To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Student Reading Response

Report
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Student Reading Response Journal Notes
• S
Chapter __1_ Title: ______________
Significant Quotation:
“Maycomb County had recently been told it had nothing
to fear but fear itself” (Lee 6).
_______________________________________
Comprehensive Check: (Chapter Summary)
_______________________________________
Writing Topic Journal Quick write):
The Radley house is both enticing and
frightening fo rthe children. Describe a
childhood fear or mystery you recall.
To Kill a Mockingbird as a great deal of
“Life Laws”…
“Laws of life are ethical principles, core values,
positive character traits that help people live life
successfully. Laws of Life are typically defined
by-love, service, perseverance, honesty, respect,
responsibility and courage. These values are
recognized to be life affirming, support positive
citizenship, and transcend religion, culture and
national borders.”
Laws of Life
• Throughout the TKAMB unit, we will be
discussing how ethical principles or laws of life
are demonstarted by charcters in TKAMB.
• Our goal is to think deeply about how laws of
life helped characters in TKAMB and
ultimately, how laws of life may help us live
successfully today.
Chapter __2_ Title: ______________
Significant Quotation:
_______________________________________
Comprehensive Check: (Chapter Summary)
_______________________________________
Writing Topic Journal Quick write):
On my first day of high school…
Setting in
To Kill a Mockingbird
MAYCOMB:
is small, everyone knows what goes on there, and
there's rarely any excitement. Scout describes it as being an old,
humid, sleepy and laidback town where everyone knows each others
business.
The differences in social status are explored largely through the
overcomplicated social hierarchy of Maycomb, the ins and outs of
which constantly baffle the children. The relatively well-off Finches
stand near the top of Maycomb’s social hierarchy, with most of the
townspeople beneath them. Ignorant country farmers like the
Cunninghams lie below the townspeople, and the white trash
Ewells rest below the Cunninghams. But the black community in
Maycomb, despite its abundance of admirable qualities, squats
below even the Ewells. Maycomb is a racist community.
Setting in
To Kill a Mockingbird
• The Radley Home: the house stands out from
everything else in the town ... there are all sorts
of rumors about it and kids were thought to
never go inside. It also signifies the odd and
unknown that the society tries so hard to push
aside and sort of isolate. And Scout comes as a
character that will break all rules and disobey and
in the end be the one person that did the right
thing. So in general, the house is a turning point
in the book since it bring not just mystery but
also answers to questions that people avoided for
so long.
Setting in
To Kill a Mockingbird
• The School: Scout was really looking forward to it.. "I
never looked forward more to anything in my life." is
what she recalls. She had spent a lot of time spying on
the schoolyard from the tree house getting to know
the games and their other activities.
• School is filled with rules that Scout does not like. Miss
Caroline asked Scout to stop having Atticus read to her.
• She was punished for sticking up for Walter
Cunningham.
• She wants to fight students at school for calling Atticus
names due to the trial of Tom Robinson.
Setting in
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Courthouse: the courthouse was
segregated, the African Americans had to sit in
the upper level where it was hotter and the
whites were on the main level, the courthouse
was very loud and crowded with people from
the town. It is significant to the theme and plot
in the novel. It is where the trial of Tom
Robinson takes place.
THEME MAPPING
• COURAGE: Lee portrays courage in the characters of Atticus Finch,
Mrs. Dubose and Boo Radley.
• Atticus: It takes courage for Atticus Finch to go against people's
beliefs in order to do what he believes was morally right.
• Mrs. Dubose: is courageous because she recognizes she has a flaw
and that she has to help fix it to make it go away. She is addicted to
Morphine and makes a goal to die free from her weakness.
• Boo Radley: is a reclusive person, due to being shunned the society
and it takes courage for him to come out of his house, even to save
Scout's life. Even after he saves her life, he is scared, although he
does not run away once he knows she is safe.
THEME MAPPING
Education:
The theme of education runs throughout the novel, although
not always based in the school. It initially shows Scout
realizing that school is not what she was looking forward to,
as the teacher is patronizing and sensitive, where as the
children are intelligent and used to a harsher environment.
Miss Caroline doesn’t understand the ways of the small town,
and the small town doesn’t understand the ways of Miss
Caroline, leading to a breakdown in communication and
general progress and therefore preventing proper education
taking place.
THEME MAPPING
The Loss of Innocence:
• Jem realizes that there are more than one type of people in the world, and not his
previous childish thought that everyone is kind, understand and has good morals
like his father, Atticus. He loses his innocence when he sees the injustices in the
world after the trial, and starts to understand why things such as Tom Robinson’s
trial go so wrong. He has grown up and from that he has taken with him important
lessons. He learns there are many different people in the world, and a lot of them
are stuck in their ways and cannot accept people that are different from them,
such as African Americans, and that is why people discriminate against them.
