FC: To Kill a Mockingbird | By: Harper Lee | Visual Literary Analysis | By: Heidi Parker P2
1: Table of Contents | Scottsboro Boys- 2 Emmett Till- 3 Characters- 4 Setting- 5 Point of View- 8 Conflict- 10 Static Characters-12 Dynamic Character-13 Symbols- 14 Themes- 16 Literary Criticism- 18
2: Scottsboro Boys | The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenagers accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The case included a frameup, an all white jury, rushed trials, and an angry mob. The Scottsboro boys are frequently given as an example of an overall miscarriage of justice.
3: While visiting family in Money, Mississippi, 14 year old Emmett Till, an African American from Chicago, is brutally murdered for flirting with a white woman four days earlier. The white woman's husband and her brother made Emmett carry a 75 pound cotton-gin fan to the bank of the river and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head, and then threw his body, tied to the cotton-gin fan with barbed wire, into the river. | Emmett Till
4: Jem Finch | Scout Finch | Atticus Finch | Boo Radley | Tom Robinson | Characters
5: The time period shows how speaking manners have changed over time. The time period is apparent in how they speak to each other. Not only are their manners different than what many of us are used to today, but there were differences in how to address certain people determined by whether they were related to you or by their age. | To Kill a Mockingbird was set in a small town called Maycomb in Alabama. Maycomb was a friendly southern town. The time period it was set in was the 1930's where there was much racial conflict. | Setting
6: "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." (Lee, 4). | "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." (Lee, 293). | Setting Continued | >>>> Tells us that there was a lot of segregation which lets us know it is placed in the 1930's. <<<< Everything in Maycomb was slow and still. Days seemed long enough to last forever.
7: "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 . . . somehow it was hotter then . . . bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum." (Lee, 12). | The old town of Maycomb was really run down. Summers were hot to the point of starting to sweat as soon as you stepped out the door. But, people were still up and moving early in the mornings. Everyone just seemed so happy.
8: The narrator of this story is Scout Finch, a young girl who doesn't usually fit into the "lady" stereotype she should act in. Scout gives us the events from her childhood perspective rather than a adult perspective that tends to be more factual. Often we get descriptions of events just as she experiences them, without adding the meanings of each event. | Point of View | I returned and gazed around the curve at the empty road. Occasionally I looked looked back at Jem who was patiently trying to place the note on the window sill. (Lee, 64).
9: I was sitting in my house and heard the scream of a young child right outside my yard. Though i hadn't left my front porch in years, I know I had to help whoever was in need. I ran out the door grabbing the knife sitting on the kitchen counter on the way. Feeling the grass on my feet felt so unnatural considering i only remember the wooden ground of my home. Reaching the edge of my yard I saw a young man being attacked by a man in a dark coat and a large brown round object lying on the ground. Not knowing what else to do I launched on top of the mysterious man pushing him against the tree and stabbed him directly in the stomach. I jumped up to the young boy, realizing he was the neighbor's boy, and ran with him in his arms to his house. Having no other idea what to do, I sat in the corner of his darkened room, waiting to know the fate of the the boy. | If there were a different P.O.V.
10: Conflict | Scout and Jem both have the internal conflict of wanting to know the mystery behind their neighbor Boo Radley whom they had never seen in person but had heard many crazy stories about. After Scout finally gets to see him she treats him as a very important being and even escorts him back to his house. Jem doesn't get to meet Boo due to his unconsciousness from a intense beating.
11: Another conflict is the case of Tom Robinson suppobly raping Mayella Ewell, daughter of Bob Ewell. This problem is an example of internal conflict within Bob and Mayella, because they both know the truth that Bob had beaten Mayella. | A minor conflict is the problem of Dill not having a place to stay. This is a external conflict because he all around has no home, but the Finch's take him in and care for Dill the remainder of that summer.
12: Atticus is a static character although he is a major part of the story, his character overall does not change. He remained a soft spoken man besides when at court. | Other than the fact that he dies, throughout the book Tom Robinson stays the same respectful man he always was. | Static Characters
13: Jem is a dynamic character due to his change in maturity and the change in how he handles situations. | Scouts character is dynamic because her understanding of the events in the book developed throughout the story. She becomes more mature and knows how to handle things. | Dynamic Characters
14: Mockingbirds | A mockingbird symbolizes innocence within a situation. Saying so, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence. Throughout the book, a number of characters can be identified as mockingbirds or innocents who have been broken by contact with an evil being.
15: Scout Finch represents a mockingbird because mockingbirds are known as innocent in the book, and a big theme in the book is 'the loss of innocence' as Scout starts out innocent, and slowly learns the hard truths of the world such as racism and prejudice. | Tom Robinson represents a mockingbird because he was innocent in the trial was was still found guilty which saying so "broke" him and ruined his life. He was sent to prison & was killed there. So, the innocent or "The Mockingbird" was killed. | Boo Radley represents a mockingbird because he is thought to be a terrible person but in reality is innocent and harmless. He actually saved a life (Jem) rather than breaking one. | Scout | Tom | Boo
16: Themes within To Kill a Mockingbird | The Coexistence of Good and Evil is one theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. The story approaches shows the theme by dramatizing Scout and Jem’s change from a perspective of childhood innocence, where they assume that people are good because they have never seen evil, into a matured perspective, in which they have confronted evil and must add that it into their understanding of the world. Just like in reality, how people go through certain events that change how they see the world and the aspects of it.
17: Another theme is The Importance of Moral Education. This theme is explored most powerfully through the relationship between Atticus and his children, as he devotes himself to instilling a social conscience in Jem and Scout. As is true for the other themes, the books conclusion about education is that the most important lessons are those of understanding, and that a understanding approach is the best way to teach these lessons. This theme affects life today because if a situation is approached understandingly, the outcomes will be much more peaceful. | The Existence of Social Inequality is the final theme. This theme is showed with the racial remarks throughout the whole book. For example, in the court case of Tom Robinson there is no question that Tom was not guilty, but because of the fact of him being black the all white jury they pronounced Tom guilty. This theme affects life today because all racial feelings are not worked out. There are many people who still have hatred toward not only black people, but all sorts of races they come into contact with. | In the school playground, Cecil declares, “‘Scout Finch’s daddy defends niggers'" (Lee 75).
18: Literary Criticism | Feminist literary criticism is literary analysis that arises from the viewpoint of feminism, feminist theory and/or feminist politics. The basic method of showing feminist literary criticism is identifying with female characters, this is a way to challenge the male-centered outlook of authors. Feminist literary criticism suggests that women in literature were historically presented as objects seen from a male perspective. | Jem exclaims, "‘Scout, I’m telling you for the last time, shut your trap or go home-I declare to the lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl everyday’” (Lee 52).
19: New Historicism literary criticism tries to find meaning in a text by considering the work of the assumptions of its historical era. In other words, history here is not a list of facts and events, but rather a stretched description of human reality and its preconceived notions. Literary works may or may not tell us about the actual facts and how they came to be, but they will tell us about normal ways of thinking at the time. | Psychoanalytical literary criticism is a literary approach where critics see the text as if it were a kind of dream. This means that the text represses its real content behind obvious content. The process of changing also could be thought of as dream work. | In the school playground, Cecil declares, “‘Scout Finch’s daddy defends niggers'" (Lee 75).