English I (CP) Final Exam Information - June 18th, 19th and 20th, 2013
The Final Exam is over the book that we are currently reading, "To Kill A Mockingbird." It will be a 60 question Matching, Multiple Choice and True/False Test worth 120 points.
Additionally, students are responsible for TKAM ESSAY / RESEARCH PAPER - DISCRIMINATION, PREJUDICE & JIM CROW LAWS. Research for the paper must be done in advance. (100 points)
Students will bring all research materials that they have collected with them to class on the day of the English I (CP) Final Exam at which time; they will compose their essay, neatly printing it on their own sheets of college rule paper. Students will research and provide a written report about a specific group of people who had racist laws levied against them, therefore depriving their race of human rights.
See posting below or handout for further details!
The research paper must be a minimum of two neatly printed pages with a works cited page (three pages total) and a maximum of five. Student research paper must contain concrete details and commentary. Students must include at least one quotation in their paper and make references to the story To Kill A Mockingbird when comparing their findings on racism and discrimination to the events that occur in the novel. Students must also follow MLA guidelines for a research paper (See Holt Language and Literature Book Pages 610 – 631 for instructions and a guide to writing a research paper.) and have a minimum of 3 cited sources.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Period 0 6:45 to 7:40
Period 5 7:45 to 9:45
SNACK 9:45 to 10:00
Period 6 10:05 to 12:05
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Period 0 6:45 to 7:40
Period 1 7:45 to 9:45
SNACK 9:45 to 10:00
Period 2 10:05 to 12:05
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Last Day of School!
Period 3 7:45 to 9:45
SNACK 9:45 to 10:00
Period 4 10:05 to 12:05
TKAM ESSAY/RESEARCH PAPER - DISCRIMINATION, PREJUDICE & JIM CROW LAWS
Due on the day of your English I (CP) Final Exam
Periods 5 & 6 - Tues, June 18, 2013 Period 2 - Wed, June 19, 2013
Periods 3 & 4 - Thurs, June 20, 2013
Please Note: Your research must be done in advance. You will bring all research materials that you have collected with you to class on the day of your final exam at which time; you will compose your essay.
How would you like to know that your country made a group of laws specific to one race? The Jim Crow Laws were laws created after the Civil War that were directed toward African Americans. Between 1865 and 1967, more than 420 state laws and constitutional amendments were passed in the United States legalizing segregation and discrimination. You can see some of this while reading Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Many people in the town of Maycomb, Alabama frown upon the fact that Atticus Finch is helping, Tom Robinson, a Black man, because of all the different Jim Crow Laws. For example, Mrs. Dubose says the following to Atticus’s children, “Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for [blacks]!” (TKAM page 101). Hence, Harper Lee’s famous novel teaches a valuable lesson about racism to an age that was just beginning to move away from segregation.
The Jim Crow Laws, caused lots of segregation throughout most of our country. It also led to great disrespect of white men that were helping Black citizens in our country. Basically the Jim Crow Laws were some of the most disrespectful laws that our country has ever made. However, Jim Crow Laws aren’t the only examples in history of selected groups of people being discriminated against and deprived of their human rights.
Assignment: 5-Paragraph Essay- Research Paper
Students will research and provide a written report about a specific group of people who had racist laws levied against them, therefore depriving their race of human rights.
The research paper must be a minimum of two neatly printed pages with a works cited page (three pages total) and a maximum of five.
Your research paper must contain concrete details and commentary. You must include at least one quotation in your paper and make references to the story To Kill A Mockingbird when comparing your findings on racism and discrimination to the novel. You must also follow MLA guidelines for a research paper (See Holt Language and Literature Book Pages 610 – 631 for instructions and a guide to writing a research paper.)
Additional information to MLA Guidelines can be found at the following web site:
Purdue Online Writing Lab
The following questions should be addressed within your essay:
- Who are the people who experienced racism and discrimination?
- How do they meet the criteria for experiencing racism and discrimination?
- What geographical location did the racism and discrimination take place?
- Who were the perpetrators of the racism and discrimination?
- What reasons (excuses/justification) did the perpetrators use?
- How did the victims respond?
- Did the racism and discrimination ever stop or does it still continue in some way today?
- What can we do to prevent racism and discrimination in the future?
The following is a list of migrants who were deprived of their human rights by means of racist laws that were once widely accepted by the mainstream public. Select one group of people to base your research on. (If you don’t see the ethnicity that you want to report on listed below, please let your teacher know)
The following link may be a good place to start your research:
URL - http://www.altoarizona.com/history-of-racist-us-laws.html
1. Jewish Immigrants - In the first half of 20th century, Jews were discriminated against in some employment, not allowed into some social clubs and resort areas, given a quota on enrollment at colleges, and not allowed to buy certain properties. Anti-Semitism reached its peak during the interwar period. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, the anti-Semitic works of Henry Ford, and the radio speeches of Father Coughlin in the late 1930s indicated the strength of attacks on the Jewish community. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany aimed at the Jewish Population
2. German-Americans - The Bennett Law was a highly controversial state law passed in Wisconsin in 1889, which required the use of English to teach major subjects in all public and private elementary and high schools. It affected the state's many German-language private schools (and some Norwegian schools), and was bitterly resented by German-American communities.
3. Latinos - Juan Crow Laws targeted undocumented immigrants in numerous areas, such as public benefits, employment, housing, public education and law enforcement. They also promote racial profiling against all Latinos, with or without legal status in the United States. Attacks on Latinos have a particularly long history in California and throughout the Southwest where, during recurring periods of strong anti-immigrant sentiment, both new immigrants and long-time U.S. citizens of Mexican descent were blamed for social and economic problems and harassed and deported en masse. Examples: The Greaser Act was an anti-Mexican law enacted in 1855 in California, Mexican Repatriation (1929-1939) and Operation "Wetback" of 1954.
4. Asian Immigrants - Between 1850 and 1930, about one million Asians from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and India came to the United States. But by the second half of the 19th Century a backlash had developed; Asian immigrants and the assimilation of Asians into society was said to pose, "the greatest threat to Western civilization and the White Race" and increasingly restrictive laws were passed; first to keep Asians out of the skilled trades, then to restrict further immigration, and later to end all Asian immigration. Examples: The Chinese Exclusion Act passed in 1882 barred Chinese laborers from entering the USA. The Magnuson Act, The Anti-Coolie Act, The Page Act of 1875, The Scott Act (1888), The Geary Act of 1892, and Anti-Miscegenation Laws (Inter-racial Marriage Laws) Japanese Immigrants - Bias against Asian Pacific Americans is also long-standing. The Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907 (Nichibei Shinshi Kyōyaku) was an informal agreement between the United States and the Empire of Japan whereby the U.S. would not impose restriction on Japanese immigration or students, and Japan would not allow further emigration to the U.S. Anti-Chinese sentiment motivated American entrepreneurs to recruit Japanese laborers. As the Japanese population in California grew they were seen with suspicion of being an entering wedge by Japan. By 1905, anti-Japanese rhetoric filled the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle. By 1942, about 110,000 people of Japanese heritage who lived on the Pacific coast were seen as enemy combatants and stripped of their civil rights. They were put into internment camps or war relocation camps until 1945.
