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AS and A Level: Harper Lee

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    To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay. In the book, To kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee highlights the meaning of the narrative using novel standpoint, structure and irony. Harper Lee investigates the absurd attitudes of adults towards race and status

    5 star(s)

    The novel illustrates the conscience of a town that is suffused in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy, which is understood through a black man's struggle for justice. Harper Lee mainly emphasizes the irrationality of prejudice thoughts of a town, along with other themes incorporated in the book by means of distinctive form and text. The understanding of a novel is often dependant on who is appointed by the author to narrate the novel. The narrative standpoint, through which the author chooses to narrate the story, determines the amount and type of information that the reader will gain throughout the novel.

    • Word count: 2029
  2. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper Lee illustrates Atticuss respectable character through describing his actions and words in his roles as a lawyer and a father

    "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom." (pg. 240) This is shown through the effort Atticus puts in the Tom Robinson case, despite the fact that Tom Robinson is a black man and many of the townspeople disapprove. He is solely concerned about the fact that this kind-hearted and innocent man has been accused of an unforgivable act and may be wrongfully punished. In fact, Atticus goes beyond the normal scope of lawyer duties to protect his client by putting his own life in endanger to confront a mob of vigilante men in the middle of the night who set out to kill Tom.

    • Word count: 1757
  3. Scout, through involvements with three men, Arthur (Boo) Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, goes through a gradual development in character.

    Scout is just an innocent child who does not know enough about the complexity of adult world, but anxious to know the truth of Arthur Radley's isolation, she follows the boys into playing the dangerous game. She heard a lot about how Arthur is a crazy lad, who intended to stab his father, and has turned into a "ghost," (page 12) because he never came out of the house for years. From the way Scout reacts and talks about the Radleys, shows her immaturity, along with her innocence as a child, because she is easily influenced by what the adults say, and creates a lot of things up in her mind making the existence of Boo (Arthur)

    • Word count: 1298
  4. To kill a Mockingbird. Scout: A character study

    "Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches." (pg 88) Scout's actions are also different to other girls at her age, while other girls would learn manners, Scout does not. Instead she learns to climb trees with Jem, plays with air rifles, and even begins swearing in the presence of adults. Anything that a normal boy would do, she would do. Scout does not feel ashamed, nor does she feel there is anything wrong in being a tomboy.

    • Word count: 764
  5. Social Classes in To Kill a Mockingbird

    The dictum had been imprinted into the genetically code of the different families becoming part of the upbringing of future generations. Every person in Maycomb had been classified and judged based on the actions of the past generations. In Maycomb County there aren't a lot of well educated people. Scout for example is penalized on her first day of the first grade for being able to read and write. When Scout and Jem , after having been taught by Alexandra that the background of a family member should be the sole point on which he or she is judged, they decide to try and decipher the meaning of background that is when Jem says.

    • Word count: 2126
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird Theme Analysis

    In part one, the book contains vivid descriptions of Boo Radley. All of these descriptions are inaccurate and erroneous. In the first chapter he is called a "malevolent phantom" (Lee 8). He is also often described as a "ghost"; one example of this is on page 11. Such expressions are seldom used to portray human beings which indicate that there are a host of imaginary talks going on about him. We are also told he has a "head like a skull", and he "leaves tracks in the backyard during the night" (Lee 13). He also "drove scissors into his parent's leg" for no reason whatsoever (Lee 11).

    • Word count: 959
  7. "Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird

    One of these is no doubt Boo Radley- just as mockingbirds do not harm people, but "only sing their hearts out for us," in the same way Boo Radley does not harm anyone, rather he leaves little presents for Jem and Scout in the knothole, covers Scout with a blanket when she is shivering with cold during the fire, and when the time comes, he even saves the children from Bob Ewell when he tries to kill them on the night of Halloween.

    • Word count: 741
  8. How does the kids' notion of Boo Radley develop from the beginning of the novel to the end

    Initially, it is Dill who wants to lure Boo out of the house, so that he "can see what he looks like." This shows that the children are no longer willing to depend upon what they have heard, and want to find out for themselves what Boo is really like. They try sending notes to Boo, through a fishing pole, asking him to come out and have a talk; later they sneak into the Radleys' yard, hoping to look through a window and catch a glimpse of Boo so that they can actually see what he looks like.

