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To Kill a Mockingbird :- "The killing of Tim Johnson" (pg. 105-109) What makes this passage both effective in itself and significant to the rest of the novel.

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Introduction

Lily Maisky Year 11 English Coursework: To Kill a Mockingbird: -"The killing of Tim Johnson" (pg. 105-109) What makes this passage both effective in itself and significant to the rest of the novel. The passage of the Atticus's killing of the rabid dog is a very significant one in the thematic sense of the novel. Tim Johnson could be viewed as representing the prejudice in the novel, and how like a rabid dog it spreads through the Deep South. Atticus is clearly the saviour, the hero of the novel trying to kill and destroy all form of prejudice and racism in Maycomb, although this is very idealistic. However, in the case of the infected animal, Atticus proves Scout wrong and shows that he can achieve what he has to in this particular situation, although this is unfortunately not always the case in the novel. The passage is also very effective in the sense of excitement, suspense and meaningfulness of the relationships between the different characters of the novel. This extract from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" can indeed be related to several others in the book. Firstly, to the climax of the novel, the outcome of the court case when the jury announces that Tom Robinson has been committed guilty. ...read more.

Middle

Again, this shows how a law, such as nature's law or even a personal law such as Atticus's avoidance of guns, must sometime be bent towards a higher aim. It is his role to stand, defender of all people, and this is not the only time when he finds himself in this sort of position. This gives him the capability of making everyone equal, regardless of ethnicity and social stature. The dog is viewed by the whole of Maycomb as a dangerous, deadly menace and concerns all the inhabitants of the community, white and black. It therefore unites the whole town in a feeling of fear and disgust, making all people equal in fear for just one moment. Even the Radleys, the outcasts of Maycomb, have to be warned of the incident by the shouts of Calpurnia. The dog itself is also prejudiced against, and although all the town people consider that they have a reason to despise the creature, the white people of the Deep South at the time also think it perfectly normal and correct to hate the black people. This could make the general situation as being seen as parallel. ...read more.

Conclusion

"time had slowed to a nauseating crawl." Everything is slowed, Atticus is taking precautions while Heck Tate is trying to urge him along with not much success, until the actual action of Atticus shooting takes place and everything takes a much quicker pace. However, this works all the same in achieving the atmosphere and feeling of complete suspense and excitement, keeping the reader on the edge of his/her seat while subconsciously knowing what will happen in future. If Atticus was to fail in exterminating the infected animal, disease would spread across Maycomb resulting in the end of the novel whereas there is still quite a lot of the book to go at this point. The passage is very effective in creating the suspenseful atmosphere in itself and also very relevant to the rest of the novel. It hints at elements of racism and prejudice towards persecuted members of such a small community such as Maycomb. However, the passage more prominently demonstrates Atticus's important role throughout the novel and changes Scout's general view of her father, turning him into a sort mentor to her and Jem, who relates to him as a "gentleman" at the end of the chapter. In this case Atticus succeeds in banishing the fear and reuniting the community. Unfortunately this situation is not likely to reoccur later on in the novel. ...read more.

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