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Literature
Symbolic drama Setting Southern Alabama; early 1930s Principal Characters Atticus Fitch, an attorney and single parent Scout (Jean Louise Finch), his daughter, a young six-year old tomboy (and the story's narrator) Jem (Jeremy Finch), Scout's older brother Arthur "Boo" Radley, a mysterious, reclusive neighbor Tom Robinson, Atticus' Negro client Story Overview When Jem was nearly 13 years old his arm was badly broken at the elbow. After it healed and Jem was assured that he could still play football, his arm never bothered him - though it always remained shorter than the right, and hung at a funny angle. Years later, Jem and his sister, Scout, still talked about the accident and the events leading up to it. They finally agreed it had all started the summer when they tried to get Arthur "Boo" Radley to come out of his house. Jem and Scout lived in Maycomb, Alabama, a drowsy, isolated town where everyone knew everyone. Their mother had died when Scout was two years old. Calpurnia, a Negro cook, took care of them and taught them tolerance that took them beyond the rigid prejudices of Maycomb society' Their wise father, an attorney, Atticus Finch, played with them and read them stories. In fact, Scout learned to read before going to school which later caused trouble with her teacher, who didn't think early reading fit into proper educational theory. During the summer when Scout was six and Jem was ten, the children became fascinated with the Radley place next door. Most of the community's young people believed the house was haunted. At night children would cross the street rather than walk in front of the Radley house. Nuts that fell from the Radley pecan tree into the school yard were never eaten; surely, Radley nuts would kill you. A baseball...
pages: 7 (words: 1775)
comments: 0
added: 10/31/2011
by Cleopatra Margaritopoulou Quote: "I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."(96) The above words are what Atticus Finch tells his children after they are given air-rifles for Christmas. In fact, the title of the classic novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, was taken from this passage. At first glance, one may wonder why Harper Lee decided to name her book after what seems to be a rather insignificant excerpt. After careful study, however, one begins to see that this is just another example of symbolism in the novel. Harper Lee uses symbolism extensively throughout this story, and much of it refers to the problems of racism in the South during the early twentieth century. Harper Lee's effective use of racial symbolism and allegory can be seen by studying various examples from the book, namely the actions of the children, of the racist whites, and of Atticus Finch. One of the more effective allegories in the novel is the building of a snowman by Jem and Scout. There was not enough snow to make a snowman entirely out of snow, so Jem made a foundation out of dirt and then covered it with what snow they had. If the snowman was made completely out of snow, Jem's action would not be so significant. Scout is very surprised when she sees the brown snowman and she exclaims: "Jem, I ain't never heard of a nigger snowman." (72), and to this Jem replies: "He won't be black long." (72). Scout's words indicate the strange nature of the snowman which is half-black, half-white. Jem, however did not find it peculiar and he...
pages: 14 (words: 3808)
comments: 0
added: 09/10/2011
Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is an astounding portrayal of Southern tradition and human dignity, a novel whose themes and lessons transcend time and place. The book is narrated by a young girl named Scout who matures over the course of the story from an innocent child to a morally conscience young adult. The cover of the novel displays a knot-holed tree containing a pocket watch and a ball of yarn, accompanied by the silhouette of a mockingbird soaring over the trees through a twilight sky. The portrait on the cover is an emblem that signifies the nature of Scout's maturation and the underlying themes presented by Harper Lee. Lee's signified themes, ethically rich and profoundly humane, epitomize traditional Southern mentality. The story commences during the summer in Maycomb County, Alabama, in a children's world. Scout is a young girl around the age of ten and her older brother Jem is about thirteen. Their summer days consist of playing make believe, fictional games from dawn until dusk with their friend, Dill, from Montgomery, Alabama. In the child's world, the twilight sky represents the rising sun, the dawn of a new day, and the commencement of a full day of children's games and activities. The child's world that exists during the daytime is a world flourishing with innocence and simplicity. However, the daytime is the only time when the child's world exists, for when the sun falls, curfews draw Scout, Jem, and Dill back to their homes for the evening. When daylight fades and the moon begins to rise, the games subside and the make believe, fictional world ceases to exist until following morning. The twilight sky portrayed on the cover represents a rising sun, and thus, the inconsequential child's world. The knot-holed tree...
