Document Sample
       learning outcomes
• Research the setting of TKMB, focusing on the black civil
  rights movements.
• Read the novel and make your own concise notes.
• Analyse the setting and demonstrate in writing how it
  relates to the themes.
• Identify 3 main characters and a range of minor characters
  explaining how they are used to highlight the novel’s key
• Analyse in depth two/three key scenes and discuss how
  language is used to create meaning. Link the scene with
  major themes in the novel.
• Discuss the wider messages present in the novel. Why is it
  a classic?
• Plan, draft and write a literary essay to level 2 NCEA
• Students will need to be able to write about plot, setting,
  character and theme.
To Kill a Mockingbird

     By Harper Lee
              Harper Lee
• Born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville,
• Youngest of four children
• Studied Law at the University of Alabama.
• Wrote the novel in the mid to late 1950’s
• Published in 1960 (her only published

  To Kill a Mockingbird is a conventional
  literary novel. This means, among other things
  that it:
• is written in a form of standard English which has a wide-
  ranging lexicon (vocabulary) . Contains regional language
  from the American ‘South’ - e.g. cootie, haint,
  scuppernongs, whistled bob-white.
• includes references to art and culture which the author
  expects the reader to know (or find out)
• relates principal events mostly in the past tense.
                       The Novel                                       (Dunne, 2004)

 In 1960, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird entered a national discourse in the throes of
Civil Rights reform. The story, with its climactic rendering of a racial injustice that reflects the
1930’s Scottsboro trials, immediately commanded nationwide attention. Within the year, it won
a Pulitzer Prize and immediately moved into classrooms. More than forty years later, after tens
of millions of copies sold, ten foreign language translations, a movie, a play, and much
censorship debate, Mockingbird remains a curricular centerpiece for examining the themes of
discrimination and justice in literature. The story, narrated from the perspective of the young
Scout, is strongly emotive, and the novel is in fact one of the top books “most often cited as
making a difference in people’s lives,” second only to the Bible (Johnson xi). Even in the
development of this project, the very mention of Mockingbird has sparked a nearly universal
response from readers across ages: “I love that book!”

        • Southern United States
        • 1930’s
          – Great Depression
          – Prejudice and legal segregation
          – Ignorance
 1930’s - Great Depression began
 when the stock market crashed in
         October, 1929
• Businesses failed,
  factories closed
   – People were out of work
   – Even people with money
     suffered because nothing
     was being produced for
• Poor people lost their
  homes, were forced to
  “live off the land.”
 Racial prejudice was alive & well.
Although slavery had ended in 1864,
old ideas were slow to change.
Racial separation (segregation)
      Gender Bias (Prejudice)
• Women were considered “weak”
• Women were generally not educated for
  occupations outside the home
• In wealthy families, women were expected
  to oversee the servants and entertain guests
• Men not considered capable of nurturing
              “White trash”
• Poor, uneducated white people who lived on
  “relief “
  – lowest social class, even below the poor
  – prejudiced against black people
  – felt the need to “put down” blacks in order to
    elevate themselves
                 Social Class
                The classic capitalist pyramid

The novel has a clear hierarchical social order

•   Wealthy – Finches.
•   Country Folk – Cunninghams.
•   White Trash – Ewells.
•   Black Community – Robinsons.
Legal Issues of the 1930’s which
        impact the story
• Women given the vote
  in 1920
• Juries were MALE
  and WHITE
• “Fair trial” did not
  include acceptance of
  a black man’s word
  against a white man’s
Prejudice in the novel

•   Scout (Jean Louise Finch) – 6 years old – narrator of the story.
•   Jem (Jeremy) Finch – Scout’s 10 year old brother.
•   Atticus Finch – The father of Scout and Jem. A prominent lawyer.
•   Calpurnia – the Finches’ black cook/maid.
•   Dill – (Charles Baker Harris) – Friend of Scout and Jem who visits his
    auntie in Maycomb each summer.
•   Tom Robinson – A black man accused of raping a white woman.
•   Arthur (Boo) Radley – A 33 year old recluse next door to the Finches’.
•   Bob Ewell – Unemployed white drunk – accuses Tom of raping his
    daughter Mayella.
•   Miss Maudie Atkinson – The Finches’ next door neighbor and family
•   Aunt Alexandra – Atticus’ sister, with traditional ‘Southern’ values.
               Point of View
• First person
  – Story is told by Scout, a 10-year-old girl