5. Middle Easterners - People of Arab descent are experiencing an upsurge in hate crimes, which include murder, beatings and an attack on Islam, largely as a result of Middle East crises and September 11th. Often they are blamed for incidents to which they have no connection. The November 1979 Iranian hostage crisis of the U.S. embassy in Tehran precipitated a wave of anti-Iranian sentiment in the United States, directed both against the new Islamic regime and Iranian nationals and immigrants. Even though such sentiments gradually declined after the release of the hostages at the start of 1981, they sometimes flare up. In response, some Iranian immigrants to the U.S. have distanced themselves from their nationality and instead identify primarily on the basis of their ethnic or religious affiliations. Since the 1980s, Hollywood's depiction of Iranians has gradually shown signs of vilifying Iranians. In addition, the USA’s War on Terror has labeled many Muslims as enemy combatants as depicted in some recent films.
6. Native Americans, who have lived on the North American continent for at least 10,000 years, had an enormously complex impact on American history and racial relations. During the colonial and independent periods, a long series of conflicts were waged, with the primary objective of obtaining resources of Native Americans. Through wars, massacres, forced displacement (The Indian Removal Act of 1830) and the imposition of treaties, land was taken and numerous hardships imposed. U.S. Government Suppression of Native-American Religion. Residential School Systems - Indian Schools (1879-1900s), Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887, Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, Indian Termination Policy, and Anti-Miscegenation Laws (Inter-racial Marriage Laws)
7. African Americans - The Black Codes (1860s) These were laws passed on the state and local level in the United States, but mostly in the south, to limit the basic human rights and civil liberties of blacks. Examples: Convict Lease System (1883-1910), In Plessy v. Ferguson, U.S. Supreme Court rules that "separate but equal" treatment for blacks and whites under the law is constitutional, thus institutionalizing Jim Crow laws keeping the races apart in public facilities. The Day Law (1904), Anti-Miscegenation Laws (Inter-racial Marriage Laws) and Literacy Tests for Voting
Use any of the following URLs:
SAMPLE TKAM ESSAY ON DISCRIMINATION,
PREJUDICE AND JIM CROW LAWS WITH MLA FORMAT
SAMPLE COVER PAGE:
Discrimination and Prejudice:
A Closer Look at Harper Lee's
To Kill A Mockingbird
English I (CP)
June 18, 2013
18 June 2013
Discrimination and prejudice were very common acts in the early and middle 1900's.
Prejudice in TKAM is displayed by the acts of hate and misunderstanding because of someone's color. During this time in
the southern states, black people had to use separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, sections in restaurants, churches, and
even go to separate schools. Although much of the discrimination was directed towards blacks, there were plenty of
accounts towards impoverished families by those that had money. Discrimination is prevalent when people that are
different are called names. Some people thought blacks were automatically dumb because of their color. They weren't
allowed to do anything but menial tasks (such as chopping wood) and hard labor because they were thought too dumb.
The novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee has numerous examples of how Jim Crow Laws were enforced
throughout the Deep South. The novel is set in the 1930's, a time when racism was very prevalent. Although bigotry and
segregation were pointed in majority towards blacks, other accounts towards whites were also heard of, though not as
commonly. There are acts that are so discreet that you almost don't catch them, but along with those, there are blatant acts
of bigotry that would hopefully never occur in our time. Lee addresses many of these feelings in her novel.
One subtle example of discrimination the reader sees is the treatment of Calpurnia, a black woman, the
housekeeper/nanny for the Finch family. Although she is treated fairly, it is obvious that she is considered to be on a lower
social level than the Finches. She calls Scout ma'am and Jem sir, although these are titles usually reserved for elders.
"Hush your mouth, sir! When you oughta be hangin' your head in shame you go along laughin'.
If Mr. Finch don't wear you out, I will - get in that house, sir!" (Lee, 210)
When Atticus takes Calpurnia to Tom Robinson's home, she has to sit in the back seat so as not to appear as Atticus's
equal. She does not eat at the same table with the Finch family although she has been a part of it since Jem was two. She is
clearly loved by the family but by no means is she their equal.
"I said come here, nigger, and bust up this chiffarobe for me, I got a nickel for you." (Lee, 182)
The words "nigger", "darkie", and "boy" are seen often throughout the book. It is often used hatefully but sometimes it is
used in a conversation where the speaker says it like they're saying colored.
"Do you defend niggers, Atticus?" "Don't say nigger, Scout. That's common." (Lee, 79)
This particular quote shows how far ahead Atticus was at this time. He knew that the word nigger was offensive to the
blacks at this time. He showed the respect and common courtesy which was very rare of an affluent white male. Most of the
blacks live in the bad part of town, or the "slums." Even if they had the money, they wouldn't have been able to live in an
upper class neighborhood like the Finches. Blacks were considered dirty and unsanitary therefore, people didn't want them
next to their houses. They feared that it would bring down their real estate value along with their reputations.
The black people in this era were not allowed to vote. Yes, they had the right to vote but there were such things as the
grandfather clause. The grandfather clause allowed blacks to vote only if they had a grandfather that voted. If their
grandfather was a slave, they couldn't vote. In that effect, no black could vote and no black would ever be able to.
There were also the Jim Crow Laws. Blacks could not go into restaurants or other public places inhabited by whites.
There were separate schools, water fountains, restores, even churches. Blacks had to sit in the back of buses and other
forms of public transportation. If they had a seat and there were no empty ones left when a white person entered a bus or
other seated area, the blacks had to stand or get off. (Loewe,”History of Racist US Laws")
This was evident when Dill, Jem and Scout were at the courthouse and there were no seats left in the front row. Three blacks
stood so that the white children could be seated. There were also extensive literacy tests that had to be passed. Again, many
of these "free" blacks had ancestors that were slaves. They were not taught to read, therefore they could not teach their
children or grand-children to read.
These are just a few accounts of racism and bigotry against blacks. This is not so surprising and it is most definitely
unfair but there were also times when whites were segregated against. Many middle to upper class people discriminated
heavily against blacks but also against people of their own race. This was because of their fraternization with blacks or
simply because of their social standing.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond was a white man who was a victim of ostracism because of his association with a woman who was
"Jem," I asked, "what's a mixed child?"
"Half white, half colored. You've seen 'em Scout. You know, that red-kinky-headed one that delivers for the drugstore.
He's half white. They're real sad."
"Sad, how come?"
They don't belong anywhere. Colored folks won't have 'em because they're half white; white folks won't have 'em 'cause
they're colored, so they're just in-betweens, don't belong anywhere." (Lee, 163)
He pretended to be a drunk so he didn't have to explain the fact that he was simply in love with a black woman. The
alcohol, he said, gave the people an excuse to say he didn't know what he was doing. These sorts of relationships were
absolutely taboo at this time. It just wasn't accepted.
Aunt Alexandra displayed an act of discrimination against her own race when she forbade Scout to have Walter
Cunningham over for lunch.
"I'll tell you why," she said. "Because he is trash, that's why you can't play with him. I'll not have you around him, picking up
his habits and learning Lord-knows-what. You're enough of a problem to your father as it is." (Lee, 227)
The Finch family owned Finch's Landing and could trace their heritage back to almost the beginning of their bloodline. Aunt
Alexandra thought, because of her heritage, that she and her family were better than everyone else. This showed that some
whites of this era weren't only bigoted against the blacks; they felt the same toward anyone who was even a little bit
different than themselves. People still tend to do this today. People with money are always suspecting of lower classes. If
they have something that someone else can't afford but they want, they think that they would steal from them to get it.
The theme of prejudice is almost the sole basis of this book. Throughout the novel, we see each separate person and his
personal narrow-mindedness. We also see how each person eventually opens his eyes and sees the light. For instance, Aunt
Alexandra sees that Walter is a human being and deserving of respect as she is. She also learns not to judge Atticus for the
ways in which he raises his children and to let Scout be a child while she can. This is evident on both counts while in a
conversation with Atticus Aunt Alexandra says, "I've been wrong, Atticus. I've been so very wrong." We see each character
at his weakest and watch as he grows stronger and more accepting.
