneak into the Radley's yard after dark. Well after they finish planning they decide they are ready to put the plan into action. Well they get caught by Nathan Radley who comes out with a shotgun. The kids duck under the fence and get away, but Jem's pants get caught on the fence. This is an example of man vs. environment also external conflict. Second is the biggest conflict in the story. Tom Robinson is a black male. He is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Atticus is Tom's defense attorney. Atticus knows that even though evidence shows the Tom did not commit this crime the jury will still find him guilty. This is an example of man vs. society an example of external conflict. Finally a third conflict is Between Scout, Jem and their Aunt Alexandria. Aunt Alexandra is very upset that Scout does not dress like a proper young lady. Alexandra blames Atticus for letting Scout be around her brother so much. This is an example of man vs. man another example of external conflict.
7: Changes in Characters due to conflict | From the first conflict mentioned there are to characters involved that change afterwards. These two are Jem and Dill. Before this they were always planning ways to get the attention of Boo Radley. Afterwards they have stopped trying to get his attention and have gone about other things. From the second conflict there must be a multitude of characters that changed. Everyone thought that just because he was a black man it meant he should automatically be guilty of any thing he is charged with as a crime. Afterward they would have to have changed their mind and concluded that this is not true. And From the final conflict the only character that I have seen change is Scout and she is starting to become more girlie and hang around Calpurnia more than before her Aunt moved in and Jem start to leave her out of things.
8: Characterization | Dynamic Characters: Jem -Jem is the older brother to Scout. He is quite a troublemaker. Jem is a dynamic character because though out the story he changes from being a troublemaker to acting how he should and he also starts to take in interest in his father Atticus's job. Scout -Scout is the narrator of the story. She is a very boyish girl.She spends lots of time with her brother and Dill. She is a dynamic character because through the story she becomes more of a girl and hangs around with Calpurnia in the kitchen. | Static Characters: Atticus -Atticus is the father of Jem and Scout. He is a very level-headed man. Atticus is a static character because he has not changed at all through the story. Atticus is not a man that changes his views or thoughts. Calpurnia -Calpurnia is the women that helps Atticus with the kids. Calpurnia is a black female that does work around the house while Atticus is at work. Calpurnia does not change at all through out the story.
9: Flat Characters: Boo Radley -Boo Radley is the neighbor to the Finch family.Boo Radley is a Flat character because you dint know much about him other than he lives next to the Finches. Judge Taylor- Judge Taylor is the judge for the trial of Tom Robinson. Judge Taylor is a flat character because you do not know much about him other than he is the judge for Tom's trial. | Round Characters: Dill - Dill is a friend to Jem and Scout. He hangs out with them when he is in Maycomb for the summer. We know that he is not well educated. Tom Robinson -Tom is a black male put on trial for the rape of a white woman. We know how he looks and that he is well educated for a black person in this time period. These are what let us know he is a round character.
10: Symbolism | The significance of the title To Kill a Mockingbird is that you should not kill something that is innocent and has done nothing wrong. The mocking bird symbolizes the innocent things in life. | Boo Radley could be considered a mockingbird because there is no proof that he stabbed his father. Also by the fact that later in the story he came out of his house to cover Scout with a blanket when he did have to.
11: Tom Robinson could be considered a mockingbird because he was put on trial for a crime he did not commit. He was also shown guilty in court because he is a black man and it was his word against that of Mr. Ewell, a white man. | Scout Finch can also be considered a mocking bird because she is never the one that starts things but she is the one that gets held at for them. She also does not understand some of the language her father and other adults use.
12: Themes | Social Inequality - Through out the story the theme of social inequality is played out as we read about the differences in how blacks and whites are treated within the community. It is well illustrated in the interaction between Atticus and Tom. The rigid social structure that is such a part of Maycomb demonstrates the irrational and destructive nature of class status and prejudice. An example of this from the novel would be: "There's something in our world that makes men loose 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's always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life" (Lee 295).
13: Good vs Evil - This theme explores if people are inherently good or evil. Atticus Finch is the moral compass in this novel. In his lifetime Atticus has experienced both good as well as the evil events yet he has chosen to be open minded rather than labeling people based on those experiences. For example when he states: "You never really understood a person until you consider things from his point of view—until you climb into his skin and walk around it" (Lee 39). | Courage - There are many examples of courage in To Kill A Mockingbird one that stands out to me is Atticus defending Tom. Atticus Finch is defending Tom Robinson for the trial even though Atticus already knows he will lose. Atticus is willing to stand up for Tom even though if he loses the other black people in the county may come after him. "I wannted 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 your licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" (Lee 124)
14: Personal Reflection | I think this book is a very good novel even though at times it is hard to get through. This novel does a great job of showing the many hardships faced by the people in the 1930s. It shows racial troubles as well as financial problems for the people. I just wish it could draw you in a little more than I think it does now. It would be nice to have it as a book you do not want to put down. The way it is now I personal had a hard time reading it with out getting distracted. All in all the book was a good read. It just took sometime to get through it.