  – Harper Lee is actually a woman; Scout
    represents the author as a little girl although the
    story is not strictly autobiographical
            Reading the Novel

• Setting is all important –be aware of the
  “where” and “when” as you begin

• Point of View – the novel is shaped by the voice
  of a young girl who sees the story from a position
  of naïve acceptance

• “Goodness vs. Ignorance (Evil)” is an important
              First chapter
• Make short notes as you read through the
  first chapter, Just important information.
E.g. Atticus Finch is Lawyer in town.
• Complete Chapter I and take notes on the
  following information.
1. Characters
2. Event
3. response
            LESSON TWO
• Share chapter 2 notes with a partner.
• Class brainstorm on chapter 2.
• Jem and Scout at school
• Ms Caroline v Atticus
• Walter Cunningham Lunch money – poor
• nb what do we learn about Atticus and
  Cunningham 'payments'?
• Scout whipped by teacher – doesn't
  understand why.
       YOU TAKEN IN?
• what decade of the twentieth century is the novel set in?
• What style/type of narration does Harper Lee us to tell the
• Which state is Maycomb set in?
• Complete the important quote, “Maycomb was an ______
  town, but it was a ______ _______ when I first knew it.
• Describe one physical feature of Calpurnia.
• What is the nick name and real name of the “malevolent
  phantom” who lives three doors to the south of scout and
  her family?
                    Chapter two
• What was scout’s attitude towards school before she went?
• What is it about Scout’s character that gets her into trouble
  at school on her first day?
• How does the introduction of school into Scout’s life
  change her relationship with Jem?
• How would you describe Scout’s attitudes and feelings
  towards Walter?
• How does Lee use Scout’s experiences on her first day at
  school to question formal education systems? What does
  the writer seemingly abject to about the system?
• Read chapter three and continue making
  notes on character, theme and plot.
• Scout’s first experience away from home.
• She thinks people are the same everywhere
  and therefore the teacher should know the
  Cunninghams are poor and too proud to
  accept what they cannot pay for.
• Learns that the city people are different, and
  that people cannot be blamed for honest
             Miss Caroline
• Learns something too. In the morning she is
  disturbed when Scout tried to tell her about
  Walter but in the afternoon is willing to
  listen an explanation about Burris Ewell.
• Characters gain new insights from their
  associations with other characters.
                      Chapter 3
• What is a cootie?
• “In Maycomb Country, hunting out of season was a
  misdemeanour at law, a capital felony in the eyes of the
  populace”, explain in your own words.
• Why is Bob Ewell allowed to hunt out of season?
• Atticus says that you never really understand a person
  ‘until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. What
  does this mean?
• Fathers: Atticus/ Bob Ewell/ Nathan Radley
• Children: Scout/ Jem/ Dill/ Burris Ewell/
  Walter Cunningham.
• Education: Atticus/ Scout/ Miss Caroline/
  Burris Ewell.
     Implications and Inferences
• Good writers don’t explain every tiny detail but imply
   much that is not spelled out, leaving it to the reader to
   make inferences.
‘The tradition of living on the land remained unbroken’ until
Atticus ‘went to Montgomery to read law…’

What does example tell us about Atticus?
       The mockingbird theme
• ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’

• “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make
  music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up
  people's gardens, they don't nest in
  corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing
  their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin
  to kill a mockingbird. ”
The mockingbird of the proverb is a harmless
creature which does its best to please its
hearers by singing, but which is defenceless
against hunters. (Perhaps hunters with a sense
of sport would avoid the bird, as being too easy
a target.) The wrongness of killing the bird is
evident, but it becomes a metaphor for the
wrongness of harming innocent and vulnerable
                 Chapter 4

