To kill a mockingbird

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To kill a mockingbird

  1. 1. To Kill a MockingbirdbyHarper Lee
  2. 2. Slides 1 -2: SummarySlide 3: Family TreeSlide 4: Character of Scout FinchSlide 5: Character of AtticusSlide 6: Character of Jem andSlide 7: Other important charactersSlide 8: Other important charactersSlide 9: ThemesSlide 10: ThemesSlide 11: ThemesSlide 12: ThemesSlide 13: Key Questions and QuotationsSlide 14: Summary – Key PointsIndex Page
  3. 3. Slide 1: Summary – Part 1• Scout Finch (the female narrator) lives with her brother Jem and their widowedfather Atticus in the small town of Maycomb in Alabama.• Atticus Finch is a lawyer in the town and as a result is well off. He is anupstanding citizen and an honourable man.• Scout and Jem befriend a young boy named Dill and we see the events of thestory through their eyes as the stories are narrated by Scout.• Dill becomes fascinated by a house called Radley place where Boo Radley lives.Boo Radley becomes a fascination for the children as they are left presents bythe strange man in a tree in his garden. These gifts are left during the firstsection of the novel.• The focus of the novel shifts when Atticus agrees to defend a local black manTom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white woman.• The case is particularly prominent in a predominantly white community whodisagree with Atticus’ role.• The Maycomb society are largely racist and as a result of Atticus’ role Jem andScout both suffer abuse from other children.• In the summer aunt Alexandra (Atticus’ sister) comes to live with Jem andScout. Dill is supposedly living with his ‘new father’ in a different town runsaway to join Scout and Jem in Maycomb.
  4. 4. Slide 2: Summary- Part 2• The Tom Robinson trial begins, Mayella Ewell is the woman who has accused Tomof rape.• At the trial Jem and Scout sit on the coloured balcony with the town’s blackcitizens. Atticus provides very clear evidence that Mayella and her father Bobare in fact lying. Mayella had propositioned Tom and was caught by her father, tocover her shame she accused Tom of rape.• Despite the impressive evidence which Atticus provides proving Tom’s innocencethe all white jury convict Tom.• Tom recognising his innocence tries to escape from prison but is shot. Jem’sfaith in the justice system is shaken and he becomes despondent and doubtful.• Bob Ewell believes he has been made a fool of and vows to seek his revenge onAtticus and the judge.• He abuses Tom’s widow and attempts to break into the judge’s house.• Eventually Bob attacks Jem and Scout on their way home from a Halloween party.• Boo Radley intervenes and saves the children. Boo attacks Ewell in his attemptto save the children and stabs him during the struggle. Bob Ewell is killed.• Boo carries a wounded Jem back into the house where the sheriff in a plea tosave Boo insists that Bob Ewell tripped over the tree and caused his own injuryby falling on his knife.• Boo once more disappears to live his solitary life.• Later on Scout feels as though she finally understands Boo. He has becomehuman to her no longer a shadow of danger or something to be feared.• Scout finally embraces her father’s attitude to show sympathy and understandingto all.
  5. 5. Slide 3: Characters – The Family TreeAtticus Finch –Father, lawyer, widowerJean Louise “Scout” Finch -The narrator and protagonist of the story“Jem” FinchArthur “Boo” RadleyA recluse who never setsfoot outside his house, Boodominates the imaginationsof Jem, Scout, and DillBob Ewell - Adrunken, mostlyunemployed member ofMaycomb’s poorestfamily“Dill” Harris - Jemand Scout’s summerneighbour and friendMiss MaudieAtkinson -The Finches’neighbour, a sharp-tonguedwidow, and an old friend ofthe familyCalpurnia - TheFinches’ black cookAunt Alexandra - Atticus’ssister, a strong-willed woman with afierce devotion to her familyMayella Ewell - BobEwell’s abused, lonely,unhappy daughterTom Robinson - The blackfield hand accused of rape Heck Tate - Thesheriff of Maycomb anda major witness at TomRobinson’s trial
  6. 6. Slide 4: CharactersScout Finch• At the beginning of the novel Scout is an innocent five year old, who has neverexperienced the evils of the world. As the novel progresses Scout comes face toface with the world’s evil in the form of racism and deceit.• As this progression happens the reader wanders whether or not Scout will come awayform her experiences with the same optimistic attitude she began with or will she bebruised and hurt like Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.• Scout is an unusual young lady. She learns to read before she even starts school, shefights boys without fear and exposes an ever confident attitude.• She is a bit of a tom boy in a very prim and proper town where ladies are expected tobehave like ladies.• Scout is definitely her father’s daughter, he has nurtured her mind conscience andidentity. Whilst girls Scout’s age are wearing dresses and playing with dolls Scoutwears overalls, climbs tress with Jem and fights.• Thanks to Atticus’s wise attitude Scout learns that the human race not only has thecapacity for great evil but also the capacity for great good, and that she must faceevery situation with sympathy and understanding.• Scout is not always tactful and does not grasp social niceties when she tells herteacher that one students is too poor to pay for lunch.• Scout fails to understand human ignorance at times and finds it hard to believe thather teacher openly criticises Hitler’s treatment of the Jews whilst being racistherself towards the black community.• Scout’s development into a person capable of understanding shows that whatever evilshe encounters, she will retain her conscience without becoming cynical or jaded.• By the end of the novel Scout has moved from a child to a near grown up with anunderstanding attitude.
