To Kill a Mockingbird- Education

In: English and Literature

Submitted By topmandan10
Words 687
Pages 3
Harper Lee dedicates 17 pages to Scout’s first day at school to help introduce many of Maycomb’s families and their backgrounds, through representatives in Scout’s class. She uses the teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, to highlight the naivety and prejudice of many adults in the town of Maycomb. The author does not approve of the American education or the ‘Dewey Decimal System’, which she was forced to experience in her childhood, and uses the 17 pages of Scout’s first day at school to share her views on this.

Harper Lee is critical of the education system, she shows us through Scout’s reading and writing ability that it does not allow you to excel as it does not take into account ability or need: ‘Miss Caroline caught me writing and told me to tell my father to stop teaching me’. Here, in effect Miss Caroline is telling Scout to forget everything she has learnt before school and learn to read and write again in the ‘correct manor’ of the ‘Dewey Decimal System’.

At the beginning of the extract, Harper Lee emphasises Scout’s excitement on going to school, ‘I never looked forward more to anything in my life’. Harper Lee does this so that we empathize with Scout when she is disappointed with the way she is treated by Miss Caroline and turns upon a dramatic change: ‘If I didn’t have to stay, I’d leave’. The adult Scout looks back on episodes with her old teacher with satire, as she mocks her younger self’s naivety and Miss Caroline’s ridiculous teaching regime, where Scout is looked upon with ‘more than faint distaste’, just for outsmarting her classmates!

Harper Lee indicates to the reader that Miss Caroline’s mistakes could be due to her foreign background, she is from ‘Winstone County’ and Scout suggests that the region is ‘full of liquor interests, Big mules, steel companies…and other persons of no background’. However, rather than sympathizing Miss Caroline,…...

Similar Documents

To Kill a Mockingbird

...trial as the jury consists entirely of white people and even though Tom’s case is stronger than the Ewells he does not have much chance. In conclusion, Harper Lee engages the reader’s sympathy using techniques such as description and dialogue. Using these two techniques, Lee creates imagery in the mind of the reader to help them to sympathise for Tom. Later in the novel, Tom Robinson is killed and this engages the reader’s emotions as the reader’s sympathy towards Tom has been built up through out the trial. His death leaves the reader sad and angry because of the unjust way in which he was convicted. Tom is the mockingbird in the story because he only tries to make Mayella happy just like a mockingbird would through its singing. Tom Robinson was killed for an unfair reason as Atticus said early on in the book, ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’. This quote from Atticus makes the reader feel sympathetic for Tom as it shows how the Finches have all the compassionate values and the reader feels angry that the other white people can’t realise such values. Reuben Walker...

Words: 881 - Pages: 4

To Kill a Mockingbird

...“To Kill A Mockingbird” “ There is no greater heresy than to do the right thing for the wrong reason or moreover the wrong thing for the right reason” this quote by Victor Hugo runs parallel to Harper Lee’s gripping tale of right and wrong, good and evil. “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a intricate and symbolic masterpiece of the intertwining elements of positive and negative, and how when they occupy the same space no becomes hardly recognizable from the other In this story, a well to do family is faced with very compromising scenarios that causes them and the reader alike to question certain core principles that are supposedly innate, and guides them through a journey of racism, pride, deceit, judgment, and finally reconciling all of these. All characters in the novel perpetually orbit around sentiments of morals and social acceptance and to deal with these themes in a realistic manner. The very title of the story “To Kill A Mockingbird” speaks the nuance of wrong invading or violating what is right. Atticus Finch, the patriarch of the family, has the most explicit encounter with moral injustice and the ordeal of fighting against it. As a lawyer in a small, southern town, Finch is endowed, voluntarily no doubt, with the dubious responsibility of representing an African American man in a criminal case of rape. The small town of Maycomb, Alabama is very racist and Atticus’s decision does not go over well with most of the citizens there. In order to appease the majority......