• Dill’s second year.
• The children find gifts in the oak outside the
  Radley’s place: chewing gum, coins, string
• Dill decides they should make Boo come
• The children play act his life.
               Chapter 5
• Scout responds to Jem’s growing closeness
  with Dill by spending time with Miss
• The boys try to get a note inside to boo;
  Atticus tells them to leave him alone.
           Character Sheets
Write two or three words or phrases to sum up
each of the following characters:
Scout, Atticus, Jem, Calpurnia, Dill, Miss
Caroline, Walter Cunningham, Burris Ewell,
Boo Radley and Miss Stephanie Crawford.
          Understanding the text
• Who is putting the gifts in the oak tree?
• What evidence is there that the children know Atticus
  would disapprove of Boo Radley game?
• Why does Scout begin to spend so much time with Mrs
• In what ways is Mrs Maudie like Atticus?
• Explain in your own words why Miss Maudie dislikes the
  ‘foot-bashing Baptists’?
• What do the children-especially Jem learn from the gifts in
  the tree?
             Understanding setting
Historical        Social     Geographic
      The gist
               Reciprocal reading
                    Players  interesting

• In groups you are going to read from the first page of
  chapter 6.
• After you have read the page you will clarify any words or
  phrases you didn’t understand.
• Discuss any questions you have about what happened
  (characters, plot, setting etc.)
• Note down what happened.
                Chapter 6
• On Dill’s last night, he and Jem decide to
  try and look inside Radley’s window.
• They are discovered by Mr Radley who
  fires a shot in the air.
• Jem loses his pants on the fence in his
  panic; later, he retrieves them.
                 Chapter 7
• Jem tell her that his pants had been mended
  and folded.
• They find string in the tree; in Oct, there are
  soap carvings, chewing gum, a medals, and
  an old watch.
• The hole in the tree has been cemented up.
                Chapters 4-7
• focus: Radley’s place and the kid’s reaction to it.
• A gap begins to form between Scout and the boys,
  she becomes uncomfortable with what they are
• The cement makes Jem feel deeply for Boo
  Radley and he cries. He realises Boo like leaving
  the articles, and he cannot understand how one
  man can be cruel to another.
                Chapter 8
• Mrs Radley dies.
• The children build a snowman that looks
  like Mrs Avery.
• Miss Maudie’s house burns down.
• Outside in the snow, Scout has a blanket put
  around her.
• What does the building of the snowman reveal
  about Jem?
• What does the fire reveal about the people of
• What important lesson does Scout learn from the
  destruction of Miss Maudie’s house?
• Why does Miss Maudie laugh when laugh when
  scout refers to the ‘absolute morphodite’?
          Prominent themes
• Courage: Miss Maudie’s house burned
  down, no self pity but build again. An
  example of quiet spectacular courage.
• Kindness: Boo and the blanket.

• Chapters 8-11 contain varieties of courage.
                    Key quotes
• “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.” (3)
• “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than
  a whisky bottle in the hand of your father.”(5)
• “I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always
  spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did.” (5)
• “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the
  facts” (7)
• Copy each of the quotes into your book.
• Under each quote identify who said it and
  briefly write what it reveals about a
  character or setting in the novel.
• Write a SEXY paragraph describing your
  impression of Scout, Jem or Atticus from
  the first 8 chapters.
• Remember to include key quotes from the
  text and examples.
                     Chapter 9
• Scout fights Cecil Jacobs over Atticus’s defence of Tom
  Robinson, even though she doesn’t understand.
• Christmas: Uncle Jack spanks Scout for fighting with
• An important chapter in understanding the novel.
• Atticus is appointed to defend Tom Robinson. Attitudes of
  the town and finch family are revealed.
• Francis, Cecil Jacobs echo adults’ views- Atticus is
  making a mistake, is letting down his family and the white
            Chapter 9 continued
• Scout wants to fight- with fists, because she knows no
  other way. She learns this is not the way to combat a
  dispute over ideas.
• Spanked unfairly, she sees injustice applied to her by
  someone she loves, and begins to realise that lack of
  knowledge and forethought often cause misguided action.
• Later when she sees injustice against Tom, she will have a
  better understanding of it.
                    Chapter 10
• A mad dog appears in the street. Cal calls Atticus, who
  comes home and shots it.
• Adds to Atticus’s character: quiet, serious, now shown to
  be brave. He does day to day actions so well that
  performing an extraordinary action comes naturally.
• Scout can still not understand why things should or should
  not be done; Jem is beginning to develop a sense of values.
  He understands that being a man is about knowing when
  and when not to speak.
• They begin to get an inkling of Atticus’s true courage. Not
  the mad dog but defying the entire town in the interests of
  justice and a fair trail.
• ‘Cause and Effect’
Complete each sentence on the sheet with the
matching cause from the list below. (21)
       Structure: Foreshadowing
• Throughout the early chapters, Harper Lee continually
  hints at events to come. This technique of giving clues to
  future events is called foreshadowing. It stirs the reader’s
  curiosity, increase interest and attention to detail and
  makes the story more realistic.