• At the very end of the book, Scout losses her innocence when she realizes that
Boo Radley has given so much to them- gifts in the tree, a warm blanket on a cold
night, folded up pants on a fence and their LIVES, but they have never repaid him.
Good neighbors would have given back to him and reached out to him, and she is
old enough now to realize that she should have, but she did not. She looses her
innocence when she discovers that he is not a crazy, seven foot man who eats
squirrels and that it was wrong to believe so. Scout thought her game with Jem
and Dill, the "Radley Game", was just innocent and harmless fun, but really she
was just as bad as the rest of the community for making fun of an innocent man
who minds his own business.
THEME MAPPING
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•
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Prejudice and Social Change: Atticus Finch represents a strongly principled, liberal perspective that
runs contrary to the ignorance and prejudice of the white, Southern, small-town community in which he lives.
Atticus is convinced that he must instill values of equality in his children, counteracting the racist influence.
The children's attitudes about Boo represent in small scale the foundation of racial prejudice in fear and
superstition.
The rabid dog that threatens the town has been interpreted as symbolizing the menace of racism. Atticus's
shooting of the rabid dog has been considered by many critics as a representation of his skills as an attorney in
targeting the racial prejudices of the town.
The central symbol of the novel, the mockingbird, further develops the theme of racial prejudice. For Christmas,
Scout and Jem are given air rifles by their father, who warns that, although he considers it fair to shoot other birds,
he views it a “sin to kill a mockingbird” because they “don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.” The
mockingbird represents victims of oppression in general, and the African-American community more specifically.
The unjust trial of Tom Robinson, in which the jury's racial prejudice condemns an innocent man, is symbolically
characterized as the shooting of an innocent mockingbird.
Toward the end of the novel, Scout realizes that submitting Boo to a trial would be akin to shooting a
mockingbird—just as the prejudice against African Americans influences the trial of Tom Robinson, the town's
prejudices against the white but mentally disabled Boo would likely impact a jury's view.
The concept of justice is presented in To Kill a Mockingbird as an antidote to racial prejudice. As a strongly
principled, liberal lawyer who defends a wrongly accused black man, Atticus represents a role model for moral and
legal justice. Atticus explains to Scout that while he believes the American justice system to be without prejudice,
the individuals who sit on the jury often harbor bias, which can taint the workings of the system. Throughout the
majority of the novel, Atticus retains his faith in the system, but he ultimately loses in his legal defense of Tom. As a
result of this experience, Atticus expresses a certain disillusionment when, at the conclusion of the book, he agrees
to conceal Boo's culpability in the killing of Ewell, recognizing that Boo would be stereotyped by his peers. Atticus
decides to act based on his own principles of justice in the end, rather than rely on a legal system that may be
fallible.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Scout Finch: Scout (Jean Louise Finch)
• The narrator and main character who begins her story at
almost six years old. A rebellious tomboy, Scout has a fierce
disposition toward any who challenge her, but at heart she
believes in the goodness of people. Scout reacts to the
terrible events of the book without losing hope in humanity.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Jem (Jeremy Finch)
• Scout's older brother, who is nearly ten at the beginning of
the story. Jem is quieter and more reserved than his sister,
and has very high standards and expectations for people.
When these expectations are not met, Jem has a difficult time
resolving his feelings.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
•
•
Atticus Finch
The father of Scout and Jem, Atticus is a lawyer and an extremely morally upright
man who strives to deal with everyone fairly. Atticus is sometimes overly
optimistic, but his unshakable hope in mankind and self-created role as the town
'do-gooder' sustain him. Atticus' wife died when Scout was very small, and he
has raised his children only with the assistance of Calpurnia, his black
housekeeper and cook.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Calpurnia
• A black woman who works as the Finch family's cook
and housekeeper. She is one of the many motherly
figures in Scout's life and one of the few who can
negotiate between the very separate black and white
worlds of Maycomb.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Dill (Charles Baker Harris)
•
A friend of the Finch children, who is a little older than Scout, quite short for his age, has an
active imagination, and exhibits a strong sense of adventure. He initiates the first expeditions
toward the Radley house, and is Scout's best friend. His family life is less than ideal, and he
tends to resort to escapism when confronted with difficult situations. Dill spends summers
with his aunt, who lives next door to the Finch family.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Bob Ewell
•
An evil, ignorant man who belongs to the lowest substratum of Maycomb society.