Words: 953 - Pages: 4

To Kill a Mockingbird

...To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story of racial prejudice and social class set in a time when such narrow-mindedness was considered acceptable and apart of every day life in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Narrated and based around Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and the many ordeals she and her brother (Jem) face in the years of their growing up; out of the childhood innocence they once possessed to realise the true evils of their community and shed false pretences surrounding the innocence of two such characters as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson for which the community of Maycomb had long labelled and ridiculed for either their colour or peculiar behavioural patterns. Lee incorporates several different symbols within the text that assist in developing the ideas and beliefs held by both Scout and Jem such as; the Mockingbird, Mrs Dubose’ Camellias and Mayella Ewell’s red Geraniums all of which pl... ... middle of paper ... ... weather that be the counties resident Mockingbirds Boo Radley and Tom Robinson who continue to sing their songs of purity and innocence even in death (in Tom’s case), Mrs Dubose who’s underlying courage was able to shine through her Camellias and rub of on Jem or Mayella Ewell who’s backyard is proven to be populated by beautiful Geraniums; symbolism has played huge role on their ideas and beliefs and those of the people around them most notably the narrator Scout Finch who’s entire outlook on life is changed through the use of such......

Words: 253 - Pages: 2

To Kill a Mockingbird

...of To Kill a Mockingbird takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator, six-year-old named Scout Finch, lives with her older brother Jem and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer. Jem and Scout become friends with a boy named Dill who visits Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer. The three children are afraid of their neighbor "Boo" Radley. The adults of Maycomb don’t like to talk about Boo and for many years, few have seen him. The children feed each other's imaginations with rumors about his appearance and reasons for remaining hidden, and they fantasize about how to get him out of his house. After two summers of being friends with Dill, Scout and Jem find out someone is leaving them small gifts in a tree outside the Radley house. Boo makes gestures to the children but is never seen in person. Atticus is assigned to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. Although many of Maycomb's citizens disapprove, Atticus agrees to defend Tom. Atticus discovers that the accusers—Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk—are lying. It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella was making sexual advances towards Tom and her father caught her in the act. Even with convincing evidence of Tom's innocence, the jury convicts him. Tom is soon shot and killed while trying to escape from prison. Harper Lee wrote To Kill a......

Words: 1287 - Pages: 6

To Kill a Mockingbird

...A mockingbird is a harmless bird that makes the world more pleasant. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, who were peaceful people who never did any harm. To kill or harm them would be a sin. Scout's father, Atticus, tells Scout and Jem, “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." Atticus is portraying that they are innocent and to harm them would be a sin. The mockingbird symbolizes these three characters because it does not have its own song, the mockingbird only sings other birds' songs and is seen through the other bird’s voices. The people of Maycomb only knew Boo, Atticus and Tom by what others said about them. These characters do not really have their own voice or song, they are only known for what others say about them. Atticus is a lawyer in Maycomb, a typical southern town where racial discrimination is the normal behavior. When he decides to defend Tom Robinson a black man, the people in the town were threatening him for doing so. Though Atticus never showed any sign that he doubted what he was doing. Atticus saw the evil in his world and was only trying to protect his children from it. He simply denied the natural behavior to colored people and fought against it. Atticus took the hatred, pushed it aside, kept his head high and stayed true to himself. He never hurt a soul and was just as innocent as a mockingbird. Boo Radley went......