• Complete the ‘Foreshadowing’ worksheet. (22)
                    Chapter 11
• Mrs Dubose’s poisonous tongue takes on Atticus; Jem gets
  angry and destroys her camellias.
• Atticus sends Jem to read to Mrs Dubose; Scout
  accompanies him.
• After she has died, Atticus tells them she had been
  overcoming a morphine addiction
• Mrs Dubose shows another type of courage. Jem destroys
  camellias but they are strong and grow back, she sends one
  to Jem as a symbol of strength. She was almost destroyed
  by morphine but conquered it (camellias).
• Children have seen three types of courage:
1. Miss Maudie
2. Atticus
3. Mrs Dubose (facing a painful death).
• “If your father is anything, he’s civilised in
  his heart”
• “Simply because we were licked a hundred
  years before we started is no reason for us
  not to try to win”
• “Maycomb’s usual disease”
• “Shoot all the blue jays you want… but
  remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
• Given that it is as important as the Boo Radley story, why
  do you think Harper Lee waited until Chapter 9 to
  introduce the Tom Robinson plot?
• By the end of part 1, all the main characters have been
  introduced. Contrast is an important tool in a writer’s
  repertoire, particularly in creating character.
                 CHAPTER 12
• Cal’s church.
• Dill’s mother has remarried and he is not visiting Scout
  this summer.
• Cal takes Jem and Scout to her church.
• Aunt Alexander arrives.
• Greater distance developing between Jem and Scout. He
  understands more easily, is more serious.
• Cal comment to Lula, “It’s the same God, an’t it.”
• Jem insists on contributing to Helen Robinson’s appeal.
• Calpurnia’s lives ‘two lives’: suits her diction to her

• This chapter puts Jem and Scout into the Tom Robinson
                 CHAPTER 13
• Aunt Alexander wants Atticus to sack Calpurnia but he
• Introduces the theme of the importance of family
  background and the caste system in Maycomb.
• “I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people
  who did the best they could with the sense they had, but
  Aunt Alexander was of the opinion, obliquely expressed,
  that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of
  land the finer it was”.
          Compare and contrast
• By the end of part 1, all the main characters have been
  introduced. Contrast is an important tool in a writer’s
  repertoire, particularly in creating character.
• For each of the following pairs of characters, explain in
  what ways they are similar and in what ways different.
  Explain their relationship with scout and what effect each
  has on her. (23)
            Compare and contrast
•    Dill and Francis
•    Aunt Alexandra and Uncle Jack
•    Mr Avery and Miss Maudie
•    Miss Maudie and Calpurnia
•    Aunt Alexander and Atticus

1.   Similarities
2.   Differences
3.   Relationship with Scout
4.   Effect on Scout
• Harper Lee also contrasts the way Atticus is rearing his
  children with the way his family thinks he should.
• What does he do and allow that they disapprove of? Who
  does the novel suggest is right? (24)
• Many things in this novel have symbolic
  significance. We will look at this in the
• What do you think Mrs Dubose’s camellias
  might symbolize?
• Strength.
• White colour of purity, perhaps that represent the purity
  she can not achieve until she beats her morphine addiction.
• The whiteness of the flower could also represent the
  racism of the town.
• Jem destroys the flowers in protest of Mrs Dubose’s
  Imagery and Vivid Description
• Imagery refers mainly to figures of speech- similes,
  metaphors, personification- that create vivid mental
  pictures. However the term is often extended to language
  that appeals to any of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste,
  touch and smell.
• Reread the descriptions of the following incidents, all
  taken from 10 and 11. Identify and quote examples that
  appeals to one of the five senses. Decide what mood the
  image helped to create.
           Chapters 10 &11
1. The neighbourhood waits and watches for
   Atticus to shoot the mad dog

