?To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee, 1960) Setting: To Kill A Mockingbird is a coming-of-age novel that takes place in Maycomb County, Alabama in the 1930’s. Plot Summary: Jean Louise Finch (Scout) starts out to be a very immature child not knowing the prejudice times that surround herself, her brother Jem, and her father Atticus Finch in the town on Maycomb. Scout must learn to mature as acquaintances accuse her father, a lawyer, of being a “nigger-lover” for defending a black man in trial for being falsely accused of raping a white girl. The mocking bird, symbolizing the black man, is eventually found guilty and is shot dead.
QUOTESANALYSIS/COMMENTARY 1. “In spite of our warnings and explanations, it drew him as the moon draws water. ” P. 9| 1. This comparison demonstrates just how much Dill was attracted and fascinated with the Radley Place. Dill is compared to water as the Radley place is compared to the moon. | 2. “The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. Walking South, once faced its porch; the sidewalk turned and ran beside the lot. The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the color of the slate-gray yard around it.
Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda…” P. 9 |2. The reader can vividly visualize the Radley’s home, as Scout describes it as a very gloomy place without color, and dark. Through this visualization, the reader can sense Scout’s uneasiness towards the Radley Place. | 3. “‘Ain’t got no mother,’ was the answer, ‘and their paw’s right contentious. ‘” P. 30 | 3. The author uses Burris Ewell’s nasty attitude in school to foreshadow the nastiness of Bob Ewell, the boy’s father. The ill mannered character of Burris is mirrored in his father.
The dirty outer character of the family trait matches the dirty inner character that follows from son to father. | 4. “Atticus said professional people were poor because the farmers were poor. ” P. 27 |4. This is ironic because professional people should be ‘rich’ because of where their job would place them and should not be dependent on farmers. | 5. “Atticus, the lawyer, knew his people, they know him, and because of Simon Finch’s industry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in town. ” P. 5 | 5.
Atticus seems to be a well-respected person in Maycomb, and since he is a lawyer he also must be fairly intelligent. Maycomb must be a relatively small town where everyone knows everyone of Atticus is indeed related to most of the people. It is most likely Atticus will play an important role in this book because of his position. | 6. “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. P. 295 | 6. Atticus explains to Scout that while she grows up black men will be abused and discriminated by white men because of their race, even if they are doing nothing and staying out of everybody’s way. And if a white man cheats a black man, it doesn’t matter how much that white man is worth, because he is worth nothing if he treats a person that way. | 7. “I never understood her preoccupation with heredity.
Somewhere, I had received the impression that fine folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land, the finer it was. ” P. 130 |7. Scout explains how differently she and Aunt Alexandra’s point’s of views were, how they view the world. Scout is far younger, but has a more mature understanding of people than Aunt Alexandra, demonstrating a keen sense of wisdom. | 8. “‘That’s because you can’t hold something in your mind but a little while,’ said Jem. It’s different with grown folks, we-‘ His maddening superiority was unbearable these days. he did not want to do anything but read and go off by himself. ” P. 138 | 8. The Finch’s children’s feelings towards each other change throughout the novel as Jem grows older and differences between brother and sister become more pronounced. Scout understands that Jem feels superior towards her and no longer treats her as a play mate. She wished they could play together like they used to. | 9. “‘Miss Jean Louise? ‘ I looked around. They were all standing. All around us, and in the balcony on the opposite wall, the Negroes were getting to their feet.
Revered Syke’s voice was as distant as Judge Taylor’s: ‘Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’. ‘” P. 211 | 9. The people on the balcony have great respect for Atticus due to how deeply he pursued the case and how well he defended Tom. Atticus worked to let the truth be known. When Reverend Sykes asks Scout to stand, she understands how much her father’s work means to him and the rest of those seated with her in the balcony. | 10. “‘Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. It’s because he wants to stay inside. P. 227|10. Jem is growing up and realizes that the myths about Boo are unlikely to be true. Jem has also grown distressed by the lack of honor in society, and realizes Boo might prefer to live alone rather than among corrupt men. | Conflict: The exposure of the evil side of human nature, mostly the guilty verdict in Tom Robinson’s trial and vengefulness of Bob Ewell. (Man vs. Man) Evidence: “Atticus looked like he needed cheering up. I ran to him and hugged him and kissed him with all my might. ‘Yes sir, I understand,’ I reassured him. ‘Mr. Tate was right. ‘ Atticus disengaged himself and looked at me. What do you mean? ‘ ‘Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it? ‘” P. 276 Tone: The tone is childlike, humorous, and critical of society. Evidence: “I didn’t say we were doin’ that, I didn’t say it! ” P. 49 “…I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. It’s because he wants to stay inside…” P. 227 Theme: Good and Evil must coexist. Quote: “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em. but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. ” P. 103