Words: 678 - Pages: 3

To Kill a Mockingbird

...\To Kill a Mocking Bird To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty much about growing up during racial times in the 1930s in Alabama (Southern part of the United States). It covers three year where the main characters undergo many changes. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus in the fictitious town of Maycomb, Alabama. Maycomb is a small, everybody knows everybody kind of town, and every family has its own social status depending on which part of town they’re from, who their parents are, and how long their family have lived there. Atticus raises his children by himself, due to having losing his wife, with the help of neighbors and a black housekeeper named Calpurnia. Scout and Jem almost automatically understand the difficulties and conspiracies of their neighborhood and town. The only neighbor who puzzles them is the mysterious Arthur Radley, AKA Boo Radley, who never comes outside. When Dill, a neighbor's nephew, starts spending summers in Maycomb, the three children begin on a quest where they are determined to lure Arthur outside. Scout who is known as a tom boy who would rather hang out with boys rather than girls and is known to solve her problems with fighting. She tries to understand a world that tells her to behave like a lady, a brother who criticizes her for acting like a girl, and a father who accepts her just as she is. Scout hates school, gaining her most valuable education from experience and from her father. About half way through the book......

Words: 909 - Pages: 4

To Kill the Mockingbird

...SUMMARY of the extract from the novel "To Kill the Mockingbird" by Harper Lee In the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" the scene is laid in a small American town in Alabama. The given extract depicts a trial of Tom Robinson, a coloured man, who is in the criminal dock on a capital charge of assaulting a white girl. His defending counsel Atticus Finch is an experienced lawyer and a progressive-minded man known for his humane views. His taking up the case was an act of courage in the American world of prejudice. The story is told by Jean Louise, Atticus's daughter, who watched the progress of the trial and being a lawyer's daughter did not fail to feel the atmosphere in the court-room and see the futility of her father's efforts to win the case. It is Atticus's speech to the jury that takes up the best part of the text. Moved by his sympathy for the black man and his desire to stand for his rights Atticus spoke most convincingly and with a great emotional force. He pointed it out to the jury that the case was simple enough. Having thoroughly considered every piece of the evidence submitted Atticus exposed the false testimony of the witnesses and proved that the defendant was innocent while the guilt lay with the white girl, the chief witness for the state. It was she who had tempted the Negro thus breaking the code of the society she lived in. Next she would throw the blame on Tom Robinson thus putting his life at stake. Atticus condemned Tom Robinson's accusers for their......

Words: 448 - Pages: 2

To Kill a Mockingbird

...To Kill a Mockingbird, by Nelle Haper Lee was published in 1960, after the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education and during a time of increasing civil rights unrest (Johnson). It was also a time of great social change in the United States, and a novel about the racial injustices of 1930s Alabama carried a powerful message to its readers. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, literature and literacy were used to expose and educate on racial injustice (Prendergrast 2). The dominant theme of the novel is prejudice and ultimately the courage needed to overcome prejudice. There are three main types of prejudice that are explored in the novel; racial prejudice, social prejudice and fear of the unknown. Racial prejudice is present throughout the novel in the people of Maycomb’s everyday life, as it is a novel set in the ‘deep south’ of America in the 1930’s. This period is not so long after the American civil war, so slavery’s abolishment had occurred not all that long ago, and the horror of slavery was still on the mind of many black people at the time (Brundage 86). Because of this, most people’s attitudes towards black people had not changed very much. The situation that shows the best examples of racial prejudice is the trial of Tom Robinson. In his trial, Tom Robinson is misjudged and mistreated because he is black. One of the clearest examples of this is the way in which Mr. Gilmer, Tom’s prosecutor, calls Tom “boy.” He uses a tone of voice......

Words: 1526 - Pages: 7

To Kill a Mockingbird

...In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird there were three unique families. The Ewells were poor and choose to live like animals. The Cunninghams were hardworking and only took what they could repay. The Finches were respected by all citizens in Maycomb and lived their life according to a definite code of values. This being said, the Ewells, Cunninghams and the Finches were three distinctly different families with differing code of values. Unquestionably, the Ewells were a filthy poor family that did not live by any code of values. This was shown to the reader by the way Maycomb bent the rules for this family. The Ewells were the only family in Maycomb who were allowed to hunt and trap year-round. The city allowed this due to that fact they would rather Mr. Ewell break a law if he was getting food for his children. “ ‘ … I don’t know of any landowner around here who begrudges those children any game their father can hit’ ” (41). In addition, the Ewells were an uneducated family. The children did not care to take the opportunity to get a proper education. This was due to the irresponsibility of their father in pushing them to attend school. “ ‘Been comin’ to the first grade o’ the first grade for three years now ’ ”(36). Furthermore, the Ewells did not value the quality of respect Mr. Ewell was evidently not respectful of his daughter Mayella nor was he respectful of the court of law. When he was called to testify he lied and even when so far as to pressure Mayella to lie too. “...