You can call it racism, narrow-mindedness, bigotry or intolerance. No matter how you sugar coat it with words, it is
wrong. In this novel, we see a black man put on trial for a crime he clearly did not commit. This is an excellent example of
how much this country has overcome and matured. We see how badly mistaken we were and how we never want to get back
into that type of lifestyle. People were so afraid of what everyone else would've thought that they chose the verdict that the
public wanted, not what they felt in their hearts. It was easy for the people of Maycomb County to embrace Jim Crow Laws
because most of them were uneducated, complacent and fearful of change.
Cengage Learning, Gale, ed. "Grandfather Clause." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed. Columbia University Press,
14 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 May 2013.
Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird. Grand Central Publishing: New York, 1960
Loewe, B., ed. History of Racist US Laws:. Alto Arizona! Puente NDLON, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 May 2013.
HARPER LEE BIOGRAPHY
Harper Lee was the youngest of four children of Frances Cunningham Finch Lee and Amasa Coleman Lee, a lawyer and state senator from Alabama and a descendant of the Southern General Robert E. Lee. She attended Huntingdon College (1944-1945), studied law at the University of Alabama (1945-1949) and spent a year at Oxford in England. Before her career as a writer, she worked
during the 50's for some time at the counter of Eastern Airlines and BOAC in New York. She eventually left this job in order to completely devote herself to writing.
In 1957 Harper Lee submitted a manuscript of short stories about life in the southern U.S. to the publishing house JB Lippincott & Co. There, working with her editor Tay Hohoff, she turned these into the novel To Kill A Mockingbird over the next two and a half years.
Her first and only book, To Kill a Mockingbird was released in 1960 and the following year it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. By 1962 To Kill a Mockingbird was already being made into a movie with Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch, for which he won an Oscar. The film received three Oscars in total.
After To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee assisted her childhood friend and neighbor Truman Capote in research for his novel In Cold Blood. The character of Scout's neighbour Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird was probably based on Truman Capote. Truman Capote has occasionally hinted that parts of To Kill a Mockingbird came from his pen. Pearl Kazin Bell, a publishing editor of Harper's, sees these allegations as coming from the fact that Harper Lee has published no more novels since To Kill A Mockingbird. However Harper Lee has stated that this is because any successor would only stand in the shadow of To Kill A Mockingbird.
In 1961 Harper Lee published two articles in magazines: "Love - In Other Words" in Vogue and "Christmas To Me" in McCall's. Another essay, "When Children Discover America" was also published in McCall's in 1965.
In June 1966 Harper Lee was named by President Johnson in the National Council on the Arts. In 1983 she attended the Alabama History and Heritage Festival in Eufaula, Alabama. There Lee presented the essay "Romance and High Adventure".
Harper Lee lives in New York and Monroeville, very withdrawn from the public. One of her rare public appearances was to receive the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award in May 2005.
In 2007, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
SHORT ANSWER STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS - To Kill A Mockingbird
1. Identify Atticus Finch, Jean Louise (Scout) Finch, Jem Finch, Maycomb, Calpurnia,
Charles Baker (Dill) Harris, The Radley Place, Stephanie Crawford, Arthur (Boo)
Radley, Miss Caroline Fisher, Walter Cunningham, and Burris Ewell.
2. What did Dill dare Jem to do?
3. What was Scout's first "crime" at school?
4. What was Calpurnia's fault?
5. Why did Scout rub Walter Cunningham's nose in the dirt?
6. Scout said, " He ain't company, Cal, he's just a Cunningham." What did she mean by
that, and what was Cal's answer?
7. What two mistakes did Miss Caroline make on the first day of school?
8. Why didn't the Ewells have to go to school?
Chapters 4-7 Questions Due Wed. March 11th
1. What did Scout and Jem find in the Radleys' tree?
2. Identify Mrs. Dubose.
3. How did Jem get even with Scout for contradicting him about "Hot Steams?"
4. What was the Boo Radley game?
5. Identify Miss Maudie.
6. What does Miss Maudie think of the Radleys?
7. Why do Dill and Jem want to give Boo Radley a note? What does Atticus say when he
finds out about their plan?
8. How did Jem lose his pants? What did he find when he went back for them?
9. What else did Jem and Scout find in the Radleys' tree?
10. Why would there be no more surprises in the tree?
Chapters 8-9 Questions Due Fri. March 13th
1. What happened to Miss Maudie's house? What was her reaction?
2. Identify Cecil Jacobs.
3. What "disaster" happened at Christmas between Scout and Francis?
Chapters 10-11 Questions Due Mon. March 16th
1. What did Scout's Uncle Jack learn from Scout and Atticus?
2. What brave thing does Atticus do in Chapter 10? Why are Scout and Jem shocked?
3. What did Jem do when Mrs. Dubose said Atticus "lawed for niggers?"
4. What was Jem's punishment?
5. What did Jem learn from his encounter with Mrs. Dubose and following her death?
Chapters 12-14 Questions Due Thursday March 19th
1. How does Jem change?
2. Identify Lula, Zeebo and Reverend Sykes.
3. What does Scout learn about Calpurnia?
4. Who was waiting for the children when they came home from the church service? Why
had she come?
5. "Aunt Alexandra fitted into the world of Maycomb like a hand in a glove, but never into the
world of Jem and me." Explain.
6. Atticus and Alexandra disagree about how to deal with the children. How does Atticus
handle the situation?
7. Describe Jem and Scout's relationship through these chapters as Jem matures.
8. Why did Dill run away from home back to Maycomb?
Chapters 15-17 Questions Due Fri. March 20th
1. What did Mr. Heck Tate's mob want?
2. What was the purpose of Walter Cunningham's mob?
3. Why did Mr. Cunningham's mob leave?
4. Identify Mr. Dolphus Raymond.
5. Identify Tom Robinson, Mr. Gilmer, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, and Judge Taylor.
6. What was the importance of Mayella's bruises being primarily on the right-hand side of
Chapters 18-21 Questions Due Mon. March 23rd
1. What was Mayella's account of the incident with Tom Robinson?
2. What was Tom's side of the story?
3. What was Tom's handicap? Why was it important to his case?
4. What do Dill and Scout learn from Mr. Raymond?
5. What were Atticus' closing remarks to the jury?
6. What was the jury's verdict?
Chapters 22-25 Questions Due Wed. March 25th
1. Why did Jem cry?
2. What was "'round the back steps" when Calpurnia came in on Monday morning?
3. What was the significance of Maudie's two little cakes and one large one?
4. Describe Bob Ewell's meeting with Atticus at the post office.
5. What is Atticus' reaction to Ewell's threats?
6. Alexandra doesn't want Scout playing with Walter Cunningham. Why not?
7. Jem said. "I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the
house all this time . . . it's because he wants to stay inside." Why does he say that?
8. Mrs. Merriweather of the missionary circle complains about her cooks and field hands. What does that tell us about her?
9. What happened to Tom Robinson?
10. What more do we learn about Alexandra after Atticus and Calpurnia leave?
11. What did Mr. Underwood's editorial say?
Chapters 26-31 Questions Due Fri. March 27th
1. What was Scout's fantasy regarding Arthur (Boo) Radley?
2. What did Scout hear Miss Gates say at the courthouse? In class, Miss Gates said,
"That's the difference between America and Germany. We are a democracy and
Germany is a dictatorship. . . . We don't believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution
comes from people who are prejudiced." What does this tell us about Miss Gates?
