Mockingbird Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven finished

Kelso High School
English Department
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten & Eleven – Learning
• Plot Summary / Key Incidents
• Narrative Structure – Turning Point
• Characterisation – Atticus
• Characterisation – Jem
• Theme - Prejudice / Intolerance
• Theme - Courage
• Theme – Growing up
• Theme - Innocence
Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven – Plot
• Chapter 8 Winter 1934 / Chapter 9 Christmas 1934 /
Chapter 10 February 1935 / Chapter 11 Spring 1935
• Snowfall in Maycomb.
• Miss Maudie’s fire.
• Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson.
• Christmas at Aunt Alexandra’s.
• Atticus shoots a rabid dog.
• Jem destroys Mrs Dubose’s camellias and has to read to
• Mrs Dubose dies.
Narrative Structure – Turning Point
• Miss Maudie’s fire – Chapter 8.
• Before fire, novel centres on Scout’s childhood
world, the games she plays with Jem and Dill and
their childhood superstitions about Boo Radley.
• After the fire the drama of the trial takes over.
• This emphasises the loss of innocence theme as
adult problems and concerns begin to disrupt the
happy world of the Finch children.
Characterisation – Atticus
• Has strong moral values.
• Practices justice, restraint and honesty.
• Tells Scout and Jem to avoid getting into fights
even if they are verbally abused and to practice
quiet courage instead.
• He is an upright, decent man – “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” – Chapter 11
Characterisation - Atticus
• He takes on the Robinson case even though he knows that his
children will suffer taunts:
“ If I didn’t, I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I
couldn’t represent this county in the legislature,
I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do
something again”.
• He stands for Christian values. He practices forgiveness
and tolerance.
• Task – explain why his reaction to Mrs Dubose exemplifies the
Characterisation - Jem
• Jem starts being proud of his dad when he sees him shoot the
rabid dog.
• Jem learns an important lesson through his relationship with
Mrs Dubose when he realises that there is more than one side
to her.
• Although she is dying, she is bravely trying to overcome her
drug addiction.
• The way Atticus treats her (with respect and courtesy)
provides a role model for Jem to copy.
Theme – Prejudice / Intolerance
• The town of Maycomb which has so far
been presented in a largely positive light
(inhabitants all helping Miss Maudie at
fire) suddenly turns against the Finches
when Atticus defends Tom Robinson.
Atticus is called a “nigger-lover”.
• Even members of Atticus’s own family – his
sister Aunt Alexandra and her grandsonare critical of him.
Theme – Prejudice & Intolerance
• “Nigger” – white people take it for
granted that black people are less
important than white people.
• They think that black people are less
sensitive and do not need to be
treated with respect or as equals.
Theme – Courage (Miss Maudie)
• Miss Maudie shows great courage in accepting the loss of her
• Homework Task- explain why.
Theme – Courage (Mrs Dubose)
• In some ways, she represents everything that is wrong with
Maycomb – she is a racist, malicious to the children and
critical of Atticus.
• Yet, this side is balanced by her bravery and determination.
• Atticus represents Mrs Dubose for possessing “real courage”
which he explains as “when you know you’re licked before
you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no
matter what”
Theme - Courage
• Harper Lee wants Jem, Scout and the reader to understand
that MORAL courage is far more important that PHYSICAL
• After Mrs Dubose’s death, Atticus tells the children, “I wanted
you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea
that courage is a man with a gun in his hand”.
• Atticus defends Tom Robinson because he has courage and
believes he must. He knows he will fail which makes his
determination even braver.
Theme – Growing Up
• Scout’s learning comes mostly from Atticus who
teaches her to control her impulsiveness
(Chapter 9) and to recognise different sorts of
courage (Chapters 10 & 11).
• Homework Task- find two quotations to illustrate
the above point.
• By the time of Mrs Dubose’s death, Jem and
Scout realise that it is wrong to judge others too
quickly or too superficially.
• Homework task – find a quotation.
Theme – Growing Up
• Another lesson that the children learn as they
grow up is that adults frequently have to do
things which they would rather not do, but they
must do them properly:
shooting a rabid dog
persevering in the face of defeat
visiting dull relatives
Theme - Innocence
• Symbolised by the mockingbird:
“Shoot all the bluejays you want, but remember
it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
• The mockingbird represents the innocence of people like Boo
Radley and Tom Robinson who are persecuted even though
they do no wrong and only try to help others.
Theme - Innocence
• “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing
but make music for us to enjoy. They
don’t eat up people’s gardens, 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
Theme – Innocence (Boo)
• Boo’s likeness to a mockingbird is because
he is psychologically damaged. He is timid,
childlike and almost incapable of being
integrated into Maycomb society. He is an
outsider and not properly understood, so
he is seen as threatening.
• Homework Task – quotation search.
Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten & Eleven – Success Criteria
Plot Summary / Key Incidents
Narrative Structure – Turning Point
Characterisation – Atticus
Characterisation – Jem
Theme - Prejudice / Intolerance
Theme - Courage
Theme - Growing Up
Theme - Innocence
Chapters Eight, Nine, Ten & Eleven Analysis
The End!!

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