Words: 926 - Pages: 4

To Kill a Mockingbird

...will introduce you to the two main characters in Harper Lee's book "To kill a mockingbird", comparing them in their attitudes and actions. Atticus Finch is a single father raising two children in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Atticus works as a lawyer believing in equal justice for all Americans regardless of race or religion. Bob Ewell is also a single father raising eight children who also lives in Maycomb. Bob is unemployed collecting welfare who believes in racial segregation. He believes in different modes of justice for blacks and whites. Atticus is very compassionate while talking to his thirteen-year-old son Jem. Atticus was explaining to him that he would do anything just for Bob to stop beating his kids. As he said, "So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there."(Pg. 221) In addition Atticus explains to Jem that he had to do what he had to do because he destroyed Bob's last shred of credibility, whereas Bob is a coward who doesn't deal with the matter but makes things worse. Bob proves himself to be very cowardly. He doesn't think before making his actions. As a result of this he tried to kill Atticus' children, Jem and Scout. As they were walking home from the Halloween pageant, Bob came out and tried to kill them. Bob got what he deserved when Boo Radley, a neighbor who......

Words: 639 - Pages: 3

To Kill a Mockingbird

...Zach McKinnell Mrs. Ivey Honors English 9 2\8\15 To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the best books of the twentieth century. It has lots of good morals and shows how people learn lessons. In this book there are many instances where people follow Atticus’ advice. When he says you need to walk in someone’s shoes before you can judge their lives. Throughout the book people learn about this lesson more and more. One example is when Scout walks in Boo’s shoes. During the story Scout was on Boo’s porch and was finally getting a view from Boo’s eyes. She said this is as close as you can get to walking in somebody’s shoes. She realizes Boo isn’t really the bad person everybody thinks he is. She realizes he really has a good heart and is a really kind person. She realized how it would have affected him if Atticus would not have lied. She saw how he saw the town and the people in it. Another example is Atticus and Heck walking in Boo’s shoes. They both realize that they have to lie to protect Boo. They realize Boo doesn’t want all the attention of being a hero. They both see he is a really good man. They see he’s never done anything wrong and doesn’t deserve to be brought out of his comfort zone. They compared it to killing a mockingbird, because a mockingbird does nothing but make pretty music and never hurts anyone, so why kill it? They walked in Boo’s shoes and saw why they should protect him from the attention and everything he doesn’t want. The next example is Jem......

Words: 456 - Pages: 2

To Kill a Mockingbird

...In the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, the novel commences by introducing the three main characters Charles Baker “Dill” Harris, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, and Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch. These three children are the focus of the revolutionary piece, which is settled in the farmers city of Maycomb, Alabama in the early years of The Great Depression. Why does the author include the third character Dill, why didn’t Lee focus only on the two Finch siblings? Possibly Lee meant to establish Boo within the plot to emphasize the children’s friendship. Perhaps this can be explained with; the Greek philosophy of Pythagoreanism, the Bible, and the compatible characters of the children. The story of how these children met was arbitrary; however, these were the years that will never be forgotten due to the mystery of Boo, the youngest within the Radley family. Arthur “Boo” Radley is a character in the novel that keeps Dill, Jem, and Scout together by arousing their curiosity. Boo could possibly be a psychotic ex-con and this only drives the kids deeper into the rumors about him. Boo is a mysterious recluse that leaves the entire neighborhood filled with questions. The mystery of Boo Radley is what initially brings the children together as a group and continues to be the glue that holds them together. Lee perhaps incorporated the Pythagoreanism a philosophy established by Pythagoras. This philosophy involves the theory of the perfection......