    • Word count: 936
  9. Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    Mrs. Dubose was very courageous despite being a nasty, stubborn, mean-spirited old woman. She always stayed true to her beliefs, albeit they were old-fashioned and downright unpopular. Most courageous of her deeds was her sheer will to rid herself of her drug affliction. She inspired Atticus to call her "...the bravest person I ever knew." Atticus sees Dubose as a good person because she was willing to suffer so much to fight the good fight. Atticus says that courage is "...when you know your licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through, no matter what."

    • Word count: 729
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird - Injustice

    The judge trusting Mr. Radley agreed and let him punish his son. His whole life is affected by the injustice he suffered when he was a child. Boo Radley is not seen to the end of the book and we are going on speculation and gossip. From the beginning we are told that Mayella lives behind a dump, which signifies her place in society. She has had a lot of responsibility from an early age. She has no friends and her father is an alcoholic. As with Boo Radleys relationship with his father, Mayella's with her father can be blamed to a certain extent for the situation she finds herself in.

    • Word count: 580
  11. How do Tom Robinson and Boo Radley conform to the Mockingbird Type?

    Starting with Tom Robinson, who maybe is more obviously a 'mockingbird', a good hearted, generous, kind, and honest man who despite being innocent has suffered a life of discrimination and prejudice simply for being black. Whether you were treated with respect or as filth was, as the book quotes 'simple as black or white'. Tom helps Mayella Ewell despite his disability, never once taking money off her, simply because he has a kind heart and Mayella liked him because he was the only person who ever gave her time and true respect He is a harmless man, but a victim

    • Word count: 1512
  12. Crime and Punishment in the American South - Compare Tom Robinson's Punishment with that of Boo Radley.

    Mayella, the daughter of Mr Ewell, was in desperate need of some attention. Tom Robinson often did small jobs to help Mayella and her family. Tom was very considerate and did not mind helping others. Mayella lacked love and affection, which later on led her to ask Tom Robinson to kiss her, although Tom was a married man and a father of three. Tom Robinson was punished for a crime that he did not commit. Tom was only convicted because he was a black man in a white society at the time when it seemed socially correct to discriminate against the black people.

    • Word count: 1158
  13. How effective is Harper Lee's title of To Kill a Mockingbird?

    Probably the two main and most obvious mockingbirds in the novel are Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. These two characters very much contrast each other, but the way they are treated by other persons in the book gives them a mutual bond. Both of these characters had to pay for their actions with their lives - Boo Radley being deprived of friendship and the outside world by his own family, and Tom Radley being convicted of a crime he did not commit, which ultimately lead to his death. Boo Radley, otherwise known as Arthur Radley, is described by Jem as a monster-type figure: "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw

    • Word count: 1138
  14. Critical Essay on "To kill a Mocking Bird".

    are wider than ever before. This in turn with the deeply anti-Yankee policy adopted by the state of Alabama, contributes greatly to the prejudice theme. With the stage being set in such a dramatic way it is the perfect setting for such a hated emotion as prejudice to thrive. The issue of racial prejudice is a core theme in this book and is identified early on in the book, setting is used to great effect, because of the town's people's reluctance to accept the "n*****s" as equals.

    • Word count: 1475
  15. Discuss How Harper Lee Portrays The Theme Of Prejudice In The Novel To Kill A Mocking Bird.

    But one man in the book dared to fight against this and it was Atticus Finch who defended Tom Robinson in court. He knew that he wasn't going to win the case but he fought against the prejudice of him defending a black man to try and raise enough questions in court to make the folk of Maycomb re-examine their in built prejudices. Although Tom was still found guilty Atticus had made some people think about there views on black people, and even Jem realises now that all people should be treated equally.

    • Word count: 920
  16. A Comparison of the portrayal of Boo Radley in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and Miss Havishamin 'great expectations'

    Miss Havisham's house "was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it." This shows how she has isolated herself from the town. Boo's house is "sun blocked by big oak trees" which makes a shadow effect on the house creating again an eerie picture in the readers head. This is lot like Miss Havisham's house it seems very eerie and lonely and has a sense of rotting it builds up an evil picture and makes the house seem old and haunted. The description the author has done to build up a picture is very descriptive and has a strong effect.