3. What happened to Judge Taylor?
4. What happened to Helen Robinson?
5. What was Scout's part in the pageant?
6. Why did Scout and Jem not leave the school until almost everyone else had gone?
7. What happened to Jem and Scout on the way home from the pageant?
8. Who saved Jem and Scout? Who killed Bob Ewell?
9. Why did Heck Tate insist that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife?
10. Scout arranged things so that "if Miss Stephanie Crawford was watching from her
upstairs window, she would see Arthur Radley escorting [her] down the sidewalk, as
any gentleman would do." Why did she do that?
11. As Scout leaves the Radley porch, she looks out at the neighborhood and recounts the
events of the last few years from the Radleys' perspective. Why is that important?
To Kill a Mockingbird Neighborhood Map - 35 Points -Due Thursday, March 10th
* Use 8 1/2" by 11" paper or poster board for your map.
* Use color for your map and label all objects.
*Accurately identify at least ten stationary
objects in your neighborhood.
* Label the homes of at least five of your
neighbors and give a character analysis
of the family that resides in each house.
(Include on map or separate sheet of paper)
SAMPLE MAPS BELOW:
To Kill a Mockingbird Vocabulary Chapters 1 - 30 (55 Words)
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird: Play by Christopher Sergel
Click on the link above to view play
THE MANY FACES OF BOO RADLEY
”Is the account of Boo Radley a myth or a fact?”
The Radley Mystery House
Boo Radley represents fear. Small town folks dread that if they behave odd and fail to adhere to social rules they too will end up like Boo, isolated and portrayed as a grotesque monster. It is this fear that supports the social status quo and keeps individuals from standing up for that which they believe. The rumors about Boo in Maycomb are somewhat farfetched. Different stories were said about Boo and his parents. Kids used to hear and at the same time create different stories that would later scare them. Scout, Jem, and Dill are frightened by Boo, but at the same time interested in getting a glimpse at this peculiar stranger.
THE MANY FACES OF BOO RADLEY PROJECT (25 Points)
Work with a partner and create your vision of Boo Radley. Make sure to include as many character traits as possible and compose a one-page story about Boo Radley similar to the stories that the citizens of Maycomb told. Be as creative as you’d like and don’t forget to profile Boo Radley. Is he man, myth or monster?
To Kill a Mockingbird: Growing up in the 1930s
|Task | Resources |Process | Evaluation| Conclusion
IntroductionWelcome to the world of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. You are living in the 1930s. Your home, neighborhood, school, activities, clothes and social interactions are vastly different than anything you are familiar with in the 1990s. This WebQuest will take you back in time to learn what your life is like as a young person growing up in the 30s. Using what you learn, write a series of pen pal letters to someone living in 1998.
The TaskYou are going to begin by researching the resources listed below to learn about your life in the 1930s. Using the information you learn, you will write four letters to your pen-pal living in 1998. Each letter will focus on the following four aspects of your life.
In your first letter, describe your home and neighborhood in detail. Include lots of specific and interesting information so that the reader of your letter can visualize your environment.
In your second letter, tell about your family. What types of activites do you enjoy as a family? What is your standard of living? How do your parents make a living?
In your third letter, tell about your school and your friends. Describe your school, classes and teachers. Who are your friends, and what are some activities you enjoy doing together?
In your fourth letter, describe what's going on in the world around you. What's happening in the nation politically and economically? Tell about popular fashions, music, radio programs, and other interesting facts.
ResourcesTo Kill A Mockingbird, Chapter One.
The women in this interview grew up in the deep South of the 1930s.
All three were members of prominent southern families.
Interview: Growing Up Black in the 1930s
Interview of Mrs. Peacolia Barge who grew up just outside Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1930s.
"I Remember . . . " Reminiscences of the Great Depression
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, some Michiganians bartered and traded for food, clothes, shelter and services. Sharing and "making do" became a way of life. People who lived during the Depression have interesting stories to share about how they coped with hard times. The following reminiscences were published in Michigan History Magazine, January-February, 1982 (Vol. 66, No. 1).
Federal Writer's Project: Interview Excerpts
The Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s recorded more than 10,000 life stories of men and woman from a variety of occupations and ethnic groups. This site is a sampling of these interviews.
This site compares 1930s prices with prices today.
Read about the Federal Works Progress Administration
started by the federal government during the Depression.
Read a report written by a student on life during the Great Depression.
The ProcessThe following instructions will make completion of your task easy!
Read the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird to familiarize yourself with the setting and characters in this novel. This preparation will help you as you begin to research life in the 1930s.
You are going to write four letters in the voice of a person growing up in the 1930s. Before you begin your research, consider the sex, race, and age of the "character" that you will become as you write these letters. You may also want to decide on a name for your character. Also decide who you are going to address your letters to. You might consider writing to a friend, family member or even to your teacher.
Begin your resarch by writing the following topics on the top of 5x8 index cards: Home and Neighborhood; Family and Standard of Living; School and Friends; and Social and Political Events in the 1930s.
Begin exploring the resources listed above. You will find that the first four sites focus on personal interviews of people who grew up or lived in the 1930s in various parts of the United States. The last three sites focus on information concerning social and political events in the 30s.
As you explore the sites record facts on the appropriate card. Some tips to make notetaking more effective include printing excerpts from sites that you find useful and using highlighters to mark pertinent information. This information can then be recorded, in your own words, on your notecards.
When you have collected information about each of the four topics, you are prepared to begin the writing process. This process begins with brainstorming and prewriting followed by the actual drafting of your letters. Remember, you are writing from the perspective of a person living in the 30s. You are explaining your life to a person living in 1998. Your letters should include enough detail and description for your reader to gain a good sense of what your life is like.
When you have drafts of all four letters, you will share your letters in two conferencing sessions, one with your teacher, and the other with a member of your class. After conferencing, you will have time to revise your letters and enter them into a word processing program.
After your revisions, you and a classmate will work to edit your letters before final publication.
You will be required to turn in your four published letters, your notecards, all writing drafts, notes, and highlighted copies of your research. These materials should be presented in an organized, labeled folder.
EvaluationThis WebQuest will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Do you have four complete, revised, edited and typed letters?
Is each letter focused on the subjects described in the Task section of this WebQuest? Do your letters acurately describe facts about life in the 30s?
Has each letter been written using the writing process? (Brainstorming, Prewriting, Drafting, Response, Revision, Editing, Publication). Do your letters show improvement from first draft to final copy?
Is the presentation of your folder containing your letters, note cards and drafts neat and professional?
ConclusionWhen you complete this WebQuest, you will be able to identify and understand the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird. As you read the novel, you will have a greater understanding of the personal, social, and political issues which are dealt with in the story.
To Kill a Mockingbird WebQuest
To Kill a Mockingbird has many different themes. One of the main themes is racism in the South during the 1930's. Understanding the history of the times will help you gain a better appreciation for the novel. As a young girl coming of age Scout faces and experiences many things that help her take her first hesitant steps in the adult world.
Through this WebQuest you should come to an understanding of how people viewed each other in the 1930's, therefore giving you a better understanding of how the events in the novel could and did happen during that time period. You will also learn that the historical setting of the novel can also play a significant role in developing theme.
Task You will work as a part of a group consisting of three to four students. The assignments you can choose from are as follows. Computer lab time will be given for this project. If you do not use this time wisely you will be required to do all your research at home or at the library.