pages: 7 (words: 1825)
comments: 0
added: 10/02/2011
Alexander Miles ENG 1DE 08 December 2005 Mrs. Wahba The Affect of Courage as a Theme in To Kill A Mockingbird Courage is defined as "that quality of mind or spirit enabling one to meet danger or opposition with fearlessness." According to Atticus Finch, one of the main characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, "Courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." (124) No matter how one defines it, Harper Lee clearly portrays the theme of courage in her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. It is one of the most predominant themes and is shown in many of the characters because what is a hero if they are not courageous? One likes to think of a hero, as strong, brave, meeting all challenges head on. All of the characters have a different view as to what courage is, and they all show it a different way; however, they do show courage in their everyday lives. Younger characters, like Jem and Scout, see the physical aspect of it, whereas Atticus believes this to be an extremely weak form of courage. He believes in the mental quality of courage; he admires Mrs Dubose for her attempt to rid herself from some of the evil that still grasped at her life as she died. For a younger character, like Scout, courage is most often associated with a physical act that is usually dangerous. It is hard for young children like that to realize that greater courage can be shown in other aspects of life. Scout sees an example of courage in her father when he shoots the mad dog. Although Atticus does not think of it as very courageous, Jem and Scout are proud of their father and the...
pages: 6 (words: 1489)
comments: 0
added: 10/30/2011
The Maturation of Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird" As people grow in life, they mature and change. The main character matures as the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, continues. Scout is childish and disrespectful at the beginning of the novel. She is learning from her experiences throughout the novel. By the end of the novel she has come to have a strong concern for the feelings of others, and understanding the world around her. She learns this through her own experiences. Scout matured a lot throughout the novel. Scout shows childish behavior at the beginning of the novel. She is disrespectful towards Calpurnia her maid. Scout suggests to Atticus to have her fired. " 'She likes Jem better'n she likes me, anyway,' I concluded, and suggested that Atticus lose no time in packing her off."(25). When Scout says this after Calpurnia punished her, it shows how inconsiderate and rude she was being toward Calpurnia. Also early in the novel Scout, Jem and Dill are afraid of Boo Radley, they think he is a monster and try to play tricks on him. They don't know Boo Radley and have never seen him but still judge him on stories they have heard. They are threatened by him, and are scared to go on his property. This is very childlike. Scout also had the immature habit of getting into fistfights that started by the slightest provocation. When Jem had told Scout to stop beating on Walter Cunningham, he asked why she was fighting him in the first place all Scout had to say in response was "He didn't have any lunch"(22) this shows she did not have good reason to be fighting him. Scout is very immature in these incidents in the novel Scout is maturing more and learning...
pages: 3 (words: 804)
comments: 0
added: 10/12/2011
The Many Faces Of Evil The best selling, Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is a riveting tale of life lessons. The story unfolds through the eyes of a six-year-old girl, named Scout. The book concerns the struggle against racial injustice in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s. In this book, Lee brings out the struggles that people face everyday concerning prejudice. This powerful novel shows how people are stereotyped by their race, social class, and gender. The first form of prejudice shown throughout the novel is racism. For example, Attics Finch who is Scouts father is a well-known lawyer. He agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Atticus's decision to take on the case resulted in Scout being subjected to abuse by the neighborhood friends. For example, when Mrs. Dubose says, "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for"(Lee 102). This is showing that just because Atticus is standing up for justice he is being criticized. Another example is Doluphs Raymond. He lives on a farm and he lives with black people and raises mixed children. As Jem says, "They don't belong anywhere. Colored folks won't have 'em because they are half white; and white folks won't have 'em cause they're colored."(Lee 161.) Jen is referring to the mixed children and that people can't look past the color of the skin so these children can't be accepted anywhere. Racial injustice were huge in Maycomb but was not the only problem. Another conflict between citizens in Maycomb was social class. This is shown when Aunt Alexandra, Atticus's sister who is living with the Finch family tells Scout that she can't play with Walter Cunningham. Walter attends Scout's school and he is very poor, but this...
