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To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Anaylsis

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BC: To Kill a Mockingbird By: Harper Lee

FC: To Kill A Mockingbird Literary Analysis By: Katie St. Pierre | "It is a sin to kill a mockingbird"

1: Table of Contents | Setting- 1-2 Historical Content-3-4 TKAM vs. History- 5-6 Point of View- 7-8 Conflict-9-10 Characterization-11-12 Symbols-13-14 Theme-15-16 Literary Criticisms-17-23

2: It is very important to understand the setting of Maycomb county because the setting helps us to understand the motives of the characters. For example, the court case of Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell was such a big deal because Maycomb is so small that everyone knows everyone. It was the biggest thing to happen in Maycomb county for years. When the reader understands the setting, they understand why Scout and Jem behave the way they do. Living in such a small town, Jem and Scout were raised with traditional values and are more involved in the lives of every member of the Maycomb community. | 1

3: Setting | "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it" (Lee 6). This tells the reader that Maycomb is a small town that doesn't have very much activity occurring on a daily basis. | "As it has not snowed in Maycomb county since 1885, there will be no school today" (Lee 86). This tells the reader that the Finch family lives in the deep south, where they are adjusted to warm weather and it is a shock to them when they experience snow. | "A day was twenty-four hours 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 6). This helps the reader to understand how Maycomb county is kind of their own little world, the only thing they know of has been through Maycomb county. | 2

4: The Scottsboro boys were a group of nine black men who got accused of "gang raping" two white women. All but one of the boys, thirteen year old Roy Wright, were convicted of rape and sentenced to death. The case got appealed and in later trials one of the victims was accused of fabricating her story. The case went through three trials where finally five of the nine boys were convicted. Sentences ranged from 75 years to death. One of the boys was shot in prison by a guard, two attempted to escape, and one jumped parole and went into hiding. | HIstorical context | 3

5: Emmett Till was a black 14 year old boy who was murdered brutally for allegedly flirting with a white woman. He spoke to 21 year old Caroline Bryant and when Caroline's husband heard about it, they went to Emmett's living place and maliciously murdered him. Emmett had a public funeral and tens of thousands of people attended. When the case went to court, the two men were given the verdict of not guilty from an all white jury. This verdict lit a spark in the civil rights movement. | EMMETT TILL | 4

6: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD VS. REAL LIFE EVENTS | Emmett Till and the Scottsboro Trials are strikingly similar to the court case in To Kill a Mockingbird. They both have black men who are falsely convicted, get outnumbered by a white jury, and all have victims that die from white men. | In the Scottsboro Trial case, the witnesses were accussed of fabricating evidence. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Mayella Ewell and Bob Ewell lied about the evidence and what Tom did to Mayella. | 5

7: Emmett Till and The Scottsboro were black men who were convicted of doing inappropriate things at the time to white women. Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird was also a black man who was convicted of raping a white woman. | Emmett Till got killed and The Scottsboro Boys also had members of their groups that got killed by white men. Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird was killed by a white man when he tried to escape from prison. | The Scottsboro Boys and Emmett Till both got unfair treatments in their court cases because they were both represented by an all white jury in a very racist period. Tom Robinson was also represented by a white jury who was leading to prove him guilty. | 6

8: Court Scene from Mayella ewell's perspective I heard them call my name, "Mayellea Violet Ewell". As I walked up to the witness seat, I was so scared that I would let something slip. I couldn't never say anything that Papa didn't tell me to 'less I wanted to get beat again. They made me swear on the bible that I would tell the truth even though I knew I wasn't tellin no truth. The first thing he asked me was what I was doing that night. I told him I was on the porch, that's what Papa told me to say. Then Atticus just started shootin' questions at me left and right and I didn't know what to say. I just cried because I knew I wouldn't let nothin slip if I wasn't talkin. I went on, saying stuff Papa told me to like how I asked Tom to bust a chiffarobe for me. How he was cussin' and just came on me and how I was hollerin' louds I could. I done told Atticus that and he seemed to believe me. Then he asked about Papa. Papa didn't tell me nothin' to say if this happened. I told 'em that when he drinks he gets a little rowdy. It just slipped and I know Papa will beat me for this. | 7

9: point of view | To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the first person point of view. It is told by Scout, a five year old little girl who understands the events through her eyes and from what Jem and Atticus tell her. This allows for the reader to understand the story and the plot from a more innocent point of view. It also makes the reader get to imagine more because Scout is such a little girl. | 8 | "I once asked Atticus if it ever had any; Atticus said yes, but before I was born" (Lee 5).