Power Point Presentation
Your Power Point Presentation should be a summary of what you find out about the topics below. Be creative include pictures, sound or anything you can to make your presentation interesting. By the end of your presentation your audience should have a good feel for the 1930’s and understand the novel within its historical context.
As you know, in To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout is a young girl growing up in the South at a time when racism is prevalent. Scout experiences several events that will change her forever. Your job will be to produce newspaper articles covering some of the issues and/or events contained within the novel and some of the actual history of the time. Your paper should be a blend of fiction (based on fact) and the events from the novel.
Everyone will write a five-paragraph essay on some aspect of the theme of prejudice based on your research. You should see me for approval of your topic before beginning your essay.
Process and Research Topics All groups will research the following topics for the final product. You will notice that there are quite a few sites that you will have to check out and quite a few topics to research. Try to divide the work evenly between the members of your group. Your final product and your essays should demonstrate that you have researched the sites below and have come to some conclusions about the given topics. At the end of the WebQuest there will be a peer evaluation rubric.
Growing up in the South in the 1930's
Racism in the South in the 1930's and today.
A Woman's role in the 1930's
Effects of the Depression
Black History Museum
Resources Below you will find resources to help you with your research. You will receive bonus marks for other Internet resources that you find that are not listed here.
History and images from the time of the novel.
Racism in Modern America Causes of the Depression
Images of the Depression Era
Growing up in the 30's
Historical Context: The Scottsboro Trials
What is Racism?
Contains an account of an African American woman who lived during the 1930's on the subject of hobbies.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
Growing up Black in the 1930's
Growing up White in the South
Historical Background and the Novel
African-American life during the depression
Black History Museum
Jim Crow Laws
To Kill a Mockingbird Plot Overview
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb County, an imaginary district in southern Alabama. The time is the early 1930s, the years of the Great Depression when poverty and unemployment were widespread in the United States. For parts of the deep South like Maycomb County, the Depression meant only that the bad times that had been going on for decades got a little bit worse. These rural areas had long been poor and undeveloped. Black people worked for low wages in the fields. White farmers were more likely to own land, but they were cash poor. It was common for children to go to school barefoot, and to suffer from ringworm and other diseases. Although automobiles had been around for some years, most farm families still depended on horses for transportation and to plow their fields.
Scout's family, the Finches, belong to the elite of local society. Atticus Finch is an educated man who goes to work in a clean shirt. The family owns a nice house and can afford to hire a black housekeeper. Still, the Finches are well-off only in comparison with the farm families who live in the same county. They, too, have little money.
Instead of bringing people together, the shared experience of poverty seemed to contribute to making the South more class-conscious than other parts of the country. One reason why people like Scout's Aunt Alexandra place so much importance on family background and "gentle breeding" is that these concepts were just about all that could be counted on to separate a family like the Finches from the truly poor. The advantages of education, a professional career, and owning one's own home did not last long if a family happened to have a run of bad luck. The fear that the family's position could only get worse, never better, helped to turn some people into social snobs.
You will notice that none of the characters in this story takes much interest in the world beyond Maycomb County. When Scout's class studies current events in school, most of the children are not even sure what a "current event" is. Even the adults seem to take little interest in such developments as the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt or the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany. People seldom travel far from their homes. And they almost never eat a meal in a restaurant, even a cheap restaurant. When Dill eats in a diner, this is enough to make him a minor celebrity in Scout's eyes.
Of course, the most important difference between the South of the 1930s and the South today is that in the 1930s a system of segregation was in force. Blacks and whites were forbidden by law to mix in schools, in movie theaters, or on trains. They could not use the same rest rooms or drink from the same water fountains. Blacks had very little opportunity to get an education. Many kinds of jobs were not open to them. Black people were not allowed to vote. Nor could they serve on juries, not even when the defendant was a black man. Any black person (and, for that matter, any white) who challenged the system of segregation publicly would have been in serious danger of being killed by prosegregation fanatics. In fact, segregation was taken so much for granted that it is not even described in the novel in so many words. Not even Atticus Finch, the character who represents idealism and a devotion to justice, ever attacks the basic system of segregation. Nevertheless, just because Atticus believes a black man's word over a white man and woman's, many people in Maycomb feel that he is undermining the system that keeps whites on top of the social order.
By the time To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 segregated school had been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and the struggle for civil rights in the South was underway. At this time, the South had a very bad reputation in the eyes of the world. White people in other parts of the United States tended to feel superior to the bigots of the deep South. In many cases, they had not yet been forced to confront the fact that racial prejudice existed all over the country, even though elsewhere it took less obvious forms.
The title of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is a key to some themes of the novel. The title is first explained in Chapter 10, at the time that Scout and Jem Finch have just received air rifles for Christmas. Atticus tells his children that it is a sin to shoot a mockingbird. Later Miss Maudie explains to the children what Atticus meant: Mockingbirds are harmless creatures who do nothing but sing for our enjoyment. Therefore, it is very wrong to harm them.
It is easy to see that the "mockingbird" in this story is Tom Robinson- a harmless man who becomes a victim of racial prejudice. Like the mockingbird, Tom has never done wrong to anyone. Even the jurors who sentence him to death have nothing personal against him. They find him guilty mostly because they feel that to take the word of a black man over two whites would threaten the system they live under, the system of segregation. Tom himself is guilty of nothing but being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It is possible that the mockingbird of the title has more than one meaning. Today mockingbirds live in many northern states, but only a few decades ago mockingbirds lived principally in the southeastern United States. Like the mint julep or the song "Dixie," the mockingbird symbolized the southern way of life- a culture that emphasized good manners, family background, and a relaxed, unhurried pace of living. Unfortunately, another aspect of this way of life was racial segregation, a system that had been tolerated for decades by many southerners who knew in their hearts that it was morally wrong.
By the time this novel was written perceptive southerners could see that the opportunity for them to take the lead in ending segregation was already past. The civil rights movement, led by blacks and supported by whites in other parts of the country, was not only ending segregation, it was transforming the politics and class structure that southerners had taken for granted for decades.
To Kill a Mockingbird contains criticism of the prejudice and moral laziness that allowed Southern society to have a double standard of justice. The novel also presents a somewhat optimistic view of white Southerners that was somewhat unusual at the time the novel appeared. The story indicates there are good human beings like Atticus Finch everywhere, even in the midst of a corrupt society. Even those who do wrong, the novel goes on to suggest, often act out of ignorance and weakness rather than a deliberate impulse to hurt others.
There are always a few readers who feel that the novel offers an overly optimistic and simplified view of human nature. On the other hand, the hopeful note it strikes may be one of the reasons for the book's great popularity. The author does not ignore the existence of evil in society, but she does suggest that human beings are born with a desire to do the right thing.
Although most readers think of To Kill a Mockingbird as a novel about racial prejudice, you will notice that the mockingbird theme does not apply only to victims of this form of discrimination. Boo Radley, the eccentric recluse, is another "harmless creature" who becomes a victim of cruelty. Here again, the author seems to be emphasizing the universality of human nature. Tom Robinson's problems may be bound up with the complex social problem of racial prejudice, but any neighborhood can have its Boo Radley, all but forgotten except as the subject of gossip and rumor.
Satire on contemporary education system:
- Scout criticized for being able to read - "I'll take over from here and try to undo the damage"
- Odd method of teaching ('the Dewey Decimal System')
- Miss Caroline waves cards at the children - humour - "No comment seemed to be expected of us, and the class recieved these impressionistic revelations in silence".
- Atticus in trial scene - "the people who run public education promote the stupid and the idle along with the industrious - because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority".
