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"To Kill A Mockingbird" Coursework

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Introduction

"To Kill A Mockingbird" Coursework During the 1930s, during the time when the novel was set, society was very different to what it is now. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is Harper Lee's story about life in a small town in Southern America during the 1930s. The story is based in the state of Texas, Alabama, in this state slavery was very common and because of this it became to be known as the "Slave State". The story involves "Atticus Finch" a lawyer who must defend an African American who has been wrongly accused of raping a Caucasian woman. The importance of the book in terms of the relationship between white and black people is that whites controlled the black people, there was not any one who would stand up for the black people of the town, except Atticus. Atticus stood up in what he believed to be right and even though he was a well respected member of society they went against him. This was the time of when racism and prejudice was towards people of different ethnic backgrounds, race, and skin colour and how they acted was accepted in society and tolerated and there was a definite class system. The story is told from the point of view of "Jean Louise Finch" mostly know "Scout" the youngest member of the Finch household and a innocent child and who acknowledges what is happening around her moreover who is very eager to protect her fathers innocence. We as readers learn about life in this small town of "Macomb" from the eyes of a young child who is innocent and na�ve about racism, prejudice and the treatment of other people. The society throughout the town has taught generation after generation, in what to believe. White people are superior to blacks. The children have been taught this and as the result of this they have no opinion themselves, at a later stage in their life's they are afraid to give their own view because this is what they society of "Maycomb" has been raised on. ...read more.

Middle

I do say I don't care..." Even though he is stereotyped as an abysmal person of society, but he gives the children counsel using his past experiences. He tells them that he does not care if people do not like the way he lives, but he says he cannot just say the "hell with 'em". Right the way through his life people have not shown him any sort of respect since the way he acts, here he shows that you have to have respect for other people. "I try to give 'em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason" , using the "paper sack" he deceives everyone thinking that he is inebriated, the reason behind this is that this gives everyone a reason to think what they do about him and he believes this will help people understand him better. Using logic he knows what he does is "dishonest" but it helps people understand him, throughout "Maycomb" there are standards which people are expected to live up to, for example "The Ewell's", people in the town have their own standards for them and they are expected to live up to them, "Exclusive Society" as referred to by "Atticus", "You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that's the way I want to". "Scout" has been raised not to listen to "sinful" talks, her natural instincts tell her that she should not be paying attention, but she fights them off, and as this is the foremost time she has heard them she becomes drawn into them and is now finding them "fascinating". The one fixation that she still does not understand is and I heard that one "why he had entrusted us with his deepest secret?" "You're children and you can understand it", he chose to tell the children because he feels that children will understand him more than adults do, and he is able to rationalise with them, therefore he has faith that he has a better relationship with children. ...read more.

Conclusion

There might not be any purpose for it but it might have a symbolic value, it is there to constantly remind us about the conflict between black and white people, because throughout the novel there are many small conflicts within the novel, which divert our attention. Also it could be the style in which the director wanted it to be shooting in; it helps give the affect that it was filmed in the time of which it was actually set. Furthermore it may juxtapose white men clearly against the black men hence fore fronting the tension and it also symbolises the harsh nature of oppression, highlighted by the lack of colour and vibrance in the lives of many at the time. In conclusion, the portrayals of the black characters in the novel by "Harper Lee" with the film version of "To Kill a Mockingbird" are quite similar and different in their own perspectives. The film in my view is more successful at portraying the black characters and their personalities for the reason that is we as the audience of the film we see it in front of our eyes, where as unlike in the novel, the readers have to use vivid imagery to create a image in their mind of what is happening and how the story progresses forward and they may misinterpret what is occurring and see the story differently. The novel which is written by "Harper Lee" is a more accurate story since it is the original and in the film parts have been omitted and changed, the reason for this is unknown. The film itself is very flourishing at portraying the black characters of the story and their persona, the reason for this is that all the other aspects of the film contributes to this for example the camera shots used in the film e.g. on a black person they might use a long camera shot to show the "caste system" in the town. In my opinion they are both equal at portraying the black characters. Ricky Patel ...read more.

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