2. Jem and Scout wait for Atticus to come
   home after Jem has vandalised Mrs
   Dubose’s camellias. (25)
              Chapter 11
1. Scout and Jem go to Mrs Dubose’s house
   for the first time.
                     Chapter 14
• Aunt Alexandra wants Atticus to sack Cal but he refuse.
• Jem ask Scout to not antagonise Aunt Alexandra; they
• Scout finds Dill under the bed, Jem tells Atticus, Dill is
  allowed to stay.
• Re-emphasises Alexandra’s negative feelings towards
  Negroes. She sees the family name in danger by the
  Robinson case and Cal’s influence.
• Character contrast: Alexandra puts faith in family name at
  expense of truth and personal happiness. Dill ran away
  from home to find happiness; mere home and family name
  insufficient. Dill had courage to seek happiness instead of
  resigning to false values system.
                    Chapter 15
• Heck Tate and a few others visit Atticus to express their
  fear for Tom overnight in the jail.
• Following night, Atticus keeps watch, kids come down and
  discover a lynch mob.
• Scout shames them into going home, Mr underwood was
  covering Atticus with a shot gun.
• Jem witnesses both scenes and is frightened both times-
  first out of ignorance, the second in face of real danger.
  First time he panics, the second time he stands beside his
  father. Knowledge has given him control over the
             Chapter 16
        Maycomb goes to court.
• The children discuss the events of the night before.
• Crowds arrive for the trial- the court house is packed.
• The children disobey orders and go to the court house: they
  sit with the Negroes in the Coloured balcony
              Series of contrasts

1. To Aunt Alexandra, a Negro is a servant, and inferior.
    Underwood despises Negroes but supports Atticus.
2. Miss Maudie and the Baptists; she wont’s go to the trail,
    yet they condemn her.
3. Dolphus Raymond lives with a Negro woman; does what
    he wants despite local criticism, he can afford to.
4. Atticus was appointed to case so defends to the best of his
    ability, objectionable to many.
• Authors sympathies, seen through Scout’s eyes, lie with
   Atticus and those who have the courage to do what is
   morally right, even if distasteful.
       Conflict Chapter 12-15
• There are a number of conflicts that occur
  in the book, both external and internal
• What is the difference between internal and
  external conflict?(29, 41)
   Understanding chapter 16-20
• Check that you have understood what you
  have read by completing the following
  sentences. (32, 41).

• Cause and effect (32, 42).
      Imagery: chapters 16-20
• Identify the following as simile, metaphor
  or personification, and comment on the
  effect of each. (33, 43)
                 Analysing the trial.
• Summarise the main points of the trail under two heading:
• Prosecution and Defence.
Heck Tate, the sheriff:
On the left list the main points of his testimony; on the right,
list the points Atticus elicits in cross-examination.
   Prosecution                   Defence
   • He was fetched by Bob       • No one called a doctor to
     Ewell                         confirm rape.
   • Told a Negro had raped      • Her injuries were on her
     Mayella                       right side and round her
   • Found Mayella beaten up       neck.
   • She identified Tom as her
               Analysing The Trail
Bob Ewell
On the left, summarise Ewell’s ‘evidence’; on the right, the
points Atticus elicits in cross-examination.

    Evidence                  Cross examination
                Mayella Ewell
Comment on Mayella’s motivation in accusing Tom, and her
reaction to Atticus.

     Evidence                Damming revelations
                   Tom Robinson
Admissions he makes that condemn   Defence
            Closing remarks
• Who is Atticus really condemning when he
  addresses the jury? What is the target of his
  final plea?