Scout and Jem learn from Atticus' teaching and life lessons rather than from school:
- "Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had"
- Taught moral values - "Dont say nigger, Scout. That's common". "s'what everybody at school says". "From now on it will be everybody less one".
- Atticus teaches Scout not to resort to violence after Cecil Jacobs incident. - "just hold your head high and keep those fists down".
Level of education for black citizens of Maycomb:
- Illiterate - "They can't read" (apart from a few of the black population... Cal and Zeebo for example could!)
- Don't wish to learn to talk 'properly'.
- Respectful to Scout and Jem - taught that they are inferior to white children.
Family is important to quite a lot of the Finch folk, although to some of the family the name "Finch" was a little more important.
Aunt Alexanda spoke about the family a lot, and was incredibly proud of the Finch name,she said things like "Son, you know you're a Finch, dont you?". She is incredibly proud of being a Finch but unfortunately this did make her a little predjudice towards other families and names. Finches were fine folk, the Cunninghams were all dirty and etc.
- Atticus is a Finch, but not proud of it! "...not from run-of-the-mill people, that you are the product of several generations' gentle breeding -' Atticus paused..." This quote makes me feel as if Atticus is un-easy about talking about the Family history, and rightly so as the Finches have owned a vast number of slaves. We know Atticus is a fair person and probably doesn't want to be looking back at the shadey past of the Finches, especially when this is what has allowed them to be living in a more privilaged mannor than many of the other people in Maycomb County.
END OF INNOCENCE
Another theme of the novel is the transition from innocence to experience. At the beginning of the story Scout's world is limited to the boundaries of her immediate neighborhood. She feels safe and secure, and totally confident that the way things are done in her home is not just the right way, but the only way. The arrival of Dill, who comes from a broken home and has lived in another state, gives Scout her first hint of a variety of experiences beyond her narrow horizons. Then, on her first day of school, she begins to discover that not everyone agrees that the way things are done in Maycomb, Alabama, is necessarily correct. She also learns that sometimes it is necessary to compromise in order to get along. Even though Scout's teacher's ideas about how to teach reading may be wrong, Scout must respect the teacher's authority. Her own father advises her to ignore the teacher's ban on reading at home, but to pretend to go along with the teacher's methods while in the classroom. This kind of social hypocrisy is new to Scout, and she is surprised to hear her very moral father advocating it.
As the story progresses, Scout encounters many more examples of the complexity of human motivation. Sometimes characters who do evil things, such as Mayella Ewell, are nevertheless more pitiful than hateful. On the other hand, it is possible for some individuals to do the right thing for quite unexpected reasons. Mr. Underwood does not like blacks and is a mean-spirited person in general, yet he alone helps Atticus during his vigil at the jail.
By the final chapters of the novel, Scout has learned that good and justice do not necessarily triumph every time. Harmless individuals such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley can become victims through no fault of their own. And sometimes "the system" can do nothing to defend them. In one of the final scenes of the story, the sheriff puts compassion ahead of the letter of the law so that Boo Radley will not have to face the ordeal of publicly proving his innocence. This ending is hopeful because of the compassion shown by the sheriff but it is also troubling by suggesting there sometimes may be a conflict between the spirit of justice and the letter of the law.
JUSTICE AS A SIMPLE CONCEPT
Related to the theme of innocence and experience is the novel's suggestion that innocent children can often see large moral issues more clearly than adults. Scout, Jem, and Dill never waver in their horror at the injustice done to Tom Robinson. The adults in the story, however, see all the complexities of the situation to the point of being blinded to the central issue of right and wrong. However much Scout may grow through her exposure to new experiences, one hopes that she will never lose her childlike undertaking of justice. In the view of this novel's author, justice is a simple concept. To recognize the difference between justice and injustice does not take any special degree of wisdom or sophistication. In fact, the learned members of the community- such as the judge and prosecutor- and the proudly religious Baptists who are spectators at the trial are, willingly or not, allied with the machinery of injustice.
This way of looking at justice may seem obvious, but many writers and readers do not necessarily agree with it. Some readers feel that Lee in effect stacked the deck in favor of simplicity by making Tom Robinson such a straightforward, harmless character. What if Tom had been outspoken and troublesome? What if the children had some reason, however slight, to dislike him? For that matter, aren't Scout and Jem's attitudes just reflections of the beliefs of their father? Innocent or not, the children might take a completely different view of both the trial and Boo Radley's plight if they came from a less fair and tolerant home.
If you read closely, you will see that Harper Lee does not ignore these questions completely. She has many positive things to say about the value of education and children's ability to learn morality from the examples set by various adults, including Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Mrs. Dubose. Nevertheless, the conclusion of the novel still supports the belief that justice is easy to recognize and define. In deciding how to deal with Boo Radley, the sheriff trusts his own compassionate impulse more than he trusts the law and police procedure. And Atticus, the lawyer, agrees.
You might be interested to compare the view of justice in this story with a novel that takes a very different point of view such as William Golding's Lord of the Flies. In Golding's novel, a group of children cast away on an island are seen as amoral creatures who become more cruel and power hungry as their memories of civilized life grow dimmer.
The Mockingbird Motif is a constant occurance throughout the book. The Mockingbird is a symbol of innocence, as demonstrated later. But the mockingbird only appears itself as a bird once, which is where the famous quote comes from, 'You can kill all the bluejays you want, if you can catch 'em. But it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, all they do is make sweet music for all of us to enjoy.' (Owtte).
There are many people in the book that appear as mockingbirds, people of innocence:
- Tom Robinson
- Boo Radley
- Tim Johnson
- Dolphus Raymond (To an Extent)
POINT OF VIEW
Scout Finch is not only the most important character in the novel, she is also the narrator.
Everything that happens is seen through her eyes.
The author's decision to use a child to tell the story is a very important element in To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout had no comprehension of the complex web of sexual fears and racial prejudice that made so many white Southerners recoil in horror at the very idea of sexual contact between a white woman and a black man. It is not even clear that Scout ever understands what rape is, even though she claims to understand.
In choosing to present the events of Tom Robinson's trial through Scout's eyes the author seems to be saying that all the analysis that might be spent exploring the roots of racism and sexual fears and insecurity would be a waste of time. None of these things are the main issue. The main issue is one of simple justice. Scout, in her innocence, sees this.
Even so, the child narrator might not be satisfactory were it not for the fact that Scout is a rather unusual child. She has her share of definite opinions and is not afraid to pass judgment on adult affairs. If Scout were a more usual child we might doubt that she is capable of understanding what is going on all around her.
Any author who sets out to write a first person story- one in which the narrator speaks of his or herself as "I"- has certain problems to face. Everything that happens in the novel must be known to this one character, the narrator. We can never see "inside the heads" of the other actors in the story. If To Kill a Mockingbird had been told in the third person- by an all-knowing narrator- or in the first person, but from the points of view of a number of different characters, it would be a different novel. We would probably be told why Atticus took Tom's case and what doubts and fears he may have had as the trial progressed. We would find out what Tom Robinson was thinking during his trial and why he tried to escape. There probably would also be much more explanation of how Tom's frame-up could come about.
Some readers feel that unless the author is very clever, first person stories tend to be too limited. Others like these novels because they can put themselves in the place of the "I" of the story and become very involved. You will have to make up your mind which group of readers you belong to.
Harper Lee originally set out to write a collection of short stories, and there are readers who feel that the finished form of To Kill a Mockingbird remains a collection of episodes loosely strung together. Other readers admire the way the author has woven the tales of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, so that strands of the plot complement other strands.
