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To Kill a Mockingbird Critical Lenses
Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird Critical Lenses
Focuses on the social structures and social injustices like social classes, race, power, and capitalism
To Kill a Mockingbird
The working class are the characters who are poor but hard working farmers that barely make enough to get by. This class is also known as "the Cunninghams" because in Maycomb County that family is the working class.
These characters are the most influential and powerful people in the novel because;
a. they have money
b. they have a high class job (for that era)
c. they are usually the most educated in the town
Social Groups in the Novel
Calpurnia, Tom Robinson
The upper class in
are a good example
Scout proves this when she says, "He doesn't do anything. Atticus doesn't drive a dump truck for the county, he isn't sheriff doesn't farm or work in a garage or anything worth meaning..." meaning Atticus doesn't work labor jobs like most people did during the Depression
They don't work laboring jobs like most
people did during the Depression and
rely on the labor of people around them.
When Walter Cunningham owes Atticus money for legal work, he tells him "I ’d like to pay cash for you services but between the mortgage and the entailment…” so instead Atticus receives hickory nuts, turnip greens, or other goods as a payment.
When Scout asks, “Are we poor as Cunninghams?" and Atticus replies, “not exactly”. This shows that everyone is poor in a way during Depression, but working labor forces, like the Cunninghams, are the ones who are heavily affected by the financial struggle.
The Three Lenses
The Ewells are the sore eye of Maycomb
They never take anything that they can't
-Live off relief checks
-House is a dump
-None of the kids go to school
Least power because of their
Similar to to the Marxist lens but the
Gender lens focuses on relationships
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel that
challenges racial discrimination at
Mr. Ewell telling his story of the events that happened on the night of November 21.
"Well, Mayella was raisin' this holy racket so I dropped m'load and run as fast as I could but I run into th' fence, but when I got distangled I run up to th' window and I seen-" Mr. Ewell's face grew scarlet. He stoop up and pointed his finger at Tom.
"-I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!"
"-I seen that black nigger
yonder ruttin on my Mayella"
For a man who's barely literate
Mr. Ewell accomplished a
number of things with that
1. Dehumanizes Tom
doesn't even say his name or use "he"
pretty much saying he doesn't even consider Tom as human
2. Emphasizes Tom's race over everything else
as if the N word wasn't bad enough
3. Compares Tom to an animal
"rutting" is the word for a male deer having intercourse with another deer
5. Asserts power over Mayella
as if Tom's trying to steal his property
Life in the state of Alabama during the 1930s
doesn't even compare to life in today's society.
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
younger than Mrs. Dubose
was probably young during the Civil War
grew up used to blacks being free
never got into drugs
old as dirt
grew up used to slaves
most likely older during the Civil War
Miss Maudie Atkinson
Racism isn't acceptable anymore
Blacks and whites live in the
Not like Maycomb County
Bob Ewell allowed to make racist comments
Donald Sterling banned for life and fined by NBA for making racist comments.