Multimedia Project for TKAM

By: Will, Sophie, and Laura

Literary Criticisms

Three literary criticisms that revealed new ways of thinking about the novel were:


"The Romantic Regionalism of Harper Lee," which told how Harper Lee broke many stereotypes of the romanticised Southern US life and gave a story that showed things how they were.


"Reconstructing Atticus Finch," which pointed out that we never really knew for sure that Tom was innocent, and asks what we might think of Atticus had he not been.


And finally, "The Strange Career of Atticus Finch," where the author points out that Atticus's role as the savior in the novel is controversial; while he was a hero for what he did, the role of a racial hero played by a white man today reads as problematic.

Character Foils

Character foils are opposites who are contrasted to highlight different points about the characters


A set of character foils found in the novel are Aunt Alexandra and Atticus Finch.

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She is bound by social standings and how things are 'supposed' to be; everything she does is "for the good of the family" (p. 133), whereas he defies the norm, taking Tom Robinson's case.


Their parenting styles are also opposite. Alexandra is strict, while Atticus is easygoing in raising his children.

Thematic Topic

"Death of Innocence" would be an appropriate theme statement for the novel To Kill A Mockingbird.


The mockingbird itself is a symbol of innocence, and many different characters take this form in the novel.

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"It ain't right, Atticus," (p. 212) says Jem, after the trial, confused and upset at the events he saw.


Scout says that telling people about Boo Radley would be "sort of like shootin' a mockingbird," (p. 277) in that it would take away his freedom and imprison his innocence.

Allusions

Historical- "War Between the States," mentioned on page 174- allusion to the Civil War.
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Even though the war ended in 1865, and the South lost, the mindset of Southerners still remains.

Biblical- When Atticus tells Uncle Jack “Let this cup pass from you, eh?”

This is a Biblical reference to the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, on which He prayed to the Lord “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: netherless, not my will, but thine, but done” (Luke 22:42)

Literary- First Chapter: "Our first raid came to pass only because Dill bet Jem The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that Jem wouldn’t get any farther than the Radley gate.” (Lee, 16)

Last Chapter: "Something of Jem's, called The Gray Ghost." (Lee, 375)
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Boo Radley, the Gray Ghost...

“His face was a white as his hands...his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind.” (Lee, 362)

"...Atticus, he was real nice..."

"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." (Lee, 375)

Symbols/Motifs

Symbol: Tears

Represent the realization of injustice.

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"Seems that only children weep," (Lee, 285)

Irony

"How can you hate Hitler so bad an' turn around and be ugly about folks right at home-" (Lee, 329)
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Jews were persecuted due to prejudice. Miss Gates is against prejudice and hates Hitler. How does she not see the prejudice in her own backyard?

Characterization--Atticus Finch

Characterized as a wise man who is against racism and is trying to be a good father to his kids, Atticus is a central character in the novel. His wisdom is indirectly exemplified in his famous speech that Scout will never truly understand a person "until [she] climb[s] into his[/her] skin and walk around in it." (Lee, 33), showing his attempt to understand another's situation and a desire to never judge someone unless they truly deserve it. Despite being considered a race traitor by most in Maycomb due to him actually wanting to defend Tom Robinson, the town still trusts him to do the right thing, even if they don't see it as such.


We learn a lot about Atticus as well, such as his past as "One-Shot Finch," after he kills the Radley dog, and he goes into detail about why he thinks racism is wrong, considering that "whenever a white man cheats... a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." (Pg 252). This development makes him a well rounded character.


Despite being a well rounded character, Atticus is static. He remains the same throughout the book: wise, knowledgeable and somewhat stubborn, though quick to change if the situation demands it.

Narrator

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is the narrator.


Demonstrating her position as a child is the quote "Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had,"


But then we see her adult mindset in the quote "But Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, ('obliquely,' a word a child does not use,) that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was." (Lee, 147)

Works Cited

Aunt Alexandra. Digital image. Katherine Hepburn. The Last Drive In, n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.


Blank Outline Map. Digital image. The American Civil War. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.


Crespino, Joseph. "The Strange Career of Atticus Finch." Southern Cultures 6.2 (Summer 2000): 9-29. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 194. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 June 2015.


The Crying Eye. Digital image. Imgbuddy.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.


Erisman, Fred. "The Romantic Regionalism of Harper Lee." The Alabama Review 26.2 (Apr. 1973): 122-136. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz and Cathy Falk. Vol. 60. Detroit: Gale, 1990. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 June 2015.


Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Digital image. Ocbookshoppe.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 June 2015.


Lubet, Steven. "Reconstructing Atticus Finch." Michigan Law Review 97.6 (May 1999): 1339-1362. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 194. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 June 2015.


Patron, Stuart. The Gray Ghost. Digital image. Quazoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.


Scout Finch. Digital image. Pixgood.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 June 2015


Timm, Claudio. Birds of North America. Digital image. Carolina Birds. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.


Young Survivors at the Camp, Liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. Digital image. Auschwitz Concentration Camp. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 June 2015.