It is true that some chapters and parts of chapters could be lifted out of the pages of the book and read as stories in their own right- for example, the story of Atticus and the mad dog, or the chapter dealing with the death of Mrs. Dubose. (This can also be done with many other novels.)
On the other hand, if you read carefully, you will see that the structure of the novel is not quite so simple as it seems at first glance. The novel is divided into two parts. In part one, Scout, Jem, and Dill are absorbed in childish games and fantasies. In part two, they begin, in the words of the Bible, to "put away childish things." You may notice that events in the early part of the novel, which at the time seemed merely amusing, foreshadow something that occurs later on. For example, Scout's meeting with the Cunningham and Ewell boys in the first grade prepares us for our later meeting with the adult members of these families.
To Kill a Mockingbird Summary
To Kill a Mockingbird Summary - Introduction To Kill A Mockingbird is set during the mid 1930's in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabamba. The story is narrated by a six year old girl named Jean Louise Finch or "Scout". Scout lives with her older brother Jem and her father Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer. To the children, Atticus is a friend, confidant, teacher and an authority. The children are both terrified and fascinated by their mysterious neighbor, Arthur "Boo" Radley, a recluse who rarely leaves his house.
To Kill a Mockingbird Summary - Tom Robinson's Trial Slowly the outside world of Maycomb's prejudice and racism begins to penetrate into Scout and Jem's idyllic childhood. Because Atticus Finch is considered to be upstanding and unbiased, he is appointed to defend a black farm worker named Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a young white woman. While the reader is shown Tom Robinson's humanity and point of view through the actions of Atticus Finch, the majority of the white population see Tom Robinson as just an inferior with no rights.
Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson during the trial in the To Kill A Mockingbird movie
Atticus is scorned by many of his fellow citizens because of his attitude that a black man should have the same rights as a white man. The town's rejection is also felt by his children. In this environment of bigotry and intolerance, Atticus tries to teach his children the difference between prejudice and the truth as he helps them on their way to growing up.
During the trial Atticus disproves the accusations against Tom Robinson. Nevertheless the white jury follows the unwritten law of never believing a black man's word over a white's and declares Tom Robinson guilty. As Tom then desperately attempts to break out of prison he is shot and killed.
To Kill a Mockingbird Summary - Boo Radley Because of his dedicated commitment to Tom Robinson, Atticus Finch earns the hatred of Bob Ewell, the father of the alleged victim, whose statements were exposed as lies during the trial. Bob Ewell stalks and attacks the children one evening but they are saved by the reclusive Boo Radley. During the struggle Bob Ewell is fatally stabbed, however in order to protect Boo the sherrif insists that Bob fell on his own knife.
To Kill a Mockingbird Summary- Conclusion After sitting with Scout for a short while Boo once again disappears into his house. While standing in front of the Radley house Scout can at last imagine life from Boo's point of view. Ringing more true to her than ever before is her father's teaching against prejudice and his belief that we can never really know someone until we walk in their shoes.
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes: Prejudice, Racism and Justice
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - Introduction Since its publication in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has sold over 30 million copies. Although set in the 1930's in the fictional American town of Maycomb, the central themes and issues of To Kill a Mockingbird are just as relevant to society today. So prevalent are the issues of To Kill a Mockingbird that it was recently cited by the American Library of Congress as being second only to the Bible as the book that had made a difference in people's lives.
Atticus and Scout in the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - Main Characters To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated from the viewpoint of Scout, a young girl of about six years old who is the daughter of another central character, Atticus Finch. Atticus is the voice of justice and rationalism speaking out in a town full of highly emotional and ignorantly prejudiced people. A lawyer, the integrity of Atticus never wavers throughout To Kill a Mockingbird as we are shown one of the few figures who truly holds justice and moral beliefs above the prejudices of society.
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - The Mockingbird The main themes of To Kill a Mockingbird are illustrated through two major subplots running parallel throughout the novel. One of the major themes in the novel is the mockingbird motif. Atticus feels that it is wrong to kill a mockingbird because all they do is sing beautiful songs and never harm anyone. This theme is illustrated through the trial of Tom Robinson.
A black man, Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. In this subplot, the racially prejudice nature of Maycomb is clearly portrayed through such instances as the fact that Atticus is accused by the town of being a "nigger lover" for defending Tom�s case and also through the lynch mob scene outside the jail. It is in the Tom Robinson trial that the greatest example of injustice because of prejudice is seen. Although Atticus actually manages to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, the white jury still refuses to declare the innocence of a black man over a white resulting in the most blatant testimony to the fact that the town of Maycomb held racial discrimination above justice. Through its decision the town essentially kills a mockingbird. Tom Robinson was a man who did no harm to others but instead actually helped others out of kindness - a mockingbird who becomes victim to a racist society.
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - Another Man's Shoes The second motif again concerns the nature of prejudice and is illustrated through the subplot of Boo Radley. Atticus tells his children that we never really know a man until we stand in his shoes and walk around in them. This theme is represented through Boo Radley, a man surrounded by mystery and rumours and hence prejudices. It is this prejudice that initially consumes Scout at the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird as she imagines Boo to be some kind of monster. However, Boo�s kindness towards the children ultimately prevails and he even ends up saving their lives towards the end of the novel. In the end Scout even comes to accept Boo as a friend despite her original prejudice. This goes to show that we have no right to judge others since we cannot fully understand their viewpoint.
To Kill a Mockingbird Themes - Conclusion To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated entirely through the eyes of Scout who is initially a typically prejudiced Maycomb child who is quick to turn to fighting and force as a solution to conflicts. However, through such scenes as the lynch mob outside the jail where Scout disperses the entire mob simply by talking to them rather than by force and also through the Boo Radley subplot we see her mature and progress to become a rational and wiser character. This progression is essentially brought about by Atticus and shows that views and beliefs are ultimately passed on from parents and so through the right upbringing and teaching, children can overcome the prejudices held by society. For if a child such as Scout living in a 1930�s society can learn to overcome such deeply held prejudices and come to understand the individual worth of a person then surely people living in today's society can too.
To Kill a Mockingbird Assignments 1-10
Chapters 1 and 2: Make a chart that includes Scout, Atticus, Jem, Calpurnia, Arthur “Boo” Radley, Miss Caroline, Walter Cunningham, Miss Stephanie, and the town of Maycomb. On one side, list the character (or town), on the other side, jot down notes about what you know or assume to be true about these people or places.
Chapters 3 and 4 and explain briefly what you think Atticus means when he says
“’You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’” Journal: explain a time in your own life when you did this or should have done this.
Chapters 5 and 6. Now, you are going to work on a creative poem from the point of view of Boo Radley. Since you know very little about him, you will have to use your imagination. Is he really the angry, crazy man that Ms. Stephanie Crawford depicts, or is he lonely and sad? How does what Miss Maudie tells Scout and Jem about Boo change your view? Is Boo scared? Sick? You decide, and then write a twenty line poem from the point of view of Boo. Please do not make it rhyme; sometimes, rhyming poems limit creativity.
Chapters 9 and 10, we learn that Atticus will be defending a black man accused of raping a white woman; as a result, Jem and Scout deal with many verbal attacks from people who are angered by Atticus’ decision to defend the black man, Tom Robinson. Questions: What kind of a parent is Atticus? What’s important to him and what’s not? How do you know what’s important to him?
Chapters 12 and 13 Questions: 1) Describe the African-American
community in Maycomb—what is it like and how do you know?
2) Why does Aunt Alexandra move in with the Finches?
From chapter 13, make some educated guesses about what you think is most important to Aunt Alexandra and why.
Chapters 14 and 15. Journal: Relates to Scout's coming-of-age.