• Complete ‘arguing the case’ worksheet. (36,
• Vocabulary exercise 2.
• (34,44)
• Finish the book!
                   Quiz (21-26)
• What is significant about the description of the delivering
  of the verdict?
• Why do the Negroes all stand as Atticus leaves the
• What information does Dill reveal about Miss Rachel?
• What is ironic about the reactions of Atticus and Aunt
  Alexandra to Bob Ewell’s threats?
• Why do they react differently?
• In your own words, explain why Women are not allowed
  on juries. Why does Atticus approve of this?
• What is ironic about the missionary society’s
• What is hypocritical about Miss Merriweather and the
  other women’s championing of the work of the saintly J.
  Grimes Everett in Mruna jungle?
• “His food doesn’t stick going down, does it?” Explain
  what Miss Maudie means.
• What attributes of being a lady does Scout learn to value in
  this chapter?
• What hypocrisy does Scout highlight, with regards to Miss
  Gates? (p38-39)
                   Chapter 27

• Bob Ewell repeats his threats against Atticus; Judge
  Taylor’s house is broken into; Ewell harasses Helen
  Robinson until Link Deas stops it. (Foreshadows?)
• Maycomb plans Halloween pageant, at which Scout is to
  play a ham.
                       Chapter 28
• Jem takes Scout to the Pageant.
• They are followed; and attacked near the oak tree; Jem is carried home
  by their rescuer.
• Doctor and Sheriff are called: Jem has a broken arm and both children
  are bruised and battered.
• Heck Tate reports that Bob Ewell has been stabbed to death.
• Suspense carefully built. Children are frightened by Cecil Jacobs;
  come alone in the park past the Radley house; slow build up to attack
  by Ewell- they know they are being followed; Scout handicapped by
  her ham costume and her bare feet.
• Climax of both plots: Ewell is killed by Boo Radley.
                Chapter 29 & 30

Chapter 29:
Scout tells her story and finally meets Boo Radley.

Chapter 30:
Atticus assumes it was Jem that stabbed Bob, and wont
consider covering it up.
Heck Tate insists Ewell fell on his knife- to protect Boo from
                     Chapter 31

• Scout takes Boo home. She stands on the Radley porch and
  looks at the street as he has seen it.
• The story ends with justice finally done. Boo Radley, the
  alleged villain, has been the instrument of justice for a
  town too cowardly to face the truth.
• Boo is seen in a different light; while they were spying, he
  was watching. Despite their trying to annoy him, he
  watches over them, comes to their aid, saves their lives.
• Scout’s understanding of the world has grown. She has
  learned tolerance and sees Atticus’s meaning, i.e. never
  judge anyone else’s ideas until she had looked at them
  from their point of view.
• “a low-down skunk with enough liquor in him to make him
  brave enough to kill children… some kind of men… ain’t
  worth the bullet it takes to shoot them”

• “There’s a black boy dead for no reason and the man
  responsible for it is dead. Let the dead burry the dead.”

• “Thank you for my children, Arthur.”
• Copy each of the quotes into your book.
• Under each quote identify who said it and
  briefly write what it reveals about a
  character or setting in the novel.
         Cause and Effect 3:
           chapters 21-31
• Complete the statements on the worksheet
  with the reason that they happened.
• One has been done for you. (40)
• Complete the character match up
           Understanding the text.

• In pairs answer the following questions:
1. How does Harper Lee create an atmosphere of mounting tension
   before the attack on Scout and Jem?
2. What is the significance of the pageant to the themes of the novel?
3. Why- from a plot point of view- is Scout dressed as a ham?
4. Why is it necessary for the plot for her to miss her cue?
5. Read both the first account of the attack, and scout’s description to
   Heck Tate and list the events, in order, of the attack.
6. Who does Atticus think killed Bob Ewell? Who is Heck really trying
   to protect?
7. Where does Heck Tate say he got the switchblade knife? Whose knife
   is it really?
            Three ideas developed.
•    What are the three main ideas?
1.    Education
2.    Courage
3.    Prejudice

Importance of education to Atticus made clear in the first
chapter when Jem tells Dill that Scout has known how to read
“since she was born”.
Atticus reads to the children from newspapers and magazines
as if the are adults who can understand issues at his level.
            Education continued
• What happens to on Scout’s first day at school?
• During his closing arguments Atticus says, “the witnesses
  for the state… have presented themselves to you
  gentlemen… in the cynical confidence that their testimony
  would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would
  go along with them on the …evil assumption… that all
  Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings,
  that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our
  women, an assumption one associates with minds of their
• What is the key to breaking this ignorance?
• Children learn powerful lessons from Atticus regarding
  courage and cowardice.
• What are Atticus’s views on guns?
Courage is not a man with a gun.