10: Before Tom got accused of raping Mayella, he was a kind man who helped people every chance he got. | Before Atticus started to represent Tom, he was leery about the case and was apprehensive about representing a black man. | Before the trial, Scout Finch was innocent and a timid little girl who didn't know much about law. | After he got accused, he was more defenesive and upset and he got killed when trying to escape the jail. | After the case, Atticus was confident in his lawyer abilities and wished he could have saved Tom. | After the book, Scout was a eccentric character with charisma and passion who knew much more than her age led on to believe. | 9

11: conflict | Tom Robinson vs. Bob Ewell This conflict is man versus man and is external. Bob Ewell accuses Tom of raping Mayella when Tom knew that he was innocent. | Atticus vs. Himself This conflict is man versus himself and is internal. Atticus struggled between choosing to represent Tom Robinson or not. He also had conflict with himself when Tom died, knowing that he could have saved him from jail. Tom Robinson vs. Maycomb This conflict is man versus society and is internal. Tom Robinson is fighting against a very racist town trying to prove his innocence. This idea of racism creates a great deal of conflict through the course of the book. | 10

12: Aunt Alexandra is a dynamic character because at the beginning of the book, she is cold-hearted and does not seem like she loves Jem and Scout. At the end, she is protective and displays that she loves the kids. It signifies she went through a personal change with her relationships. | Jem is a dynamic character because we see him change greatly throughout the story. He develops and matures in giant leaps as a man and we also see a change in the way he thinks. He begins to understand things more and has a more educated perspective on the world and the events of Maycomb county. | CHARACTERIZATION | 11

13: Bob Ewell is a static character because he did not change throughout the story. He was an angry man at the beginning and was an angry, mean man at the end when he accused Tom of raping his daughter when Bob truly did the crime. Atticus Finch is a static character because he kept the same character and moral values and actions throughout the story. During the whole course of the book he was honest, believed in mortality, and was respectful. He never changed the ways he thought or acted. He was always a good person. | 12

14: The mockingbird in the title To Kill a Mockingbird symbolizes innocence and righteousness. The mockingbird is a bird that causes no harm to humans, it only gives benefit to us by chirping its lovely music. | SYMBOLS | 13

15: Boo Radley can be considered a mockingbird because he did nothing wrong or hurtful the whole book. He just stayed in his house and at the end of the book, he helped Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson is the books biggest mockingbird symbol. He never raped Mayella or touched a hair on her head. He helped her everyday out of the goodness of his heart. He only brought help to the Ewell family, not hurt. Scout Finch could be considered a mockingbird because she always tried to help people but had her innocence ruined by society. It is just like killing a mockingbird. | 14

16: Social Inequality Will Always Happen "Theres something in our world that makes men lose 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 word, the white always wins. They're ugly but these are the facts of life" (Lee 252). This quotes proves that there was social inequality because even though there was a civil rights act passed, Maycomb still treated black people as much less than them in all situations. This theme applies to the real world because we see social inequality everyday for no reason. It is prejudice based on your ethnicity, religion, race, appearance, and no matter how hard we try we cannot get people to stop judging others. | Innocence "It was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. "It ain't right" he muttered" (Lee 212). This quote tells us that Jem was innocent enough to believe that Tom would win, even though he is black. This also shows how Scout and Jem's innocence was ruined by the court case because they know now that bad things happen and you can't always fix them. This relates to the real world because so many children get their innocence ruined early in their lives because of the outrageous number of bad things that go on in the world that they see. | 15