Her experience with the trial will shape her view of the world; what experiences have shaped you? Respond to the following quotation "I know that the moment marked the end of innocence. Innocence involves an unseeing acceptance of things at face value, an ignorance of the area below the surface." Journal: Write about a moment or experience in your life that changed you and your view of the world. Explain how and in what ways you changed as individual.
Chapters 16 and 17. Pretend you are Atticus Finch. As Tom Robinson’s lawyer, you have been sitting at the bench taking MANY notes as the witnesses have been giving their different testimonies. Now, recreate on notebook paper the SAME PAGE that Atticus might have come up with after hearing the testimonies given in chapter 17. Hints: Atticus might set up a column for each person, and he might HIGHLIGHT any lies he catches. He might also write down his OWN questions that he wants to follow up on when he gets a chance to question the witness.
Chapters 20, 21 and 22. Journal: Write a 1/2 page response response to how the trial turned out. Was it what you expected? Does it change the way you look at Maycomb?
Then, answer all of the following Questions:
1) At the end of chapter 21, discuss the significance of the last sentence.
What happened? What is Reverend Sykes asking Jem and Scout to do?
Who else is doing it? Why?
2) Find the best sentence in chapter 22 that describes Jem’s new opinion of Maycomb as a result of the Tom Robinson trial. Just write out the sentence.
3) What does Bob Ewell do to Atticus at the post office corner, and what is his threat?
Chapters 25, 26, and 27: Create your own “Assignment”
The following are a set of requirements for this assignment:
Your assignment should cover chapters 25, 26, & 27. Write questions for these chapters that can be comprehensive & creative. Your questions should indicate that you read all three chapters and should address the most important events from each chapter.
Chapters 28, 29, 30. Pretend you were someone in the woods watching what happened on the night that Jem and Scout walked home from the Halloween play.
Journal: In your own words (as an innocent bystander who just happened to see the whole thing), explain EXACTLY what happened that night.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Part 1 Study Guide
The following questions emphasize the important developments in part 1 of the novel
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Complete the questions after each assigned reading.
1. Who is Simon Finch
2. How old was Scout when her mother died?
3. Who is Charles Baker Harris?
4. What is wrong with the Radley pecans?
5. How did Boo Radley get into trouble with the law?
1. Who is Miss Caroline Fisher?
2. Why did Scout get into trouble with Miss Fisher?
3. Who is Calpurnia?
4. Who is Walter Cunningham?
1. What is Old Sarum?
2. Why was Miss Fisher terrified when she saw Burris Ewell?
3. How did Atticus convince Scout that she must remain in school?
1. What did Scout discover in the tree in front of the Radley house?
2. What is hot steam?
3. Who is Miss Stephanie Crawford?
4. What did Scout hear when she fell out of the tire?
1. Who is Miss Maudie Atkinson?
2. What does Miss Maudie inform Scout about Boo Radley?
3. Why does Jem and Dill want to give Boo a note?
1. Who is Mr. Avery?
2. What unusual event occurred on Dill’s last night in Maycomb?
3. How did Jem lose his pants?
4. When Jem went to retrieve his pants how did he discover them?
1. What are three items that Jem and Scout discover in the tree?
2. Who filled the knot hole in the tree with cement?
3. What was the reason given for filling the knot hole?
1. Why was school canceled?
2. Who did the snowman resemble at first?
3. whose house caught on fire?
4. Who placed a blanket around Scout during the fire?
1. What did Cecil Jacobs tell Scout?
2. Who is Atticus defending?
3. Why are the people in Maycomb angry with Atticus?
4. Who is Aunt Alexandra?
5. Who is Francis?
6. Why did Scout get spanked by Uncle jack?
1. According to the story why is it wrong to shoot a mockingbird?
2. Why were Jem and Scout ashamed of Atticus?
3. Who is Tim Johnson?
4. Who is Heck Tate?
5. Who shot Tim Johnson?
1. Who is Mrs. Henry Lafayetter Dubose?
2. Why did Jem cut the tops off from Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes?
3. Why did Atticus make Jem read to Mrs. DuBose?
4. How did Mrs. Dubose win?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD Part 2 Study Guide
Complete the questions after the assigned reading. The questions provide you with a focus for some of the things that will be emphasized on the literary section of the mid year exam. The following overview provides one of the central themes of the novel. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is much more than a powerful indictment against racial intolerance. The literary classic is a moving and compassionate story of the very young who must somehow grow up in an imperfect world. Scout Finch, the young narrator of the novel, cannot fully understand the crisis of conscience that confronts the town of Maycomb where she lives.
1. Where did Scout and Jem go with Calpurnia?
2. Why was Lula angry with Calpurnia?
3. Why did Calpurnia speak differently at the church?
4. Who was waiting on the porch when the children arrived home from the church?
1. Who is Sinkfield?
2. How did Aunt Alexadra classify any person from Maycomb?
3. Who is Cousin Joshua?
4. Why did Scout begin to cry in front of Atticus?
1. What did Scout think was under her bed?
2. What did Dill explain as the reason to why he ran away?
3. Where did Dill hear he could get babies?
4. Why did Dill reckon Boo Radley’s never run off?
1. Why did Mr. Link Deas and the others visit Atticus?
2. Who is Mr. Underwood?
3. Where did Atticus take the car?
4. How did Scout get Atticus out of a tight situation?
5. Who had Atticus covered all along?
1. Who is Mr. X Billup?
2. How does Mr. Underwood feel about negroes?
1. According to Jem, why are mix children real sad?
2. Who is Mr. Gilmer?
3. Who is Robert E. Lee Ewelll?
1. Who is Mayella Violet Ewell?
2. What is a chifforobe?
3. Why did Mayella fear Atticus?
1. What is Tom’s physical impairment?
2. Did Mr. Gilmer fairly prosecute the case?
3. Why is judge Taylor a heroic figure?
4. How did Tom’s version of what happened differ from Mayella’s version?
1. What year did the trial take place?
2. Who is Mr. Dolphus Raymond?
3. Why does Mr. Raymond pretend to be the town drunk?
1. Who interrupted the trial and why?
2. How did Scout first realize that the jury had convicted Tom?
1 How did Jem react to the jury’s decision?
2 How did the population of blacks attending the trial react to Atticus?
3. How did Bob Ewell react towards Atticus?
1. What is the most sickening thing to Atticus?
2. Why does Jem believe that Boo Radley wants to remain inside his house?
1. Why did Miss Maudie hold Scout’s hand?
2. Who are the Mrunas?
3. Who is J. Grimes Everett
4. Who is Mrs. Grace Merriweather?
5. What is the missionary society?
6. Who was shot with seventeen bullet holes?
7. How did Aunty act like a lady in Scout’s eyes?
1. Where did Jem and Dill go with Atticus?
1. What is the Grit paper?
2. How is Miss Gates an example of hypocrisy?
1. Who are Misses Tutti and Frutti Barber?
2. What did Aunt Alexndra mean when she expressed, Somebody just walked over my grave?
3. Why was Scout dressed up like a pork?
1. Who scared Scout on the way to school?
2. What happened to Scout during the pageant?
3. Why did Jem and Scout have to turn back to the school?
4. What happened on the way home from the pageant? (this is the climax folks)
1. What happened to Bob Ewell?
2. Who was standing in the corner of Jem’s room?
1. Why did Heck Tate want to Let the dead bury the dead?
2. What did Scout believe would be like shooting a mockingbird?
3. What did Atticus thank Boo Radley for?
1. What did Scout see from Boo Radley’s porch?
2. What is the significance of The Grey Ghost?