FC: To Kill A Mockingbird Visual Literary Analysis By: Paityn Kostecki
1: Table of Contents | Setting - p. 2-7 POV - p.8-11 Conflict - p. 12-13 Characterization - p. 14-15 | Symbols - p. 16-17 Theme - p. 18-19 Lit. Crit. - p. 20-25
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 County." (Lee 6). | Understanding context & setting is very important to understanding characters & conflicts because where the characters reside is a part of who they are & often justifies their actions or is a reason why they may do/say something in the story. Therefore, it is essential for a reader to have knowledge of & understand the setting. | This passage from TKAM describes Maycomb as a small town, with very dry qualities and little to do.
3: "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square." (Lee 6). By reading this quote, you learn that Maycomb is most likely a small, dreary, slow town. | "Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away. The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front and-a "swept" yard that was never swept- where johnson grass and rabbit-tobacco grew in abundance." (Lee 10). This quote defines the "Radley Place", a house down the street from the main characters. This house, an old, faded gray color, is a big part of this story.
4: Real Life Events | Scottsboro Boys The Scottsboro Boys were a group of 9 black boys, accused of raping two prostitutes after getting into a confrontation with a group of white men on a train. After being arrested on the spot, the boys were put on trial. Even though the two girls who accused the boys of raping them told the jury that they had lied, the boys still were not proved innocent or released from prison for many years.
5: Emmett Till In 1955, a 14 year old black boy by the name of Emmett Till traveled to Mississippi. Coming from Chicago, Emmett did not know the severity of racial issues in the South. After purchasing items at a grocery store, he whistled to the white woman working. Several days later, Emmett was attacked & brutally murdered by two white men for the act.
6: Real World Events | 1. Prostitutes admitted to lying about the accusations 2. Men were accused of rape 3. Emmett Till was killed 4. Both events were results of social injustice & racism
7: TKAM Events | 1. When Mayella Ewell was up on the stand, she had given away the fact that her father had beaten her 2. Tom Robinson was accused of rape 3. Tom Robinson was killed 4. The trial was a result of social injustice & racism
8: Point Of View | POV: 1st person | "Francis looked at me carefully, concluded that I had been sufficiently subdued, and crooned softly, 'Nigger-lover...'". (Lee 112). | Scout, the narrator, is a very naive, young girl who learns a lot about life in this book. As the story carries on, Scout matures & the reader can tell a difference in how she perceives things.
9: Lee decided to write the story from the perspective of a child because it helps the reader understand what may be happening and gives a view from childhood innocence that is not used in many stories. As Scout grows, so does her knowledge & the knowledge of the reader.
11: Short Story; | As the Finch children walk by my house, like they do every day, I notice their gazes travel through my window once more. I am different, I know that, but so are these children. For a couple days now, I have left them gifts in the tree out front. I think they enjoy them - I hope they do. although, they don't know that it is me giving them these gifts, & if they find out, I pray t hey aren't afraid. The little girl - she's something else, she acts more of a boy than a girl, but is wise for her age. These children, Atticus' children, they're adventurous. I remember the night they came into my back yard - that was the closest encounter to another human being I've ever had. Maybe one day I will meet them, & Atticus Finch too, but for now I reckon I'd stay here. it's safe here, in the dark crevases of my household. The outside world is terrifying, as is the light that brings men & women out of their slumber.
12: Conflicts | 1. Robinson's Trial; -Man vs. Man -External conflict | 2. Scout opposes the stereotype of a "southern belle"; -Man vs. Society -Internal & External conflict | *Atticus & Mr. Gilmer; Throughout the trial, Atticus & his views did not change, because he knew what the outcome would be. | *Scout; Throughout the story, Scout doesn't care to be a stereotypical girl, & that does not change by the end of the book.
13: 3. Scout's urge to fight kids for making fun of Atticus; -Man vs. Himself -Internal conflict | *Scout; Before the trial had started, Scout, when harassed by classmates, had wanted to fight the kids that were making fun of Atticus. After/towards the end of the trial, Scout had a better understanding of the situation and realized it was smarter for her to not physically harm anyone.
