To Kill A Mockingbird

By: Jalen K., Bea G., Katie R., & Audrey C.

Literary Criticisms

"Writing is a process of self-discipline; you must learn before you can call yourself a writer." -Harper Lee

  1. Harper Lee uses her personal experiences in her writing to allow readers to understand what it was like during her time period.
  2. Atticus raises Scout to appreciate the good qualities in someone and understand the bad ones by treating them with sympathy and trying to see from their perspective.
  3. "Atticus said that Jem was trying hard to forget something, but what he was really doing was storing it away for a while, until enough time passed." (Lee, 247)


Jem is one of the main characters in "To Kill a Mockingbird" who possesses dynamic and round traits.
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Direct and Indirect Characterization of Jem

Direct Characterization: “Jem was not the one to dwell on past defeats: it seemed the only message he got from Atticus was insight into the art of cross examination.” (Lee, 68)

Indirect Characterization: "Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks, the dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were blood stained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off.” (Lee, 16)


The Dog, Tim Johnson, represents Maycomb and its corruptness due to racism.
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As Scout is describing her family, the tone of the narrator is more grown up, but as she introduces Dill, the tone changes to be more child-like.
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Character Foil: Tom Robinson and Boo Radley


Literary: "Dill had seen Dracula, a revelation that moved Jem to eye him with the beginning of respect." (Lee, 7)

Biblical: "Let this cup pass from you, eh?" (Lee, 117)

Historical: "Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal." (Lee, 205)


“Better be careful he doesn’t hand you a subpoena.” -Miss Maudie (Lee,160)

In this quote, Miss Maudie is referring to Miss Stephanie Crawford's tendency to spread gossip throughout Maycomb. This refers to sarcasm because Miss Stephanie thinks that she knows everything about the trial, but she knows nothing of the real problems because her knowledge is based of of rumors.

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Thematic Statement

A lack of understanding leads to false assumptions. This is a thematic statement that applies to most of the situations in "To Kill a Mockingbird."
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Work Cited

Ellsworth, Loretta. "What Harper Lee taught me about writing and the writing life." The Writer Sept. 2010: 8. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 June 2015.

Kasper, Annie. "General semantics in To Kill a Mockingbird." ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 63.3 (2006): 272+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 May 2015.

Murray, Jennifer. "More Than One Way to (Mis)Read a Mockingbird." The Southern Literary Journal 43.1 (2010): 75+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 31 May 2015.

Smykowski, Adam. "Symbolism and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird." Readings on "To Kill a Mockingbird". Ed. Terry O'Neill. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 2000. 52-56. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 194. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 June 2015.