  7. 7. Slide 5: CharactersAtticus Finch• Atticus is a well off man in the town of Maycomb especially since the novel is setduring the Great Depression, a time of widespread poverty.• Atticus is a man of intelligence, wisdom, calm and a model citizen in the town. As aresult Atticus is respected by everyone. He functions in this novel as a moralbackbone holding the Maycomb society together.• Atticus is called upon by the community in times of need however it is this samewillingness to help that results in Atticus falling out with many Maycomb citizenswhen he agrees to defend Tom Robinson.• Atticus’s actions make him the object of abuse and scorn in Maycomb. However he isclearly valued and after the trial his status in the town is restored.• Atticus practises the same sympathy and understanding that he preaches to Jem andScout, and he never holds anything against the people of Maycomb, despite theirracist attitudes.• Atticus knows that people are different good and bad, he shows admiration of thegood and understanding to the bad. He passes this on to Scout and it is this outlookwhich protects the innocent such as Scout from being destroyed by contact with evil.• Atticus is a well respected man however neither Jem nor Scout idolise him at thebeginning of the novel. Both children are embarassed that he is older than the otherfathers and that he does not hunt or fish.• Atticus shows his wise parenting in chapter 30 when he says “Before Jem looks atanyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him,”This attitude ultimately wins their respect.• Atticus is consistent throughout the novel despite his children’s evolving attitudes.He stands for justice and willing views the perspectives of others. He does notevolve during the novel but retains his qualities and sustains the role as moral guideand voice of conscience throughout the novel.
  8. 8. Slide 6: CharactersJem Finch• Jem is older than Scout and finds his life shattered during his experiencewith the Tom Robinson trial. This experience comes as Jem is enteringpuberty and leaves him feeling confused and disillusioned.• Jem becomes despondent and depressed when he discovers that justice doesnot prevail.• He feels vulnerable and confused. He tries to uphold the commitment tojustice that Atticus taught he and this remains throughout the novel.• Jem is not without hope unlike My Raymond. Atticus reassures Jem andassures him that he has to learn from what has happened.• Atticus’s prominence in Jem’s life seems to hold a promise of recovery forJem. Towards the end of the novel Jem begins to show that he has learnt apositive lesson from the trial. We see this in chapter 25 when he refuses tolet Scout squash a roly poly bug as it has done no harm. Jem now wants toprotect the fragile and harmless after witnessing the unfair treatment ofTom Robinson.• Jem resolution of his cynicism and his movement towards a happy life issupported at the beginning of the novel when Scout recalls that Jem’s initialinterest in Boo Radley strongly represented his ability to shed innocencewithout loosing hope.
  9. 9. Slide 7: CharactersBoo Radley• Boo is a recluse who never sets foot outside the house. He dominates theimagination of Scout, Jem and Dill and appears to be an evil and beast of aman.• He is a powerful symbol of goodness who is surrounded by evil.• He shows his goodness when he leaves presents for Jem and Scout and thensaves them from the evil Bob Ewell.• Boo was damaged by his cruel father and poses as a threat that evil canpossess innocence and goodness.• He is one of the novel’s ‘Mockingbirds’, a good person injured by the evil ofmankind.Dill• He is Scout and Jem’s friend and neighbour, he is a confident boy with anactive imagination.• He becomes obsessed with Boo.• He represents innocence and childhood in the novel.