pages: 3 (words: 624)
comments: 0
added: 12/16/2011
Schools tend to have cliques, small groups of narrow-minded people who criticize others. These teens in cliques parallel adults in today's society. They prey on those who believe in different things, come from different backgrounds, and have different morals and values. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, three characters, Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and Atticus Finch, all resemble mockingbirds, in that people persecute them for no reason. The people of Maycomb County victimize the innocent Boo Radley. His mysterious life interests the Finch children, Jem and Scout, and their friend Dill. They imagine Boo as a drooling, savage, six-and-a-half foot beast with a long jagged scar on his face, yellow teeth, and bulging eyes. They suspect that he peers into people's windows at night to stalk them and he may try to kill them. The real Boo, however, possesses a kind soul and a gentle heart. He manages to find ways to communicate in a positive and playful way with Jem, Scout, and Dill, but everyone suspects Boo of enigmatic crimes when "once the town was terrorized and…people still looked to the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions" (9). The townspeople do not give Boo a chance; they rather make rash conclusions. His seclusion from the town instantly opens him up to ridicule and gossip. Scout learns to judge him and others by their actions, not by the town gossip. Tom Robinson, a Negro, represents another mockingbird. He lives a life of simplicity beyond the town dump, and attends the same church as the Finch family cook, Calpurnia. Tom regularly assists people in need, especially Mayella Ewell, but he finds himself punished for it. Mayella, a white woman, accuses Tom of rape and abuse, and her father Bob takes this matter to court and uses subterfuge...
pages: 3 (words: 621)
comments: 0
added: 12/11/2011
Who is the most guilty? Review the involvement's of the characters in the novel and evaluate whether or not they were guilty, and if so how guilty? In the classic novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee there is an abundance of characters that could be proclaimed to be the guilty party, but who is truly the guiltiest one of all? The definition of guilt is as follows; the state of having done something wrong or committed an offense; a feeling of self-reproach from believing that one has done something wrong. My job is to examine the characters closely and determine who is the most guilty in the involvement's of Tom Robinson's prosecution, conviction and ultimately his death. As I stated, there is an abundance of characters that could be guilty, from Mayella and Bob Ewell, Heck Tate, to the jurors and Atticus Finch. All of these characters play a roll in the story, and a roll in the events that happened to Tom Robinson. The story is an interesting one, but guilty parties are found throughout. The story is set against the background of nineteen thirties Southern life. The Finches are a family that once ran a large, successful plantation. Their ancestors had been aristocratic ladies and gentlemen of the south. Now they are reduced to gentle poverty. Atticus and his family live in a town named Maycomb, he is a career layer. He has a son named Jeremy and a daughter named Jean-Louse. They also have a cook named Calpernia, she is a Negro but they respect her greatly. Racism in Maycomb is evident almost where ever you look, and Negro peoples don't have a chance to succeed. A family that played a huge roll in the novel are named the Ewells. They live on the out...
pages: 5 (words: 1326)
comments: 0
added: 10/08/2011
To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely an excellent novel and it portrays life and the role of racism back in the 1930's. A reader may not interpret several aspects in and of the book through just the plain text. Boo Radley, Atticus, and the title represent three such things. In this essay, one will be introduced to the similarities and differences of Boo Radley and Atticus Finch. Not really disclosed to the reader until the end of the book, Arthur "Boo" Radley plays an important role in the development of both Scout and Jem. In the beginning of the story, Jem, Scout, and Dill fabricate horror stories about Boo. They find Boo as a character of their amusement, and one who has no feelings whatsoever. They tried to get a peep at him, just to see what Boo looked like. Scout connects Boo with the Mockingbird. Mrs. Maudie defines a mockingbird as one who "…don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us" (94). Boo is exactly that. Boo is the person who put a blanket around Scout and Jem when it was cold. Boo was the one putting "gifts" in the tree. Boo even sewed up Jem's pants that tore on Dill's last night. Boo was the one who saved their lives. On the contrary to Scout's primary belief, Boo never harms anyone. Scout also realizes that she wrongfully treated Boo when she thinks about the gifts in the tree. She never gave anything back to Boo, except love at the end. When Scout escorts Arthur home and stands on his front porch, she sees the same street she saw, just from an entirely different...
