To Kill a Mockingbird - PowerPoint

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					Introducing Harper Lee’s
To Kill a Mocking Bird
By: Rob Reetz
English Concepts 9B
Today’s presentation
   Harper Lee (Author)
   Setting
   Plot
   Characters
   Themes/Symbols
Harper Lee - author
Born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama
Youngest of four children
1957 – submitted manuscript for her novel; was
urged to rewrite it
Spent over two years reworking it
1960 – To Kill a Mockingbird (her only novel)
published
 Novel is based on her life growing up in Monroeville,
Alabama and experiencing the Scottsboro trials
SETTING – Time and Place
   Story takes place in the
    fictional town of
    Maycomb, Alabama
   From the years 1933–
    1935
   Historical context:
       Segregated South
       During the Great
        Depression
Major Historical influences
                  Jim Crow Laws
                  Scottsboro Trials
                  Recovering from
                   the Great
                   Depression
                  Racial Injustice
                  Poor South
Jim Crow Laws
   After the Civil War most states in
    the South passed anti-African
    American legislation. These
    became known as Jim Crow
    laws.
   Laws included segregation in…
       Schools
       Hospitals
       Theaters
       Water fountains
       Restaurants
       Hotels
       Public transportation
       Some states forbid inter-racial
        marriages
Scottsboro Trials
                       9 young African-
                        American men (13-20)
                        falsely accused of raping
                        2 white girls in 1931
                       Immediately sentenced to
                        death
                       Trials went on for nearly
                        15 years before all the
                        men were dismissed
                       Trials caused HUGE
                        uproar amongst the black
                        community
The Great Depression
   1929-1939 (start coincided with the great stock market crash
    of 1929
   Herbert Hoover was president but did little to stimulate
    economy
     Schools, farms and factories all shut down
     People could not pay their taxes
     Banks could not pay out money
     Some families became homeless and had to live in
        shanties
     Others relocated in search of jobs
The New Deal
                  Unemployment
                   reached 30% in 1933
                  It wasn’t until FDR
                   became president that
                   people began to
                   experience HOPE
                  FDR wrote and passed
                   through congress the
                   “New Deal” legislation
Plot – To Kill a Mockingbird
                     Story of a young girl whose
                      attorney father, Atticus Finch,
                      defends an African-American
                      man in the racially segregated
                      Deep South
                     Scout narrates in the first person,
                      telling retrospectively what she
                      saw, heard and thought at the
                      time
                     Novel is considered lighthearted
                      but deals with very serious
                      issues, including rape and racial
                      injustices
 Main Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
Scout (Jean Louise Finch) – six-year-old narrator of story
Jem (Jeremy Finch) – her older brother
Atticus Finch – Jem and Scout’s father, a prominent lawyer
Charles Baker (Dill) Harris – Jem and Scout’s friend who comes to visit his
aunt in Maycomb each summer
Arthur (Boo) Radley – a thirty-three-year-old recluse who lives next door
Tom Robinson – a respectable black man accused of raping a white woman
Calpurnia – the Finches’ black cook
Bob Ewell - A drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family.
Miss Maudie Atkinson
Scout (Jean Louise Finch)
                   Narrator and protagonist
                   Lives with her father,
                    Atticus, her brother, Jem,
                    and their black cook,
                    Calpurnia, in Maycomb
                   Intelligent tomboy
                   Scout has a basic faith in
                    the goodness of the
                    people in her community
Jem Finch                                    Atticus Finch
                                            Scout and Jem’s father
                                            Lawyer in charge of defending Tom
                                             Robinson in court.
                                                Robinson is charged with raping a
                                                 white woman
                                            One of few in Maycomb who
                                             believes in racial equality

   Scout’s older brother by 4 years
   Plays with and protects Scout
    throughout the novel
   Jem moves into adolescence
    during the story, and his ideals
    are shaken badly by the evil and
    injustice that he perceives during
    the trial of Tom Robinson.
    Dill Harris                                   Arthur “Boo” Radley

                                                 A recluse who never sets foot
                                                  outside his house
                                                 Dominates the imaginations of
                                                  Jem, Scout, and Dill.
                                                 Intelligent child emotionally
                                                  damaged by his cruel father, Boo
                                                  provides an example of the threat
   Jem and Scout’s summer neighbor and           that evil poses to innocence and
    friend                                        goodness. He is a “mockingbird”
   Small but confident boy with an active
    imagination.
   Dill is fascinated with Boo Radley and
    represents the perspective of childhood
    innocence throughout the novel.
   Based upon Harper Lee’s real neighbor
    Truman Capote
    Tom Robinson                              Calpurnia

                                        Finches’ black cook
                                        Stern disciplinarian and
                                         the children’s bridge
                                         between the white
                                         world and her own
                                         black community.
   black field hand accused of raping
    Mayella Ewell
   one of the novel’s
    “mockingbirds,” an important
    symbol of innocence destroyed by
    evil.
    Bob Ewell                         Miss Maudie Atkinson

                                                  Finches’
                                                  Neighbor

                                                  Shares Atticus’s
                                                  passion for
                                                   justice
   Drunken, mostly unemployed                    and is the
    member of Maycomb’s poorest                   children’s
    family.                                       best friend
   knowingly and wrongfully                      among
    accuses Tom Robinson of raping                Maycomb’s
                                                  adults.
    his daughter Mayella Ewell
   represents the dark side of the
    South: ignorance, poverty, and
    hate-filled racial prejudice.
Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird

   Coexistence of Good and Evil
       Are people essentially good or essentially evil?
       Involves the threat that hatred, prejudice, and ignorance
        pose to the innocent
   Importance of Moral Education
       Atticus devotes himself to instilling a social conscience
        in Jem and Scout.
   Existence of Social Inequality
       Differences in social status are explored largely
        through the…for example:
     Social Class in the Novel
This is probably
similar to how class                            Wealthy
structure existed
                                                Country Folk
during the 1930’s in
the South. The                                  "White Trash"
wealthy, although
fewest in number,                               Black
                                                Community
were most
powerful. The
blacks, although
great in number,       Examples of each social class:
were lowest on the     Wealthy - Finches
class ladder, and
thus, had the least    Country Folk - Cunninghams
privileges.            “White Trash” – Ewells
                       Black Community – Tom Robinson
Symbols from To Kill A Mockingbird
   Mockingbirds
       Story of innocents destroyed by evil, the “mockingbird”
        comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a
        mockingbird is to destroy innocence.
   Boo Radley
       the children’s changing attitude toward Boo Radley is an
        important measurement of their development from
        innocence toward a grown-up moral perspective
       Boo, an intelligent child ruined by a cruel father, is one of
        the book’s most important mockingbirds; he is also an
        important symbol of the good that exists within people.

				
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posted:2/12/2012
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