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What different views of family life are we shown in "to kill a mocking bird"?

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Introduction

Jerome 2/6/2003 Goblet 3.1 "TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD" GCSE COURSEWORK N�2 What different views of family life are we shown in "to kill a mocking bird"? The most important family of the story is of course the finch family. This family contains three mains characters: Scout, Jem and Atticus. We meet Atticus in the first chapter. He left his home, Finch's landing, down the river from Maycomb, to study law in Mobile, Alabama. Atticus returned to Maycomb to practice law and help his brother, Jack, through medical school. When we learn that he camed back to help Jack, we understand that he is a man who shows solidarity with his family, who takes care of it. This part of his character is illustrated a few times in the novel. For example, he engages Calpurnia, the black maid and cook. She acts like a mother figure towards Scout, as in the scene where Scout unknowingly insults a poor neighbour boy, and Calpurnia teaches her how to behave. He treats his children as intelligent young adults; he speaks in a clear matter-of-fact way, and answers questions directly (including technical points of law and definitions of rape). He is very fair (he tries to hear both sides of an argument) and he does not stereotype people (for example, he is quite happy for Scout to be a tomboy). Atticus is a nice person who tries to have good relationships with everybody. Different moments that illustrate this are: * He shows an interest in Walter Cunningham's home life, and asks him about farming; he allows Walter, who may not be very good at school work, to speak as an expert. * He always shows admiration for Mrs. Dubose, even though she abuses him and is a racist. * At the end of the novel Atticus understands Boo's shyness - he does not try to make him sit down in the light, and addresses him courteously as "Arthur". ...read more.

Middle

I couldn't imagine this was so close. RADLEYS the Radley house, now occupied by Boo, his mother, and his brother, Nathan, Miss Maudie describes Mr. Radley, Boo's father, as a "foot-washing" Baptist who believed that pleasure was sin. Boo Radley is a recluse who lives near to the Finches. He is the subject of various rumours that he is a ghost, or a murderer. All of the kids in Maycomb are afraid of him. He is just very shy and he does not wish to interact with the townspeople. CUNNINGHAM Walter is a classmate of Scout who is extremely poor. He is very nice. He is very thin because he has various diseases like hookworm. Scout invites him over for dinner one night because she feels sorry for him. Walter's dad is a good friend of Atticus, and it is because of him that Atticus is not harmed in the incident at the jail. Social Class: Three good quotes to show social class are: from www.essaybank.co.uk "Are we as poor as the Cunninghams?" Scout says this when Mr Cunningham comes to pay Atticus with turnips. It shows how people can judge wealth against other families, the Cunninghams are known to be very poor, so answers can be comparative to how poor they are and everyone knows what they mean. Another show of this is when Walter Cunningham is at school and he has no lunch, the teacher offers him some money but he refuses to take it as he knows that he will never be able to pay it back to her. This shows that he knows he is poor and would rather go without lunch than owe somebody something he can't pay back. An extract form this scene is, wwfc fcw esfcfcs ayfc fcba nfc kcfc fcuk; " 'Here Walter, come and get it.' Walter shook his head again. " Finch In chapter one, we meet Atticus, Scout's father, who left his home, Finch's Landing, down the river from Maycomb, to study law in Mobile, Alabama. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Ewells behave the way they do because of the circumstances they find themselves in, the prejudice they suffer from the people of Maycomb and because of this the residents of the town did not expect anything more or less than the stereotype they had created for themselves. An example of this is when Atticus is questioning Heck Tate about what happened to Mayella after the rape had been reported. Atticus asks the sheriff if he had called a doctor and he replied "No". This just shows us how he trusted Mayella despite not having any physical evidence. Due to the abolishment of slavery there is no longer a clear distinction between the lower class whites and blacks and it is because of this that the Ewells felt threatened by the blacks. The verdict was inevitable as the history of slavery meant that the jury was always going to find Tom guilty and Mayella the victim. Whichever way he acted he would have been found guilty in the eyes of white people. If he tried to defend himself against a white woman�s advances the situation would be seen to be of his making and therefore his fault. If he ran as he did it would be taken as an admission of guilt. He was in an impossible position. I think the author took the easy way out in dealing with a difficult character, Mr Ewell. The Ewells are simply reacting to how people and life has treated them. Perhaps after Mr Ewell�s death there will be light and hope for the future. "Mayella�s flowers at the Ewell residence can now begin to flourish". ROBINSON CALPURNIA We meet Calpurnia, the Finch's housekeeper who Scout describes as "all angles and bones...her hand was wide as a bed slat and twice as hard" (12). Scout, opinionated and vocal, faced Calpurnia's discipline often. She tells us," our battles were epic and one-sided. Calpurnia always won, mainly because Atticus always took her side" As you read the novel, you will have a greater understanding of the personal, social, and political issues which are dealt with in the story. ...read more.

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