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To KILL a Mockingbird
Transcript of To KILL a Mockingbird
Published in 1960.
Harper Lee's only published book.
Set in Maycomb, Alabama in the 30s.
Events and people based on author's childhood.
Vivid Language Memorable Characters Universal Themes Cultural
Impact Language Child's point of view.
Simplistic ideas about everything:
"There's just one kind of folks. Folks"(pg 23).
Thinks of everyone as equal, which contrasts with society at large.
Style of writing and expression is detailed.
Has been criticised for being too mature.
Symbolism and Metaphors Makes the story more meaningful.
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (pg 99).
Represents the destruction of something innocent and beautiful.
Tom Robinson and Boo Stuart are metaphorically mockingbirds.
Message sticks with the audience better. Characters Hero of the novel.
Stands up for what is right despite criticism:
"My folks said your daddy as a disgrace an' that nigger oughta hang from the watertank" (pg 85).
Has a good moral compass and leads by example.
"If I didn't defend Tom Robinson, I would never be able to tell you or Jem not to do anything again" (pg 192).
Readers admire his wisdom and we learn much from him.
Scout Atticus Portrayal of African Americans has been criticised.
Not fully explored and stereotyped.
Example is Calpurnia and the fact that she is a cook. Themes Moral decisions, racism and justice.
"Because-he-is-trash, that's why you can't play with him" (pg 248).
Teaches that you need to be accepting of others.
"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" (pg 33).
Even though the themes are serious, the storytelling is not.
Diane McWhorter: "To Kill a Mockingbird condemns racism instead of racists, and states that every child in the South has moments when they are faced with the harsh reality of inequality. The feeling causes them to question the beliefs with which they have been raised".
Themes will be relevant forevermore.
Cultural Impact A very significant time in American History. Published during Civil Rights Movement. Groundbreaking. Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young said "it inspires hope in the midst of chaos and confusion". Made into an Oscar winning movie. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Sold over 30 million copies and translated into 40 languages. In 2008, was the most studied book in grades 9-12. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis named their child Scout. Victoria Beckham named her child Harper Seven. Mary McDonagh Murphy:“it means so many different things to different people”. Vivid
Language Memorable Characters Universal Themes Cultural Impact Criticism Scout Finch,
six years old Atticus,
father and lawyer Jem,
older brother Innocence contrasts the serious social issues. The reader learns through her. Her questions allows us to build a better understanding of the 30s. We go on a similar journey, from young and naive to mature and informed. The audience has similar responses, which makes her relatable.
'In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square. Somehow it was hotter then; a blackdog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on he square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweet talcum'(pg 5).