    • Word count: 1508
  17. A Comparison of the portrayal of Boo Radley in'To Kill a Mockingbird' and Miss Havishamin 'great expectations'

    Maycomb is also a claustrophobic place to be, with the identical houses, the grass on the sidewalks (unkempt), and also it is very dusty, hot and humid. The neighbours are known to be very suspicious and judgemental. It is a reserved community and it can get very dull. In 'Great Expectations', in the chapters that we have read, rather then it being concentrated on a town, it is mostly concentrated on Miss Havisham's House. Satis House, which stand for very big and satisfactory.

    • Word count: 1260
  18. Why did Lee take the title from this quote: "I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember its a sin to kill a mockingbird?"

    The first and more obvious character is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is a good and respectable man, and this impression comes through very strong from the few moments he appears in the book. He is extremely tactful, as can be seen from how he says that Mayella Ewell was "mistaken in her mind", careful not to offend the jury by saying that a white woman lied. Tom Robinson also tried "to help out" Mayella Ewell, and he did all this for "not one penny". Tom Robinson tries to help the people around him, and means no harm to anybody.

    • Word count: 1168
  19. Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird

    It is from Crawford that the children learn of Radley's scissor attack on his father and other such interesting rumors. Thus, Arthur Radley is labeled as a "hant", a possibly insane and dangerous man, and the "malevolent phantom." The latter, coming from the fact that Radley had not been seen for many years, and was believed to be responsible for petty crimes around the neighborhood. It is not solely Crawford who displays her distaste towards the Radleys, Calpurnia, also shares these feelings of hatred.

    • Word count: 1735
  20. The Boo Radley Story

    It is clear to see that when one story starts about the Radleys it gets exaggerated every time it gets told to another person (not helped by Miss Stephanie Crawford). So the amount of stories the children have heard with all these variations has led them to them believe that Boo is a crazy murderer who would cut your throat if he got the chance; and all this because of the one incident where he stuck scissors in his fathers leg.

    • Word count: 693
  21. Many characters in the novel like Arthur Radley and Mayella Ewell suffer because of their fathers. Write about Atticus as a father and compare him to other fathers.

    She's a faithful member of this family and you'll simply have to accept things the way they are." Atticus' disciplinary ways do not involve striking his children in anyway as he does not believe in that form of punishment, instead he makes sure the children know they have done wrong and sets a suitable chore for them to redeem themselves. Take for instance when Jem destroys Mrs Dubose's garden she requests that Jem has to read to her for a month to make up for it.

    • Word count: 1238
  22. Analysis of To Kill A Mockingbird from the aspects of literary elements and devices and the relevance of the themes in todays society

    The title is actually a symbolism used rather extensively in the novel. Mockingbird is a harmless bird which lives in tranquility and entertains people by singing beautifully. During Christmas, when Jem and Scout receive air guns as a present, Atticus warned his children that if they must shoot at living creatures, they are forbidden from shooting at the mockingbirds. Mockingbird is the symbolic of true goodness and purity in which the action of killing it is considered as unacceptable. For instance, the character of Boo Radley can somehow be represented as the mockingbird.

    • Word count: 2022
  23. There are many parallels between the poor state of education in the Detroit Public Schools and the southern, rural school depicted in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, during the 1930s.

    1. Some parents in southern rural counties in the 1930?s did not find it important for their kids to go to school 1. Burris Ewell said that he only will come to school on the first day of every school year, just to avoid trouble with the law. ??You ain?t sendin? me home, missus. I was on the verge of leavin??I done done my time for this year?? (35). 2. Due to the fact of Burris Ewell not coming to school except for the first day of class, he did not receive the proper education that was needed and since his

    • Word count: 1839
  24. Study of Written Language to present conflict in To Kill a Mockingbird

    The italicisation of the word ?not? in Aunt Alexandra?s response to Jem?s statement that he would go to Cal?s house makes clear his aunts indignation and outrage. The reader can feel the tension through Harper Lee?s choice of language. The intervention of Aunt Alexandra then causes tension between Atticus and Scout. Scout?s reaction to her aunt?s intervention is revealed through the words ?Startled? and, ?wheeled round?, Atticus? ?swift glance? shows his surprise at his sister?s interjection into his family life.

    • Word count: 1558
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

    I see that all of these controversial elements are very insightful and captivating due to the fact that they are seen from a perspective of a little girl which shows how wrong these things; other than that, because they generally raise awareness about such fundamental things. The very first point that is going to be thoroughly discussed and analyzed is going to be the portrayal of black people as oppressed and showing indirect r****m towards the African Americans of Maycomb at the time the novel was set.

    • Word count: 1821

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