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To Kill a Mockingbird
Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird
Typical Southern style of voice for most characters
- Different people have different ways of speaking
- Depends on race, age, upbringing
-The diction for each shows what kind of person they are
- Sophisticated speech
- Very little Southern slang used
- Reflects the Finch family's class
- No pompousness or arrogance displayed
- Displays frankness and laces life lessons into many talks with his children
- Ex: "I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes—baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."
-Profanity and vulgarity commonly used
- Poor grammar reflects upon the traditional Ewell upbringing as shown by other Ewells such as Burris
- Arrogant and rude
- Very direct and uncouth
- Ex: "I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!"
Opinion Paragraph Question
- In TKAM, style is the way Harper Lee tells us the story
- Imagery use is one of the heaviest components of the book
- Varied diction for each character
- Unique POV
- Heavy symbolism
- Varied, non-stereotypical cast of characters
Does Harper Lee do a good job in entertaining her readers? Explain.
Chapter 28 : It All Ends
Chapter 28 is the climax of the story. This chapter arguably creates the most suspense in the novel. In this chapter Bob Ewell attacks and tries to murder Jem and Scout.Harper Lee sets a very eerie mood at the beginning of the chapter. Lee also foreshadows what is going to happen at the end of the chapter.
"It was unusually warm for the last day of October", "Jem teased. 'ain't you scared of haints' We laughed. Haints, Hot Steams, incantations, secret signs, had vanished with our years"
This quote shows that Jem and Scout are not scared of their childhood fears anymore, and the children are not expecting anything to happen. This builds tension. There is no moon so it is especially dark. Scout keeps tripping over roots and wishes that Jem had brought a flashlight.
All these things give the beginning of the chapter a very creepy start and foreshadows that something terrible is going to happen in this chapter.
Point of View
- Complex, vivid imagery used
- Ex: "Her face was the color of a dirty pillowcase, and the corners of her mouth glistened with wet, which inched like a glacier down the deep grooves enclosing her chin. Old-age liver spots dotted her cheeks, and her pale eyes had black pinpoint pupils. Her hands were knobby, and the cuticles were grown up over her fingernails."
- Provides vivid mental image of Ms. Dubose
- Forces the reader to use creativity and imagine Ms. Dubose
- Lee achieves this through clever use of similes and metaphors through the novel
- Conveys her idea of Ms. Dubose effectively
- Imagery consistently used throughout to describe many people/events/locations
- We can get a good idea of Scout, her family and neighbours, Maycomb and all the story events
Chapter 18: Mayella's Questioning
During the trial there is a great deal of suspense and excitement, but also sadness and anger. Harper builds suspense with Atticus' constant questions to Mayella, and his way of defending Tom Robinson. This is also a sad moment in the book. When it is learned that Atticus had lost the trial, its takes its toll on everyone, including the reader.
In the beginning of the chapter the Ewell's home life is revealed. This is shown on many occasions, such as when Mr. Gilmore asks Mr. Ewell the basic question of what his name is. Mr. Ewell is replies in a rude way to his own lawyer.
"Mr. Robert Ewell ?" asked Mr. Gilmore. "That's m'name, cap'n," said the witness.
As a further picture of the Ewell's home life is shown by Atticus' questions for Mayella. The reader thinks that the ridiculousness of the Ewells might make the jury vote in favor of Tom Robinson. The Ewells credibility is further put to question when Tom Robinson stands up and shows his useless left arm.
As well throughout this chapter Lee puts humor into the questioning of Mayella. Some may find amusing that Atticus makes Mayella look like a fool. "I-he slung me down. That's what he did, he slung me down'n got on top of me"(199). This quote suggest that Mayella didn't know what to say and had to re-think her answer. Through this chapter, we see the Ewells repeatedly stumble over their answers. This exposes the Ewells, and at this point, the reader is sure that the Ewells will lose. It is therefore a big shock to find out Atticus loses the case instead.
Perhaps most people like to see their enemies crumble. This makes us feel better about ourselves and more powerful. Therefore as a reader we would like to see Mayella who is essentially one of the the antagonist feel the pressure.
When Jem and Scout are walking home from the pageant, the tone changes to a much more serious one. The children are alone and without help
"We had not gone five paces before he made me stop again.' Jem are you trying to scare me? you know I'm to old- 'Be quiet' he said, and I knew he was not joking..... This was the stillness before a thunderstorm"
Harper Lee's builds suspense using elements of the supernatural that includes a false climax (when Cecil jumps out to scare them) which also foreshadows Bob Ewell's own unexpected appearance. All these events build tension for the actual climax.
1. Did To Kill a Mockingbird hold your interest? Why or Why not?
2. What is Lee's purpose in not telling us Scout's emotions about the different incidents that take place?
More Discussion Questions
1. Why do you think so many characters have nicknames?
2. Harper Lee calls her story "a love story". Do you think this is an appropriate characterization of the novel?
- Narrated from Scout's point of view
- First person
- Very factual (i.e. not many emotions displayed, mainly states events as they unfold with no feeling)
- Adult's perspective coupled with child's outlook
Chapter 11: Ms. Dubose dies
'“She was. She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine,
maybe… son, I told you that if you hadn’t lost your head I’d have made you go
read to her. I wanted you to see something about her—I wanted you to see what
real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his
hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway
and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.
Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she
died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew.”
Jem picked up the candy box and threw it in the fire. He picked up the camellia,
and when I went off to bed I saw him fingering the wide petals. '
- Very powerful chapter
- Hated character turned into the epitome of bravery
- Lack of emotion forces you to feel for yourself
- Careful word placement and well-crafted dialogue makes this one of the most emotional and moving chapters of the novel
- Lee has made you think that this was Ms. Dubose's way of punishing Jem
- Actually the only way for her to get rid of the morphine addiction
- Left out many details to provide the sudden emotional twist
- No suspense/warning/foreshadowing either
- Lee has made us truly feel for a minor character
- Very hard to usually do
- Lots of imagery used to describe Ms. Dubose, her house and their routine
- Makes it sound exactly as one would expect, i.e. boring, horrible, disgusting
- Many times we truly want to hate Ms. Dubose
“So you brought that dirty little sister of yours, did you?”, “Jeremy Finch, I told you you’d live to regret tearing up my camellias. You regret
it now, don’t you?”, “Thought you could kill my Snow-on-the-Mountain, did you? Well, Jessie says
the top’s growing back out. Next time you’ll know how to do it right, won’t you?
You’ll pull it up by the roots, won’t you?”, “Don’t you mutter at me, boy! You hold up your head and say yes ma’am. Don’t
guess you feel like holding it up, though, with your father what he is.”
- When Atticus reveals her real motives, we forget all the hate and admire her for her resiliency and her resolve to hold out until she broke her addiction
When Bob Ewell finally attacks the reader is worried about the characters. Since Harper Lee built a lot of tension throughout the chapter, the reader knows that something terrible was going to happen. When Bob Ewell finally gives chase to the kids, the reader wants to know what is going to happen.
"I felt the sand go cold underneath my feet and I knew we were near the big oak. Jem pressed my head. We stopped and listened. Shuffle-foot had not stopped with us this time. His trousers swished softly and Then they stopped. He was running, running toward us with no child's steps. "Run, Scout! Run! Run!" Jem screamed". I took one giant step and found myself reeling: my arms useless, in the dark, I could not keep my balance . "Jem, Jem help me , Jem!"
Here Lee paints the scene of two helpless children being chased by Bob Ewell. Although the reader has been suspecting something bad, Harper Lee still manages to create a lot of suspense in this scene through imagery.