• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In 'The Withered Arm' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' outsiders are portrayed using a variety of background and social information, combined with effective language, narrative techniques and descriptions.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

EXAMINE THE PORTRAYAL OF OUTSIDERS IN 'THE WITHERED ARM' AND 'TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD' In 'The Withered Arm' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' outsiders are portrayed using a variety of background and social information, combined with effective language, narrative techniques and descriptions. An 'outsider' is defined as 'a non-member of a certain group', either for a physical, beliefs or social reason, and is removed or divided from the rest of society. In 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'The Withered Arm' there are a number of outsiders that we can deduce from the way in which the authors portray such characters. The author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was born in Alabama, the state in which the imaginary Maycomb was set. She based much of her novel on the ways and society that she had experienced in Monroeville. She recognised the prejudices at that time and so wrote a story with a still relevant philosophy; which was that everyone, including outsiders should have the courage to face up to difficult problems and people. They should not necessarily fell that they have to conform to the written or unwritten laws of society. Thomas Hardy, the author of 'The Withered Arm,' in contrast was much more of an outsider himself. He wrote around the time of the Industrial Revolution, inspired by Higher Bockhampten, the small hamlet in which he grew up and was educated. ...read more.

Middle

When referring to outsiders prejudiced because of their beliefs, both Atticus in 'To Kill a Mockingbird', and Rhoda in 'The Withered Arm' are examples. Atticus is described by Harper Lee though Scouts eyes, as 'feeble...old' and boring. This description therefore may be seen to imply that the author is creating an outsider with that boring, monotonous personality, but in fact, he is an outsider for exactly the opposite reasons. Harper Lee wrote the novel through a child's point of view. This helps us to understand the outsiders as we see them though the comparatively innocent unbiased manner that six-year old Scout has. Our learning curve is also parallel to hers. This helps us to form our own opinions, and build up a more accurate portrayal of the outsiders than a biased adult's account of the events would have. The way in which Scout describes Atticus does not reflect the image of him that is built up throughout the book. She complains that he will not play football like other fathers, which turns out to be quite an ironic comment. The idea of priorities and skills is developed throughout the novel and we see when Atticus shoots the mad dog that he does have skills, but is careful as to when they need to be used. A positive mood for Atticus' character is created by comments the author has included, such as the realisation of Jem's that his father is 'a gentleman just like me'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gertrude is also depicted by the author as na�ve, in this case not by what she does or does not believe, but by her reactions to 'normal' events. She is shocked by the fact that the milkers sons have no decent boots and wonders why she is 'stared at'. When contrasting the two author's styles, Hardy however describes the characters less, and as it is a short story, showing less character development in his portrayal of such people. We do, for example, see Gertrude try out the mystical beliefs of around her however. Harper Lee makes good use of the many characters in the book to give opinions on the outsiders, for example Atticus, which when contrasting, for example from the Ewells and Miss Maudie, leaves us to form our own opinion. 'The Withered Arm' has fewer characters so the outsiders are clearly pinpointed from the start, and generally, only one opinion for example regarding Gertrude by the milkmaids, is given. In conclusion, Hardy and Harper Lee both write about outsiders as a means to communicate their own, partly autobiographical beliefs, and both do so using description, actions and dialogues from the characters. They are both trying to show how these communities produce such outsiders, and how it may or may not be their own fault. Inevitably, the consequence they are trying to show, for not conforming to the rigid rules of society, is that the outsiders are divided from it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Examine the different kinds of prejudice and injustice which you have found in 'To ...

    4 star(s)

    He is caught, by prison officers trying to climb over the barbed fence. To stop a prisoner from fleeing they shoot at them but in Tom's case they did not only shoot once to spoil his efforts, there were seventeen bullets found in his body.

  2. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    Calpurnia is seen as a bridge between white people and the black community. When Calpurnia brings Jem and Scout to the church, Scout and Jem face social/religious prejudice because of the racial segregation. However, Calpurnia counterbalances her argument which helps Jem and Scout to idolise her.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    impose herself as a maternal substitute, she wants to turn Scout into a "lady" against her will. Miss Maudie is the most unbiased and supportive of these three women, though Calpurnia becomes much more sympathetic as time goes by. Miss Maudie is obsessed with her flowerbeds, and goes about tending

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird

    They are openly willing to talk about the problems about tribes in Africa, such as the Mrunas, but refuse to talk about the problems right on their doorstep within their own town. Maycomb is full of hypocrites - they can point out anything wrong with another group of people, but

  1. Discuss the Theme of Outsiders in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

    This also leads the reader to feel compassion towards the character, and strengthens how he is misunderstood in the novel is. However it is not just the youth of the town that see Boo Radley as a person to ostracise.

  2. How far do you consider "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" and "To Kill ...

    Barnett's response. Cassie had anticipated that Mr. Barnett would understand the unfairness of the situation and serve her however Cassie was only enraged and saddened by Mr. Barnett's racist remark and by the unfairness of treatment. Mr. Barnett humiliates Cassie's by addressing her as a little nigger, and bellowing at her with hostility and spite.

  1. Is To Kill A Mockingbird an Optimistic or Pessimistic Novel?

    This all makes out that the families are poor and depressed, with troubles and illnesses. However out of the glum pessimistic expressions, come optimistic parts also. One clear example of optimism is the presents that are given to Atticus after he defended Tom Robinson.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird

    From her sentence, we can immediately see how she has no respect to Calpurnia and even how she thinks she is from a higher class so she should not show any equality towards her. This negative attitude towards a black woman considered by a member of the Finch family gives

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work