FC: To Kill a Mockingbird Visual Literary Analysis by: Alexis McCourt
1: Table of Contents Part 1: Setting and Historical Context 2-4 Part 2: Point of View 5-7 Part 3: Conflicts 8-10 Part 4: Characterization 11-13 Part 5: Symbols 14-15 Part 6: Themes 16-19 Part 7: Personal Reflection 20-21
2: Part 1 - Setting and Historical Context | What is setting? The place or type of surroundings is positioned or where an event takes place. A time and place. | It is important to understand the context of the setting, because TKaM is set in 1932 and knowing that helps understand the language used and why there is conflict with certain characters. | Emmett Till (right)
3: The Scottsboro boys were a gang of young black men who were accused of raping two young girls. Their trials started in April of 1931. The trials continued for over two decades in a struggle for justice. This case ended the existence of all white juries in the South. | Emmet Till was a fourteen year old boy who was shot and lynched , because he supposedly wolf-whistled at a white man's wife. | The similarities are that they happened around the same time period and that both cases involved black men. Ex) Tom Robinson from TKaM and Emmett Till. Also, they were both innocent people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. | In TKaM, it is the summer of 1932 in Maycomb County, Alabama in the U.S.
4: "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it" (Lee 6). "In the rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square" (Lee 6).
5: Part 2: Point of View | What is Point of View? The vantage point from which the story is told. | "'I'll be dogged,'" I said. "'I didn't know no better than not to read to her, and she held me responsible --- listen Atticus, I don't have to go to school!'"(Lee 40). | This story is in first person point of view. The narrator of this story is Scout Finch, a six to eight year old tomboy girl.
6: I believe Harper Lee told TKaM from Scout's perspective, because she wanted a child's point of view and want to show people what kind of things she was exposed to and tell about what Scout was thinking about or how she was interpreting things people said to her or acted around her. | Our first raid came to pass only because Dill bet me The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that I wouldn't get any farther than the Radley gate. In all my life, I had never declined a dare. I thought about it for three days. I supposed I loved honor more than my head, for Dill wore me down easily: "'You're scared,'" Dill
7: said, the first day. "'Ain't scared, just respectful,'" I said. The next day Dill said, "'You're too scared even to put your big toe in the front yard.'" I said I reckoned I wasn't, I'd passed the Radley Place every school day of my life. "'Always runnin','" Scout said. But Dill got me the third day, when he told me that folks in Meridan certainly weren't as afraid as the folks in Maycomb, that he'd never seen such scary folks as the ones in Maycomb.
8: P a r t 3: C o n f l i c t s | There are at least three conflicts in TKaM Conflict A: Tom Robinson is accused in court of beating and raping Mayella Ewell. This is an example of Man vs. Society, because the townspeople think he is guilty because he is black. This is an external conflict.
9: Conflict B: Scout has trouble with a boy named Cecil Jacobs, who was picking on her because Atticus was defending a black man. This is Man vs. Self, because she knows that Atticus doesn't want her fighting; but she wants to stick up for Atticus. A very fine example of internal conflict. | Conflict C: Bob Ewell tries to kill Jem and Scout Finch and Boo Radley winds up killing Bob Ewell to save them. Man vs. Man, because Boo Radley physically fought Bob Ewell. This makes it an external conflict.
10: Conflict A ends with Tom Robinson trying to escape and he gets shot and dies. Conflict B almost helps Scout until she hits her cousin, Francis for calling Atticus a "nigger-lover". Conflict C ends with Scout meeting Boo Radley for the first time and Boo Radley coming out of his house.
11: Part 4: Characterization | What is a dynamic character? a character who changes somehow throughout the story. | What is a static character then? A character that stays the same throughout the whole story. | Aunt Alexandra is an example of a dynamic character. In the beginning, she said that Atticus let Scout and Jem "run wild" and that Scout doesn't look or act like a lady. After she comes to live with the Finches, Jem is injured by Bob Ewell. Scout's aunt allowed her to wear her overalls, which Scout said she "mos despised
12: Jem Finch is another example of a dynamic character. At the start of the book, Jem is just as immature as Scout and Dill. He would go along with any game they all came up with. Although, as you read further along, Jem starts to get older and he doesn't want Scout to bother him as much and he acts like Scout's superior in some situations. ex) Jem told Scout, "Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I'll---I'll spank you" (Lee 184). They began to fight, because Scout thought she didn't have to listen to him. | Bob Ewell (below)
13: Bob Ewell is a fine example of a static character. You really don't see much of him till the Tom Robinson Trial. He is a very ignorant man and an alcoholic. After the trial ended and Tom Robinson was found guilty. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus, spat in his face and said "he'd get him if it the rest of his life" (Lee 290). | Atticus Finch is another example. He is a wise and smart attorney and father. He kept a level-head when Bob Ewell threatened him and when Bob Ewell tried to kill his children in the end. He also gave good advice. ex) "Try fighting with your head for a chance...it's a good one, even if it does resist learning" (Lee 110).