• Why does Atticus send Jem to read to Mrs Dubose?
“when you know you’re licked before you begin but you
begin anyway and you see it through no matter what”

Atticus refuses to carry a gun to protect Tom Robinson from
angry farmers and refuses to carry a gun to protect himself
from Bob Ewell.
             Courage continued
• Bravery runs much deeper than refusing to carry a gun.
   What is the most courageous thing Atticus does on the
Taking Tom’s case, knowing that the town will turn against
him and his family.
• When does Jem show bravery?
Refusing to leave his father’s side during the showdown with
the lynch mod at the jail.
• When does Scout show bravery?
Learns that it takes more courage to walk away and not fight
when people antagonise her.
           Prejudice in all it forms
• What are the three types of prejudice in the novel?
• Together they create a graphic picture of a restrictive society that
  prefers to cling blindly to what has always been, rather than change its
  ways and accept change and progress.
Tom Robinson case
• Deals with racial prejudice head on.
• “niggers” and “boy”
• Black people occupy the lowest class level of Maycomb.
• The fact that Atticus knows he has no chance of winning his case
  because Tom is black is the most explicit indicator of deep-rooted
• Atticus articulates his views on racism during his closing argument.
         Gender roles and class distinctions.
• The whole town subscribes to traditional gender roles and class
    distinctions, but who is the character that reinforces these notions the
Aunt Alexandra
Why does she believe the Finch family deserves greater respect than
others and they must conduct themselves according to their status?
They come from a long line of landowners and have been in the county
for generations.
What are two examples of Aunt Alexandra refusing to let Scout mix with
those not of the same social class?
Cal’s home and Walter Cunningham to lunch.
How does Atticus contrast Aunt Alexandra?
“walk in their skin”
               Gender roles continued
• Who illustrates the expected behaviour of southern
The gossiping and hypocritical missionary circle, and by Miss
Stephanies and the Miss Rachels.
Who is a female exception in the novel?
Mrs Maudie. Who often keeps quiet rather than contradict or
condemn her own sex.
How dies Scout feel about the steroetypes imposed on her?
Hates wearing dresses and thinks being referred to as a lady is
an insult (Jem).
Who is an ideal worth aspiring to?
Mrs Maudie.
 Themes that you could drive and essay with

• All people are created equal so we should treat everyone as
  equal no matter what.
• True courage is facing up to whatever obstacle you
  encounter, even though it may seem impossible that you
  will succeed.
• Hypocrisy is cruel and unjust.
• Reading is one of life’s most important skills. It helps us to
  understand ourselves, our relationships and the world
  around us.
• Persecuting someone because they have black skin is
           Themes are developed through
• Parallels:
1. The Tom and Boo plots and the mockingbird symbol.
2. Boo and Dill
3. Tom and Jem both have damaged left arms
4. Miss Maudie and the Black community both provide food for the
   Finches after the trail.
5. Same Language used for the shooting of the mad dog and the
   delivering of the verdict.
                    Themes continued

• To truly understand a person you need to learn to
  empathise with them.
• It is important to fight with your head and not your fists.

G/W: In small groups discuss one of the major themes of
TKMB and how Lee conveys these themes in the novel
through her use of character, plot and setting. (I will assign
you a theme)

