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

To Kill a Mockingbird Notes - Characters, Themes & Quotes

Extracts from this document...


Ways to introduce points: * Harper Lee makes us aware... * Lee presents... * The author makes it clear that... * Harper Lee evidently sympthaises with... * Lee makes Scout say... * Lee tells us through Scout... * Harper Lee wants the reader to know that... General * Harper Lee's descriptions are vivid and cinematographic- one of the reasons. Perhaps why the novel translated so well into film. * Referring to the epigraph and what it tells the reader about key themes will help to show your awareness of authorial purpose. * Referring to any symbolism used by the author can be effective- for instance, the quiet, ominous feeling in the courtroom when the jury returns is like a old February morning, when mockingbirds were still. (ch21pg216) * TKAMB is a novel with a mixture of nostalgia and criticism * A microcosm of American society in the 1930s * Consider the ideal of Southern Womanhood an women as delicate, fragile creatures, and how this would of affected and influenced men's feelings towards Mayella Ewell in the trial. * Scouts naivety is highlighted when the narrator understands * All of Scouts educational experiences and growing up takes place outside school * We see how entrenched the idealised view of women is when Atticus says he is 'in favour of Southern womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life' * Real courage in Lee's view is when you continue what you are doing even though you are fighting a losing battle. This is explained in depth in relation to Mrs. Dubose, who Atticus describes as the bravest person he had met. * Starting an essay: try link to a theme, show how language is presented, and how the chapter highlights themes. And does the narrator affect our response of the presentation of the theme. * Jem's definition of entailment (ch2 page 26) ...read more.


This is a crucial time to have gained the children's respect- just before the trial. * We need to consider the symbolism and irony of the mad dog incident. Atticus is protecting the community from something dangerous. Is he later able to protect something innocent from the madness of the community? With the dog called 'Tim Johnson', a name not dissimilar to 'Tom Robinson' we realise that Harper Lee want s us to draw parallels between this incident and the trial. * Atticus had managed to make a man from a prejudiced family stop and think for a moment and this was 'the shadow of a beginning' (ch23pg228) * Atticus is Lee's spokesman, embodying the themes of justice, tolerance, goodness and courage. Yet despite his strong principles and idealism, he is trapped within the society in which he lives. * Lee does not admire physical courage. She leads the reader to share her view of the importance of the kind of moral courage shown by Atticus. * Atticus's maxim * Has the same name as a roman nobleman and diplomat. Titus Atticus; who was known for his impartial wisdom and interest in books. * Whole life is built on telling the truth is it right to depart from that now, he 'sat looking at the floor for a long time.' (ch30) A flaw? * Atticus is presented as an emobodiment of everything Lee respects in a lawyer, citizen, Christian and father. He is the moral centre of TKAMB. * He was feeble, nearly fifty. * Scout says "I ran to Atticus for comfort." * Miss Maudie: "We are so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us". That respect and admirations is palpable too when he goes with Calpurnia to break the news of Tom's death to Helen Robinson. * Reprimands Jem in a voice like "the winter wind" * A good father and normally a good judge of human behavior. ...read more.


Her major role in the plot seems to be to reinforce Atticus's philosophy, and to be a constant and reassuring model for the children when Atticus is busy elsewhere. * Scout: "She loved everything that grew on God's earth"(ch5page48) with the exception of nut grass, which is hugely symbolic of prejudice that can sweep through a society. * Disapproval of "foot-washers" who think "women are a sin by definition" (ch5pg51) * Miss Maudie: "Why, one spring of nut-grass can ruin a whole yard...the wind blows it all over Maycomb county!" (ch5pg48) * Optimistic after her house burns down (ch8); theme of courage. * "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents" (ch10) * Miss Maudie quotes and notes on York page 15 The Ewells * Through Bob Ewell's death at the end, Lee seems to be saying that he is beyond hope, or perhaps that justice must be seen to be done. Perhaps his death represents hope for the future, as the fear he caused, which created a barrier to truth and understanding, has now been removed. Mayella's flowers can now begin to flourish. * Attacks the children mainly because of Southern values, which is no matter how bad things are you must always defend your honour and pride. Ironically Bob Ewell is seen as having none of those by the Maycomb community. * Bob Ewell's extreme laziness is shown by his being fired from the Work Progress Administration. This organisation was set up during the Depression in 1935 to give work to those who were unemployed. It was rare for anyone to be fired from the WPA. * Show that whites can be more culpable than poor blacks. * Bob Ewell is described as a "little red rooster" and a "bantam cock". He's compared to a chicken, a flightless bird that 'crows' rather than sings. He is selfish and is unable to 'fly' above his own prejudices. Mrs Dubose * Known as the "meanest old women who ever lived" (ch4page41) ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the nature of prejudice in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Are there any signs ...

    4 star(s)

    him out of prison sooner than expected if he worked hard enough to get people's trust and respect for Tom. He later found out that the possibility of this earlier release was becoming a reality. Unfortunately, he didn't have time to tell this to Tom, and is immediately upset.

  2. Peer reviewed

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

    4 star(s)

    We become so familiar with the characters, predominantly Scout and Jem, that we feel we know them. We have an insight into their life as they mature and develop. In particular, we relate to Jem as a brother because we see the story through his sister who portrays him in

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

    However, even though the Southerners lost the war, and had to do as the North dictated, the attitudes in the south remained the same. The whites as a majority despise the blacks and still treat them as slaves in the time of the book, and in moderation, this still continues today.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    and Calpurnia takes her to the kitchen and teaches her how to treat guests; "There's some folks who don't eat like us, she whispered fiercely, but you ain't called on to contradict 'em at the table when they don't, that boys yo' comp'ny and if he wants to eat up the table cloth you let him you hear?"

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter summaries).

    Chapter 8 Scout tells us that that winter it was the coldest weather since 1885 and that it was that winter that Old Mrs Radley died. The next morning Scout woke up and looked out of the window and screamed because it was snowing but Scout had never seen snow and didn't know what it was.

  2. To kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee uses the mockingbird theme with both ...

    Mr. Underwood simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, bet they standing sitting or escaping. He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children. Senseless killing Tom had been given due processes of law to the day of his death; he had been tried

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    They return home and gloomily await Atticus's return. Atticus comes home carrying green camellia buds and Scout's broken baton. He makes Jem go to Mrs. Dubose's house and apologize to her in person. Scout and Atticus discuss the necessity of keeping one's head even when times get hard.

  2. How does Harper Lee explore the themes of empathy and tolerance in Chapter 3 ...

    their ways like you ways so high and mighty!? This quote highlights the message of showing respect and empathy to anyone, no matter who they are, regardless of background and social class. Furthermore, this teaching itself is ironic by the lack of respect and empathy shown to the black community

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