pages: 4 (words: 1074)
comments: 0
added: 02/05/2012
Bob Ewell stabbed himself to death, trying to kill the Finches children My Tra Dang The Maycomb Journal Staff writer September 16th, 1935. Yesterday evening, at about 10 o'clock, a homicide happened, resulting in the death of a grown man and a serious injury of a child. Bob Ewell tried to kill Jem and Scout Finch in the schoolhouse after the "Maycomb County Ad Astra Per Aspera" performance ended, this year's Halloween pageant, directed by Mrs. Merriweather, held in the school's auditorium. Scout was a ham and had to wear a ham costume. Scout and Jem were in the schoolyard when they heard someone following them. According to them, it was so dark that they could scarcely see anything but Scout's costume fat streaks was painted with shiny stuff that everyone could see her in the darkness. "I heard someone shuffle and drag his feet." Scout said. She told us that things happened too fast that she didn't even clearly know what happened. But, still, she recounted that someone grabbed her, mashed her costume and she fell to the ground. She heard fighting, kicking sounds, they sounded like they were bamming against the trunk. Next thing she knew was that Jem was up, found her and started pulling her toward the road. Scout said: "Then someone, I reckon it was Bob, pulled him backwards. There was more fighting and I heard Jem scream." According to her, she ran into someone, who was probably Bob, who tried to strangle her and squeeze her to death. She couldn't move but then, suddenly, someone yanked him down. Next thing she knew was that someone was coughing, panting fit to die. "Then I saw someone I don't know was carrying Jem toward our house." Scout recalled. Atticus said: "I have never conceived that someone...
pages: 3 (words: 804)
comments: 0
added: 12/22/2011
My Tra Dang 4849 Garson Way Maycomb, AL 34677 August 31st, 1935 Readers of Maycomb Journal 3425 Freedom Way Maycomb, Al 34677 Dear readers, I was at the courthouse yesterday to watch the trial in which Tom Robinson ended up being convicted of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. After seeing all of the things Atticus tried to show everyone, I simply couldn't believe my eyes that the jury could finally find Tom guilty. I have to say that I strongly disagree with the verdict, which should be reconsidered, in my opinion. I have no doubt that everyone could see through the lame an unconvincing story the Ewells made up to fool everyone. Bob Ewell clearly stated that he held with everything Mr. Heck Tate had said. And he agreed with Tate that Mayella's right eye was blackened, which had to be beaten up by someone who had used his left hand. And when Mayella was testified, she again said that her right eye was beaten up, which is a huge mistake. For when Atticus called Tom to stand up, the whole courtroom was able to see his useless left hand. It was said to be destroyed since he was a boy by a cotton gin. And how in the world could a crippled man like Tom hit Mayella that hard with his right hand on the right side of the face? That seemed ridiculously impossible. I was being very delighted, indeed, at that moment to see the dishonest Ewells being unmasked publicly. No one could possibly say Tom was the one who has beaten Mayella up. Moreover, when Atticus asked Bob to write his name down on a piece of paper, Bob used his left hand instead of the right distinctively and inconsiderably. That's again evidence against the deceitful...
pages: 2 (words: 543)
comments: 0
added: 12/01/2011
Two friends, almost complete opposites when it comes to their personalities, both attend Valencia High School. While one is cautious and keeps peace, the other loves a challenge and has many enemies. Their relationship is similar to that of Mercutio and Benvolio in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. These characters add flavor to the play in representing good and evil, influencing lovesick Romeo, and by adding wit to a serious-toned play. Mercutio, the hot-headed best friend of Romeo, adds wit and humor to the play Romeo and Juliet and was included in the play to make the audience laugh and also to keep them on the edge of their seats with suspense. Mercutio, in his humorous nature, loved to tease Romeo about his lovesickness; he calls Romeo a "madman" and "[conjures him] with Rosaline's bright eyes" (Shakespeare II, i, 9-19). Though he knows this might anger Romeo, he only means it as a joke. Mercutio brings suspense to the play because one never knows when he will lose his temper. In one confrontation with Tybalt, Mercutio's enemy, Mercutio calls Tybalt a "Prince of Cats", which provokes Tybalt to start a fight (II, iv, 20). One never knows how any of several confrontations involving Mercutio will end, which is how Mercutio adds suspense. Romeo and Juliet would be incomplete and boring without Mercutio, his jokes, and the action of his confrontations. Benvolio, Romeo's cousin and friend, tries to keep peace wherever he goes, though sometimes to no avail, and also tries to help Romeo get over Rosaline. The opposite of Mercutio, Benvolio "[keeps] the peace" (I, i, 70) and often advises Mercutio to do the same, especially around Tybalt and the other Capulets, for he knows that if they met, they couldn't "scape a brawl" (III, i, 3). One may conclude from this that...