G/W: Report back to the whole class on your theme.
                   Symbol and motif
• A symbol is used to represent ideas and themes and the
  repeated symbol of the mockingbird represents several
  things in the novel. There are also other symbols present.
• Which of the following characteristics are typical of a
• A bird that hurts no one.
• An innocent song bird.
• A hunting bird.
• Ill treated and shot by humans
• A bird that damages crops
• A bird that steals another birds nest.
• You will write two paragraphs. One paragraph on how
  these characteristics of a mockingbird apply to Tom
  Robinson and one on Boo Radley.
• Remember to structure your paragraphs well and use
  examples from the text.
• How could the symbol of the mockingbird apply to these
• Atticus, Dill, Mayella, Dolphus Raymond and his family?
• Tom is vulnerable because he is a black, disabled, living in
  a racist community; accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
• Boo Radley is vulnerable because he has been
  psychologically affected by being confined to his house for
  so many years.
• Both have harmed no one but and yet are placed on trail, in
  different ways, by the community.
• The mockingbird is the state bird of Alabama. Many
  people have written poems about it (Walt Whitman) and
  some people believe when the mockingbirds fall silent this
  signifies that something bad is going to happen.
            Symbols that develop theme
• What themes does Lee develop with the mockingbird
That it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.
The idea of standing in another person’s shoes and trying to
see things from that person’s viewpoint.
Mentioning of a mockingbird
1. Atticus gives the children guns at Christmas time.
2. When B.B underwood writes about Tom Robinson’s
    death in his column.
3. A mockingbird sings before Bob Ewell attacks Jem and
4. Scout agrees with Atticus that publicising Boo’s rescue of
    them would be like killing a mockingbird.
                      Other symbols
• Boo Radley:
 fear of the unknown. Small town folk fear that if they act eccentric and
fail to adhere to social rules they too will end up like Boo. This fear keeps
individuals from standing up for what they believe in. Until people can
understand and accept Boo, like Scout at the end of the novel, they will
always be stuck in a world filled with fear, lies and ignorance.
• Tom Robinson:
Withered arm?
What is revealed through Tom’s trail?
• Guns:
Represent false strength. Neighbours use guns to the detriment of
developing their own personal strength.
             Symbols continued
• Snow man:
what was it made from?
What does this suggest?

• The house fire:
Burns down Mrs Maudie’s house and melts the snowman?
Represents the moral outrage and fear of racial mixing, and
also stands for the community’s fiery stance on such a think
                    Symbols continued
• Mad dog:
The madness of racism that exists in Maycomb, made explicit
in the language used to describe the shooting and the trail
It confines the entire white neighbourhood to their homes,
just as bigotry confines people.
Atticus is relied on to shoot it, just like he is relied on to shoot
the racism that exists. What is different between them
How are the mad dog and Bob Ewell similar?
                  Symbols continues

• White camellia:
Purity, they are Mrs Dubose’s pride and joy. They represent
the purity she can not attain until later in the novel.
Could also represent the racism of Maycomb. Therefore Jem
is attacking racism not the flowers.
“ next time you will know how to do it right, wont you?
You’ll pull it up by the roots, wont you?”
• Part one: Scout, Jem and Dill are absorbed in childish
  games and fantasies.

• Part two: they are forced to face more serious situations.

• During the first part of the novel, Lee constructs a sweet
  and affectionate portrait of growing up in the vanished
  world of small town Alabama. Then she undermines her
  portrayal to reveal a rotten, rural underside filled with
  social lies, prejudice, and ignorance.
                  Structure and style
• Use of irony and symbolism, the use of language
   appropriate to character and situation, and a carefully
   planned structure.
• The order of events is chronological, apart from a mention
   in the first paragraph of the elbow Jem breaks in the
• The fundamental structure of the novel is a series of
   parallels and contrasts.
1. Incidents involving Burris and Walter foreshadow what
    their fathers do in the second part of the book
2. The courage displayed by Atticus, Mrs Maudie and Mrs
    Dubose prepare the children to cope with the trial.
                     Narrative style
• Naïve narrator.
• Language not limited to a six year old, the language is
  often an adult Scout looking back on the events of these
  years, Although the children’s dialogue remains authentic.
• She is too young to be aware of all the complexities of
  adult world, so that many of the things she reports have
  meaning to the reader even though Scout does not
  understand them.
• She has no comprehension of the complex web of sexual
  fears and racial prejudice that made so many white
  southerners recoil in horror at the very idea of sexual
  contact between a white woman and a black man.
       Narrative style continued
• What are the effects of seeing the trail through Scout’s
Emphasises the injustice of the trial, as seen through the
innocent eyes of a young girl.
She offers no overt social criticism.
Her view of right and wrong is simple and not influenced by
social prejudice.
The inability of the narrator to understand the injustice of
Tom’s conviction reflects the enlightened outsider’s
perception of justice being destroyed by prejudice.
• The missionary circle’s concern for the distant Mrunas
  while the local Negroes are being badly treated.
• Miss Gate’s concern about prejudice against the Jews in
  Nazi Germany. “Jem , how can you hate Hitler so bad, an’
  then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home?”
• Boo Radley believed to be a monster, eventually saves
  Scout and Jem from Bob.