He lives with his nine motherless children in a shack near the town dump.
Evidence from the trial suggests that he caught his daughter kissing Tom,
proceeded to beat her, and then encouraged her to claim Tom raped her. He drinks
heavily and spends his relief checks on whiskey rather than food for his family. Bob
holds a strong grudge against Atticus and attacks his children at the end of the
novel.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mayella Ewell
• The oldest of the many Ewell children, at age nineteen. She lives a
miserable and lonely existence, despised by whites and prohibited from
befriending blacks. However, she breaks a social taboo by trying to seduce
Tom, then reacts with cowardice by accusing him of rape and perjuring
against him in court.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Boo Radley
•
A recluse who never emerges from his house. As a young boy, he was in trouble
with the police, and his strictly religious and reclusive parents have kept him
indoors ever since. A prisoner in his home, he stabbed his father with scissors
once, and no one has seen him since. The town has developed a myth that he is an
insane monster who wanders around at night peering into people's windows.
Throughout the book, he lives with his brother, who is highly controlling.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Reverend Sykes
• The reverend for the all-black congregation, First
Purchase African M.E. church, which Scout and Jem
visit one day with Calpurnia.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mrs. Dubose
• A mean, sick, very old woman who lives near the Finch family.
Jem unknowingly assists her with her heroic attempt to
conquer her morphine addiction, a fight that wins her
Atticus's highest praises.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Stephanie Crawford:
is the neighborhood gossip who claimed that she once saw Boo Radley from her bedroom
standing outside of her cleaned window one night. Crawford is one of the first on the scene
after a loud gunshot is heard behind the Radley house. Because she is the neighborhood
gossip, it is unwise to think of anything that she says as true, because most of the time it is
not true at all. She is a friend of Alexandra Finch. She lets Miss Maudie live with her when
Miss Maudie's house burns down., supposedly in order to steal Miss Maudie's Lane cake
recipe. She is thrilled to pass on gossip to the kids about Boo Radley.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Maudie Atkinson
• A kind, cheerful, and witty neighbor and trusted friend of
Scout's, who also upholds a strong moral code and helps the
children gain perspective on the events surrounding the trial.
She also loves gardening.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Walter Cunningham
•
A poor farmer who is among the "Sarum bunch," a crowd which assembles near
the town jail the night before Tom's trial in order to start a lynching. He is deeply
moved by Scout's friendly words when she tries to diffuse the situation, and as a
result leads the rest of the men in going home. Ever after, he respects the Finch
family greatly
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Miss Caroline Fisher
•
Is Scout's first grade teacher and is new to Maycomb, Alabama and its ways. She
attempts to teach the first grade class using a new standardized system which she
learned from taking certain college courses. She is upset that Scout is far more
advanced in reading than the rest of her class, and doesn't like that she is receiving
lessons from her father, Atticus. In an effort to standardize the class she forbids
Scout from reading. She has good intentions, but proves quite incompetent as a
teacher. When Scout tells Miss Fisher that she shamed a student by giving him
lunch money, she raps Scout's palms with a ruler (a punishment unheard of in
Maycomb). She is also very sensitive and gets emotionally hurt quite easily, as
seen when Burris Ewell yells at her, After the Burris Ewell incident, Miss Caroline is
seldom seen and soon forgotten.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mr. Underwood:
• Mr. Underwood is the editor, writer, and printer for The
Maycomb Tribune. Although he is a bigot, he hides in his
office next to the jailhouse to protect Atticus and Tom
Robinson from the Old Sarum mob that tries to take Tom from
the jail to lynch him.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mr. Radley:
• Mr. Radley was Boo and Nathan's father, a very religious, strict
man who walked to town and back home once a day and
never spoke to anyone when they greeted him. He died when
Jem and Scout were a few years younger, but Boo didn't even
come out of the house then.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Tom Robinson:
• Tom is a respectable, humble, kind Negro whom Atticus is defending
against the charge that he raped Mayella Ewell, daughter of Bob
Ewell. Atticus knows he will lose because Tom is black, but he also
knows that Tom is innocent and that he must defend him. Tom was
only trying to help Mayella because no one else would, but she
made advances that he refused and her father saw them. She
claimed that Tom raped her and beat her, but there was no way he
could have done it. All of her bruises were on the right side of her
face, but Tom's left hand was a withered and useless appendage he'd
caught in a cotton gin as a child. Tom was sent to a work prison after
his conviction and Atticus was expecting a new trial soon, but Tom
was shot trying to escape the prison before Atticus could get him out
of jail.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Aunt Alexandra:
• Alexandra is Atticus' sister who lives with her husband at Finch
Landing, the old homestead. She is constantly nagging Atticus
about how he raises Scout because she's a tomboy.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Francis Hancock:
• Francis is Scout and Jem's cousin. They see Francis at
Christmas when they go visit their Aunt Alexandra at Finch's
Landing, but they don't really like him very much. The
Christmas after Atticus took on the Tom Robinson case, Scout
beat Francis up for saying mean things about Atticus, and her
Uncle Jack whipped her for it before he heard her side of
things.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Heck Tate:
• Heck is the Maycomb County sheriff who hands over his gun
to Atticus when confronted with a rabid dog. He's also one of
the men in the group who comes to talk to Atticus about the
danger of having Tom Robinson locked up in the Maycomb
County jail. He didn't want to be responsible if Tom got
lynched.
Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mr. Dolphus Raymond:
• Mr. Raymond is understood to be a chronic alcoholic. He
comes through town bobbing and weaving and drinks from a
brown paper bag. He is wealthy, owns one whole side of the
riverbank and is from an old family, but lives by himself with
his colored woman and their mixed children. When Scout and
Dill leave the courtroom because Dill is so upset, they meet
Mr. Raymond and discover that he doesn't drink whiskey from
a paper sack -- it's Coke. He does it so that people will believe
that alcoholism is why he lives the way he does rather than
face the fact that he lives with colored people because he
wants to.
Symbols in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Mockingbird
• In this story of innocents destroyed by evil, the “mockingbird”
comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a
mockingbird is to destroy innocence. Throughout the book, a
number of characters (Jem, Tom Robinson, Dill, Boo Radley,
Mr. Raymond) can be identified as mockingbirds—innocents
who have been injured or destroyed through contact with
evil.
Symbols in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Toys
• The toys represents a way in which the novel can refer back
to itself for continuity's sake--much in the same way the story
refers back "to time past."
Symbols in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Watch
• The pocket watch that Jem and Scout find symbolizes the
passing of time throughout the book, and also how Scout and
Jem lose their innocence.
Symbols in To Kill a Mockingbird
• Old Oak Tree:
• Oak tree: It represents how Boo had an emptiness inside of
him that made him feel detached, but offering items in the
tree was like offering his trust to the kids. He was sharing his
past by giving them the various items. When Mr. Radley
covered it up and said it was dying (even though it wasn't)
blocked off Boo from the world.
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter One Quote:
• Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I
first knew it. . . . There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to
go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see
outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time
of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County
had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear
itself.
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Two Quote:
"'Your father does not know how to
teach. You can have a seat now.'I
mumbled that I was sorry and
retired meditating upon my crime”(
Lee 23).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Three Quote:
“First of all”, he said, “If you can learn a simple
trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all
kinds of folks. 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” (39).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Four Quote:
“I was not so sure, but Jem told ne I was
being a girl, that girls always imagined
things that’s why other people hated them
so, and if I started behaving like one I
could just go off and find someone else to
play with”(54).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Five Quote:
“There are just some kind of men whowho’re so busy worrying about the next
world they’ve never learned to live in this
one, and you can look down the street and
see the results”(60).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Six Quote:
“Then I saw the shadow. It was the
shadow of a man with a hot on. At first I
thought it was a tree, but there was no
blowing, and tree turns never walked. The
back porch was bathed in moonlight, and
the shadow, crisp and toast, moved across
the porch towards Jem” (71).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Seven Quote:
“As Atticus once advised me to do, I tried
to climb into Jem’s skin and walk around in
it: if I had gone alone to the Radley Place
at two in the morning, my funeral would
have been held the next afternoon. So, I
left Jem and tried not to bother him”(77).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Eight Quote:
“’Thank who? ‘I asked.
‘Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at
the fire yo udidn’t know it when he put
the blanket around you’”(96).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Nine Quote:
“’Atticus, are we going to win?’”
“’No, honey.’”
“’Then why-’”
“’Simply because we are licked a hundred
years before we started is no reason for us
not to try to win’”, Atticus said (101).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter Ten Quote:
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thin but make
music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up
people’s gardens, don’t next in corncribs,
they don’t do one thing but sing their
hearts out for us. That’s why it is a sin to
kill a mockingbird” (119).
QUOTES in To Kill a Mockingbird
Where it says “Chapter Summary” in your Student Response Journal you need to write the quote
that I provide you for the chapter.
• Chapter ELEVEN Quote:
“…but before I can live with other folks,
I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing
that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a
person’s conscience” (140).

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