pages: 2 (words: 545)
comments: 0
added: 10/24/2011
William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1595. It's about 'two star crossed lovers' from two equal standing households but the families have a history of feuding. The grudge between them creates a string of events, which cause the play to end in tragedy. A particularly important scene in the play is Act 3, scene 2. As a director I find this scene very interesting, as it is a life-changing scene. Prior to this scene Romeo kills Tybolt after Tybolt kills Mercutis when Mercutis taunts him to a fight. Romeo is then banished. Of course this news has not yet reached Juliet who is waiting for Romeo to come, as it is their wedding night. During this scene the nurse tells Juliet what has happened, this causes Juliet to doubt the trust between her and Romeo The scene is set in Juliet's bedroom. It is early evening, just prior to the sun setting, it is still warm outside and Juliet has the balcony doors open. Juliet will wear a simple white dress, this shows modesty and purity, this is especially important as she is still a virgin. She is innocent and this is in contrast to Romeo who has just murdered her cousin Tybolt. Her hair will be loosely tied up, this is so later in the scene she can take it out in anguish and can demonstrate her rage. The main props she will use in the room is, her bed in the middle of the room, the balcony where she will look out from, in hope that Romeo will soon be coming. There will be a sofa type chair at the bottom of the bed. On the wall there will be a statue of Mary, this shows that Juliet comes from a religious background and is conscious of sins...
pages: 8 (words: 1998)
comments: 0
added: 10/20/2011
Her Father All I hoped for was to be able to prove myself as a capable father. Getting divorced five months ago was hard, not to mention gaining custody of our only child, Megan. Megan is still young, well I consider fifteen young. Yet, she's old enough to know what she wants. She said she wanted to live with me five months ago, but now, I can't tell if she wants otherwise. She used to be a happy girl, running around, laughing at things that shouldn't be laughed at. That's changed now. Her giddy laughter has turned to half smiles and optimistic attitude has disappeared. It was hard doing it on my own, so I got a nanny. I try to make her tell me what's bothering her, but she answers with a small "nothing," and walks away. I'm worried I'm not proving to be a good enough parent, so lately I have been trying maybe too much and as I realized later, the wrong way. "Hey Meg, honey, look what I bought for you. They're new shoes, what do you think?" Meg smiled at me, hugged me and then walked off to her room. I just didn't know what was wrong, I thought I was being a good father. What else could a child want? I gave her everything. "Daddy?" Meg questioned, walking into the kitchen. Her long brown hair was done in one french braid, most likely by Cara, our nanny. Her green eyes stared into mine as they always did. I never knew what she was thinking, for the color of her eyes were so deceiving. "Yes?" "Do I see mom this weekend?" It was as if she stabbed a knife into me every time she asked that question. I don't know why, for a daughter should be able to see her mother...
pages: 4 (words: 1078)
comments: 0
added: 10/21/2011
Act Four, Scenes One - Three Engulfed with superlative emotion and distraught over the banishment of her beloved Romeo, Juliet at first refuses the coerced marriage arrangement formulated by her parents. Juliet does not love Paris, and therefore he denotes a real and tragic potential for Juliet. Accordingly, she emulates with notion of proceeding to alternative means, like suicide, in order to escape this undesired future. Juliet has thus transfigured from the initial character of a naïve, obedient, and immature girl into a woman of strength, tenacity, and poise. Despite contriving numerous reasons why the sleeping potion might procure her harm, physical and psychological, she chooses to drink it anyway. In doing so, she not only aspires to evade the forces that impede her relationship with Romeo, she embraces full responsibility for herself. Drinking the potion therefore commissions an action in which Juliet willingly secures her life into her own hands, as when she claims "And I will do it without fear or doubt / To live an unsustained wife to my sweet love" (4.1.89-90). In addition, Juliet proceeds against the conventional expectations and endowment of women; she initiates the course of action, much like her aggressive character beside Romeo. Juliet competently produces a genuine decision that her fidelity and love for Romeo must be her dictating priorities. She essentially disconnects herself from her prior social foundation, particularly her parents and social status in Verona, in order to coalesce with Romeo. Yet, Shakespeare seemingly calls to question the reality and merit of love as the commanding precedence....
pages: 1 (words: 257)
comments: 0
added: 10/22/2011
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