14: Scout -Scout is a young girl, who is very independent & adventurous. By the end of the story, Scout has grown less naive & more intelligent about life, gaining a different perspective on things. | Jem -Jem is a young boy around pre-teen age, mostly characterized as very fun-loving & care-free,& always looking for an adventure. By the time the Robinson trial comes along, Jem has matured more, gaining an adult-like attitude. | Dynamic Characters
15: Characterization | Static Characters | Atticus -Atticus, the father to Jem & Scout, & one of the main characters in the story, is very wise & determined. This does not change throughout the book. | Miss Maudie Miss Maudie is also very wise like Atticus, as well as gentle, although she can be very stern, too. From beginning to end, Miss Maudie's character does not change.
16: The Mockingbird The meaning of "mockingbird" in this story is a very significant symbol of innocence. Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, & Scout Finch, all important characters in this book, are very outstanding examples of "mockingbirds". "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." (Lee 119). Miss Maudie, in the quote above, explains Atticus' statement that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. This, & the death of Tom Robinson explains the reasoning behind he title of the book - it's a sin to kill, especially the innocent.
17: Symbols | Boo Radley Boo, a man who is extensively closed off from the outside world, has not done anything to harm anyone, but is neglected by the community. | Tom Robinson Tom, a black man, was proven innocent against allegations towards him, yet the jury found him guilty. Tom is a great example of a mockingbird because he was an innocent victim of racism, &, a a result, was murdered. | Scout Scout, a very innocent & naive character in the story, learns more about life & grows to know more about what is happening around her.
18: Themes | Moral Growth & Education "'So it took an eight -year-old child to bring 'em to their senses, didn't it?' said Atticus. 'That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human.'" (Lee 210). Atticus, being the figure that Jem & Scout look up to the most, teaches them a lot and is a shining example for them. Many parents, even today, are outstanding examples for their kids, & the people they learn most from.
19: Social Inequality "'He despises Negroes, won't have one near him.'" (Lee 209). In the time-frame TKAM was set in, racism was very common. Black back then were seen as a lower grade of human being than white people, & sometimes not even perceived as people at all. Today racism still does occur, though not as often/as severe. | Appearance vs. Reality "'An' they chased him 'n' never could catch him 'cause they didn't know what he looked like, an' Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things...Atticus, he was real nice...'" (Lee 376). In this passage, Scout had come to a realization, & explaining to Atticus, figured that Boo Radley, a very important figure in this story, is not what he seemed to be. Too often in this world do we judge a book by its cover.
20: Literary Criticism | Feminist School of Literary Criticism | This school of criticism focuses on the roles of women & their experiences along with their power/how much of an influence they may have in works of literature.
21: 1. In TKAM, Aunt Alexandra constantly attempts to get Scout to help in the kitchen & be a "real girl". 2. Aunt Alexandra can be very polite, & dresses very nice, much like a southern belle, although is very outspoken about her opinions. 3. Negative characteristics of a southern belle include; being stuck up, or belonging in the kitchen, as well as being characterized as a man's item. 4. Miss Maudie plays a typical southern belle, but with an attitude towards Aunt Alexandra, she speaks her mind yet is very polite about it. 5. Atticus is still very polite with the women in the missionary circle, although he reveals more with Miss Maudie & Aunt Alexandra. This may be because he is more comfortable around these two ladies rather than with the whole circle. 6. This scene presents women in a negative light. 7. Scout's impression of most characters is questionable, she questions everything they do & say, although she learns very much from each one of them.
22: 1. Since the setting was in a more wealthy home, it could have been fit more to what was normal in the time period, such s a lower grade home/a father that was not so well-known in the town. 2. TKAM was written very close to accurate depictions of actions & attitudes, especially those of racism. 3. It is a very large possibility that TKAM had a large impact because of the depiction of racism & how it affected people.
23: New Historicism School Of Literary Criticism | This school's approach analyzes when/where pieces of literature were written & in what context. This school clearly states that interpretation of the "truth" of history is left to the reader, since no one will ever know the real story of what happened.
24: Atticus -Ego -Atticus argues with Aunt Alexandra about how Scout should act/dress | Aunt Alexandra -Superego -Aunt Alexandra wants Scout to be a "normal girl". | Jem -Id -Jem has Scout tag along with him on adventures & treats her more like a boy/playmate. | Dill -Id -Dill doesn't do things most kids do. | Boo Radley -Id -Boo Radley stays inside & does not do anything most people do. | Calpurnia -Id -Scout & the family treat Calpurnia better than how blackswere usually treated, she was considered family. | Miss Maudie -Superego -Miss Maudie knows that Scout is different but lets it be.
25: Psychoanalytical School of Literary Criticism | This school's focus is on the id, superego, & the ego, their relationship & what is socially acceptable.