Words: 617 - Pages: 3

To Kill a Mockingbird

...Andrew Holloman ENG 1101 11/13/12 Compare and Contrast Essay Similarities between Harper Lee’s Childhood Life and Scout Finch’s Childhood Life The To Kill a Mockingbird novel written by Harper Lee is commonly considered one of the twentieth century's most widely read American novels. The vast majority of people that have read the novel are of the belief that the events contained within the novel are based on Harper Lee’s childhood experiences growing up in the South. However, absent of Harper Lee actually confirming the inspirational source for her novel; it’s still an assumption made by the masses. Nonetheless, we all have to agree that there are some very distinct similarities between Harper Lee’s childhood life and the childhood life of Scout Finch’s in the novel. Similarities that exist between Harper Lee’s childhood life and that of Scout Finch in the To Kill a Mockingbird novel were the facts that they were both raised in small rural towns, both of them were tomboys during their childhood years, and they both lived through times of racial prejudice. The first similarity between Harper Lee’s childhood life and Scout Finch’s childhood life is that they were both raised in small rural towns in Alabama. Harper Lee grew up in the small rural town of Monroeville, Alabama that. The town has a small closely knit population where everyone knew their neighbors and knew their neighbor’s business. Aside from this the town of Monroeville is riddled with poverty and......

Words: 1053 - Pages: 5

To Kill a Mockingbird

...Analysis of “To kill a mockingbird” Saryuna Rinchino, gr. 02193 The story under analysis is an extract from a novel “To kill a mockingbird”. The book was written by Harper Lee in 1960. Harper Lee was born in 1926 in the state of Alabama. In 1945-1949 she studied law at the University of Alabama. “To kill a mockingbird” is her first novel and after being published it was highly acclaimed and even was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, one of the most important awards in literature. The book became an international bestseller and was adapted into screen in 1962. The events of the novel “To kill a mockingbird” take place during a difficult time in the South. At that time black people were treated as people of lower level than white ones. Racial Discrimination was running high in the South as a whole, especially in Alabama. Many details of “To kill a mockingbird”are apparently autobiographical but Harper Lee insisted that the novel is fully a work of fiction. The events of the extract take place in the court of Maycomb County. Two small children secretly came to the trial and was sitting there the whole trial. A Negro, Tom Robison by name, was falsely accused in rapping a white woman. But Atticus, a defender and the two children’s father, was absolutely sure in his innocence and tried to give all necessary facts to persuade the jury. Actually it was the white woman’s father, Bob Ewell, who had bitten her as he had seen her kissing Tom Robinson. And also it was Mayella Ewell......

Words: 1233 - Pages: 5

To Kill a Mockingbird

...JC Miranda & Shant Bekarian Mrs. Lambert English Honors II The book To kill a mockingbird is a microcosm of the Judicial Branch and the American law system. Microcosm has a multitude of definitions that vary from a little world to a greatly diminished size. The definition being examined in this essay is something that makes up another entity of a larger size. Juror Eleven makes a connection between these two by stating his love for this country due to the differences between where he immigrated from and the United States. He also explains a side of democracy where everyone should play their part: “ We have a responsibility. This is a remarkable thing about democracy…., We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. This is why we are strong” (pg 50). Robinson creates this microcosm of the Judicial Branch through 3 characters which are Jurors 3, 8, and the foreman. These characters make up the microcosm by becoming sides of the justice system and representations of where the young man is guilty or not. Juror 3 is the side that believes the young man is guilty and opposes him which can mean that the he is more like the plaintiff or prosecutor in the justice system. On the contrary Juror 8 believes the young man is innocent which means that he is more like the defendant’s side in the justice system. The foreman is the one who calms the situation and stops a conversation from becoming too heated. He is most like the judge or bailiff that consoles......

Words: 608 - Pages: 3