14: Part 5: Symbols | Define Symbol: a word or object that stands for something | The significance of the title "To Kill a Mockingbird" is that it means "To Kill Innocence". The reason behind that is because the mockingbird symbolizes innocence. Throughout the book, each character goes through, losing some kind of innocence | Boo Radley is an example of a mockingbird. He would be a mockingbird, because in the end of the book; he comes out of is house. He doesn't go around people and leaving his house to help save Jem and Scout was like him losing the innocence of security
15: Tom Robinson metaphorically was a mockingbird, because he was innocent of raping Mayella Ewell. Also, he loses the innocence of family when he is taken away from them to prison where he gets shot trying to escape back to them. | Scout is a mockingbird, because she loses her childhood innocence. She loses her innocence due to the things and situations she is subjected to. Ex) Bob Ewell trying to kill her and Jem or the language most people use around her .
16: Part 6: Themes | What is Theme: the overall message of a book or writing. | *Three Themes in TKaM* a. It's better to use your wits than your fists b. A kind person can change the outcome of a situation c. Rumors aren't always true | -Quotes to support- a. "Try fighting with your head for a change...it's a good one, even if it does resist learning" (Lee 101).
17: b. First, I'll explain. Some of the town men were going to hurt Atticus to get to Tom Robinson, so Scout, Jem, and Dill ran up and Scout recognized one of the men as Mr. Cunningham. Here are the quotes "I go to school with Walter," I began again. "He's your boy, ain't he? Ain't he, sir?" "He's in my grade," I said, "and he does right well. He's a good boy" (Lee 205). | Walter Cunningham (below)
18: c. "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained---if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time" (Lee 16). "His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin, almost feathery on top of his head" (Lee 362).
19: Most of these themes can be applied in real life or in other novels. *Theme a can teach kids not to fight, even if other kids are being hateful. *Theme b can be applied to the book I am currently reading called "Light in August" by William Faulkner. Armstid was so kind to Lena, who was pregnant, when she was trying to walk to a city called Jefferson, looking for the father of her child. Armstid took her in for a night when she had nowhere to go. *Theme c can be applied in high school. People spread rumors about new people or people they think are odd or not cool. Not all rumors are true though and people are cruel sometimes for their betterment.
20: My Personal Reflection of TKaM | To be honest, , I thought To Kill a Mockingbird was going to be a boring book on the wrongs of racism and how everyone learns to get along. I have to say I was surprised by how it ended and how some of the situations were solved. I have a couple of favorite parts though, so hang in here with me. First, I loved it when Atticus tells Scout to hold her head high and instead to fight with her head, not her fists (pg 101). Second, I love Scout and Dill's conversation about how Dill's parents didn't love him as much as Atticus loved Scout and Jem. That was when he suggested to Scout that they get a baby (pg 191). That was so cute to me, because he is still a child and wants a life with Scout. Third and final for favorites was when Boo Radley went over to brush Jem's hair (pg 372). I felt so bad for him that he has never seen a child up close and that in the end, he came out of his house.
21: Now, my least favorite parts. I swear I'm almost done. Chapter one was one of my least favorite parts. There was no dialogue, only narrative. My second least favorite part was when Scout's own family started to talk bad about her father. Her own cousin, Francis, called him a nigger-lover and Scout got in trouble for punching him in the face (pg 112). Finally, my third least favorite part was when Tom Robinson was shot and killed trying to escape (pg 315). I don't know if this is perception, but one of the reasons I liked To Kill a Mockingbird was because Atticus reminded me a lot of my dad and how he acts and treats me. Also, my big brother, Christopher is a lot like Scout's brother, Jem. That's it, that's all I got. I really enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird and I recommended people watch the movie.