17: Themes | Good and Evil Coexisting "Don't you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I'm Jean Louise Finch. I go to school with Walter, he's your boy ain't he?" (Lee 153). This quote proves the theme that good and evil can coexist because in the middle of a mean, angry mob that wants to kill Tom Robinson, an innocent Scout Finch can come and try to be friendly, in the middle of an evil situation. This shows how evil and good can take place at the same time. This theme can be applied to the real world in the example of when someone goes through a disease, the disease is very evil but the person who went through it does good by fund raising and advocating about the disease. In real life, in almost every bad situation, we can find some good if we look. | 16

18: Feminist School of Literary Criticism | The Feminist School of literary criticism is a type of literary criticism that is based on the ways that literature undermines the benefit of women and associates the running of our culture to be mainly male dominated. Focuses mainly on the - interactions between men and women -women who are in power - life of being a woman -differences between male and female | 17

19: When reflecting on the feminist criticism, the character that stuck out to me the most of having an impact in this school of criticism was Calpurnia. Calpurnia was a black woman and she had very few rights at the time. From the beginning of the book, we realize that Calpurnia's "place" is in the kitchen while she takes care of Scout and Jem. Calpurnia cannot place her input in the community not only because she is a woman but she also gets treated badly because of her racial class. Black people at the time did not have a very good chance of getting an education, and we know that Calpurnia did not get a very good education. If Calpurnia was a white, upper class woman, she would get to have many more rights, such as voting or going to a white church. She would also not be disrespected for her race like she is now. | 18

20: The Civil War The Civil War was a war fought between the northern and southern states over slavery. This helps to understand the book because it tells the reader that slavery is already abolished and against the law even though there is still predujice against the black. | Dracula Dracula was a film that came out in 1931 and was a Gothic movie. This allusion allows the reader to understand why Scout and Jem were so fascinated that Dill got to see Dracula at the 'picture' show. | The Battle of Hastings The Battle of Hasting was a battle fought between the French and English where almost 17,000 were killed. When the reader understand this allusion, they understand why they don't have any ancestors on either side of the battle. | Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States who wrote the Declaration of Independence. He was honest, hardworking, and loyal. Atticus refers to Thomas Jefferson in the trial, thus telling us how Atticus views Tom Robinson. | 19

21: NEW HISTORICISM LITERARY CRITICISM | The New Historicism school of literary criticism mainly focuses on history and culture and how the reader and the author understand the history in context to what the story is saying. This is usually expressed in the form of allusions. | Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson was a war general who later became the 7th president of the United States. This helps the reader understand what Scout meant when she said "Simon Finch paddling up the Alabama". | Dewey Decimal System The Dewey Decimal system is a classification system used to organize libraries. This helps the reader understand what it truly is, but Jem mistakes this for John Dewey in the book. | Understanding all of these allusions helps greatly in understanding the context of the story because it can help you understand the time period and also can help to explain events or people. | 20

22: Psychoanalytical school of literary criticism | The psychoanalytical school of literary criticism evaluates your subconscious personality that is broken up into thee parts. The id- fundamental root of what each person wants The superego- learned through parental instruction and living in society (what is right) The ego- reality, the balance between the id and the superego. Creates an action which satisfies both | 21

23: Id, Ego, or Explanation Superego Atticus is the ego because he knows that it is not the popular thing to defend Tom, but he does it because he knows it is the right thing. Aunt Alexandra is the superego because she is always scolding the kids and is worried about social class. Jem is the ego because he tells Scout what to do even though he has done most of the things he tells her not to do. Dill functions as the id because he says whatever he wants to and does not care about the social norm. | Character | j Atticus Aunt Alexandra Jem Dill | Ego Superego Ego Id | 22

24: PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM CONTINUED | Boo Radley Id Boo Radley represents the ego because he acts childish by getting pleasure from tricking Jem & Scout. Calpurnia Ego Cal watches and cares for kids but also took them to all black church. Miss Maudie Ego Miss Maudie is very realistic and does what is expected. | Character Id, Ego, or Explanation Superego | 23

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  • Title: To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Anaylsis
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