  10. 10. Slide 8: CharactersBob Ewell and Mayella Ewell• Father and daughter of Maycomb’s poorest family. Bob knowingly knows that Tomis innocent and still accuses him of rape.• Bob represents the dark side of the south; ignorance, poverty and racialprejudice.• Mayella is abused, lonely, unhappy daughter.• Although we can pity Mayella because of her father, we cannot pardon her for hershameful indictment of Tom Robinson.Tom Robinson• A black man who works in the fields. He is accused of raping Mayella Ewell• Tom is another one of the novel’s ‘mockingbirds’ a very important symbol of aninnocent man who is destroyed by an evil racist.Miss Maudie Atkinson • A neighbour of Atticus. She is a sharp tongued widow and a friend of the family.• She has a passion for justice along with Atticus and is a friend to Scout and Jem
  11. 11. Slide 9: ThemesGood and Evil• The main theme in the novel is the exploration of moral nature of humans. Itis a exploration of whether people are essentially good or essentially evil.• The novel explores this idea through using Scout and Jem movement fromchildhood innocence to mature understanding adults.• As a result of this transition from innocence to experience, one of theimportant themes involves threat, hatred, prejudice, racism and ignorance.• These themes show how innocent people can be betrayed by ignorance.• Even Jem is victimized to an extent by his discovery of the evil of racismduring and after the trial.• Scout is able to sustain her faith in human nature.• The moral voice in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is embodied by Atticus Finch isunique in the novel because he understands people without loosing faith whenevil occurs.• Atticus accepts people for what they are good and bad qualities included.• Atticus accepts these points and tries to see life through other people’s eyes.• Atticus can admire Mrs Dubose’ s courage whilst in deplores her racism.• Scout learns from her father and at last sees Boo Radley in this way andaccept him for good and bad points
  12. 12. Slide 10: ThemesMoral Importance• The education of children forms a large part of the novel. In a sense thenovel plots the development of Scout and Jem from childhood innocence tomaturity.• The theme of education and moral importance is best shown between Atticusand Scout, as Atticus devotes himself to instilling a social conscience.• The scenes at school provide a direct comparison to Atticus’s effectiveeducation of his children, Scout is frequently confronted with teachers whoare frustrated by her attitude and fail to meet her needs.• The novel’s most important message is that the lessons of sympathy andunderstanding are the most vital.• Atticus’s ability to put himself in his children’s shoes and see theirperspective makes him an understanding and valuable teacher.
  13. 13. Slide 11: ThemesSocial InequalityThe social inequality in the novel is explored using the town of Maycomb and itscomplicated hierarchy.The Finch family are well off within the town largely due to Atticus’semployment. As a result most of the town’s people are beneath them.The country farmers the Cunninghams lie below the town’s people due to theirignorance whilst the Ewells are below the Cunninghams because of theirimmoral behaviour.The black community in Maycomb lie even further below the Ewells in spite oftheir admirable qualities and good will.It is this social hierarchy which allows the innocent Tom Robinson to be punishedby the evil Bob Ewell.These social divisions make up a large part of the adult world which Jem andScout see, and these divisions appear to be irrational and destructive.Social division ultimately epitomises the prejudice and ignorance of human nature.
  14. 14. Slide 12: ThemesSmall Town life• Lee focuses closely on the old fashioned small town values of Maycomb.• In order to contrast with the themes of ignorance and prejudice and the suspenseand tension of the novel. Lee emphasises the slow paced and good natured ambianceof small town Maycomb.• Lee juxtaposes small town values with images of evil, to show the forces of good andevil within the town. For example: The terror of the fire is contrasted with peopleof Maycomb coming together to save Miss Maudie’s valued possessions.Mockingbirds• The title carries great symbolic weight in the novel, as it represents good beingdestroyed by evil.• The mockingbird represents the idea of good- thus to kill a mockingbird is to destroyinnocence.• Throughout the novel Jem, Tom, Dill and Boo are all symbolised as mockingbirds – ieinnocents who have been destroyed through contact with evil.• This connection is explicit after Tom’s death Mr. Underwood compares his death to“the senseless slaughter of songbirds,”• Whilst Miss Maudie epitomises the concept of the novel when she declares• “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but . . . sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s asin to kill a mockingbird.”• The fact that Jem and Scout’s last name is Finch (a small bird) suggests that theyare vulnerable and innocent within this racist world.
  15. 15. Slide 13: Key Quotations and QuestionsKey QuotationsYou never really understand a person until you consider things from his point ofview . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. -Chapter 3 Atticus to Scout“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but singtheir hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”Chapter 10 Miss MaudieWinter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog.Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’schildren needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really knowa man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing onthe Radley porch was enough.Chapter 31 ScoutKey Questions1. How does the writer use the trial of Tom Robinson to bring out the themesand issues in this book – Edexcel June 20062. What do we learn about life in Maycomb county in 1930s from thepresentation of female characters in this book?You may refer to two or three characters. – Edexcel June 2006
  16. 16. Slide 14: Summary• Scout is the main female narrator – 5 years old at the start of the novel.• The novel focuses on her movement from innocent child to understandingadult.• The novel focuses on prejudice, racism, social class and the battle betweengood and evil.• The novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama during 1930s America – the time ofthe great depression.• Scout has an older brother Jem, her father is Atticus, they make up theFinch family.• Scout and Jem are friends with Dill – during their friendship they becomeobsessed with Boo Radley and he is portrayed as an evil character.• Scout and Jem are saved by Boo Radley at the end of the novel and theychange their opinion of him.• The main event of the novel is the trial of Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is ablack man accused of rape by Mayella Ewell. Atticus defends Tom andproves him innocent, however the all white jury find him guilty.• The trial of Tom has a huge impact on Jem and Scout. Jem becomesdespondent and depressed that justice fails, whilst Scout has to learn toaccept people for who they are.• The relationship Atticus has with his children is pivotal in the novel as heteaches them the most valuable lesson of all: To truly understand someoneelses point of view, accept people for who they are and accept their goodand bad points.

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