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To Kill a Mockingbird


Nine black teenagers are falsely charged with raping ... The need for moral education ... In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finch children will become acquainted ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
  • By Harper Lee

  • All men are created equal.
  • Girls should act like girls and boys should act
    like boys.
  • Nobody is all bad or all good.
  • Some words are so offensive that they should
    never be stated or written.
  • Under our justice system, all citizens are
    treated fairly in our courts of law.
  • Sticks and stones may break your bones, but
    words will never hurt you.
  • Speaking standard grammar proves that a person is
  • A hero is born, not made.
  • No one is above the law.
  • Education is the great equalizer.
  • When the law does not succeed in punishing
    criminals, citizens should do so.

Themes- the subject of a piece of writing a topic
  • Racial Prejudice
  • Social Snobbery
  • Morality
  • Tolerance
  • Patience
  • Equality
  • The Need for Compassion
  • The Need for Conscience

  • Somber
  • Serious
  • Humorous (at times)

Harper Lee
  • She was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama (the
    fictional Maycomb, Alabama)
  • Her father Amasa was a lawyer whom she deeply
  • Her mothers maiden name was Finch
  • Her own childhood mirrors that of the character
    Scout- youngest of 4 children
  • In 1960 she published her only novel To Kill a
  • It received the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in
  • Since 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird has never been
    out of print
  • At age 84, she is alive but rarely makes public
    appearances or gives interviews

  • Maycomb, Alabama (fictional city)
  • 1933-1935
  • Although slavery has long been abolished, the
    Southerners in Maycomb continue to believe in
    white supremacy.

Do Now 5/19/10 (2/10)
  • What is your understanding of this quote, which
    Harper Lee placed in the introduction to To Kill
    a Mockingbird?
  • Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
  • Charles Lamb

Life During the 1930s
  • Race Relations
  • Nine black teenagers are falsely charged with
    raping two white women in Scottsboro, Alabama
    eight are convicted and sentenced to deah
  • The U.S. Supreme Court reverses their convictions
    because their constitutional rights had been
  • The teens are tried for a second time, and are
    again found guilty
  • The Supreme Court reverses the convictions again
  • Eventually, four of the defendants are freed the
    other five serve prison terms
  • The last Scottsboro defendant was paroled in 1950
  • It was virtually impossible for a black person to
    receive a fair trial

Scottsboro Boys Trial
Life During the 1930s
  • The Great Depression sweeps the nation Many
    families do not even have money for basic needs
    such as food, clothing, and shelter.
  • The per capita income for families in Alabama
    (and Oklahoma) is 125 - 250 a year
  • Many southern blacks pick cotton for a living
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt is President

Major Historical Happenings...
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Scottsboro Trials
  • Recovering from the Great Depression
  • Racial Injustice
  • Poor South

Jim Crow Laws
  • After the American Civil War (1861-1865) most
    states in the South passed anti-African American
    legislation. These became known as Jim Crow laws.
  • These laws included segregation in
  • Schools -- Hospitals
  • Theaters -- Water fountains
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Public transportation
  • Some states forbid inter-racial marriages

  • These laws were instituted in 1876 and were not
    abolished till the late 1950s (even then still
    not completely).

  • The Mockingbird Symbolizes Everything That is
    Good and Harmless in This World
  • The mockingbird only sings to please others and
    therefore it is considered a sin to shoot a
    mockingbird. They are considered harmless
    creatures who give joy with their song.
  • The mockingbird image or symbol appears four
    times in the novel.
  • Two characters in the novel symbolize the
    mockingbird Tom Robinson Boo Radley.

Jean Louis Finch Scout
  • The storys narrator
  • Although now an adult, Scout looks back at her
    childhood and tells of the momentous events and
    influential people of those years.
  • Scout is six when the story begins.
  • She is naturally curious about life.

Scouts Character Traits
  • Tomboy
  • Impulsive
  • Emotional
  • Warm Friendly
  • Sensitive
  • Adorable
  • Gains in Maturity throughout the Novel

Atticus Finch
  • Father of Scout and Jem
  • A widower
  • An attorney by profession
  • Highly respected
  • Good citizen
  • Instills good values and morals in
  • his children.
  • His children call him Atticus
  • Honest
  • Typical southern gentleman
  • Brave
  • Courteous
  • Soft-spoken

Jem Finch
  • Scouts older brother
  • Looks up to his father Atticus
  • Usually looks out for Scout
  • Typical older brother at times
  • Smart
  • Compassionate
  • Matures as the story progresses

  • The Finchs black housekeeper
  • Has watched the children since their mothers
  • Has been a positive influence on the children.

Arthur Boo Radley
  • An enigma
  • An adult man, whose father has sentenced him
    to a lifetime confinement to their house because
    of some mischief he got into when he was a
  • Has a reputation of being a lunatic
  • Basically a harmless, well-meaning person
  • Sometimes childlike in behavior
  • Starving for love and affection
  • Saves Jem and Scout from certain danger

Tom Robinson
  • A young, harmless, innocent, hardworking black
  • Has a crippled left hand
  • Married with three children. Works on a farm
    belonging to Mr. Link Deas, a white man
  • Will be falsely accused of raping a white girl,
    Mayella Ewell

  • A close friend of Jem and Scout
  • Usually lives in Maycomb only during the summer
    (stays with a relative)
  • Tells big stories
  • Has been deprived of love and affection

Two Poor White Families The Cunninghams
The Ewells
  • Poor white family
  • Hard-working
  • Honest
  • Proud
  • Survive on very little
  • Always pay back their debts even if it is with
    hickory nuts, turnips, or holly.
  • Poor white family
  • Dirty
  • Lazy
  • Good-for-nothing
  • Never done a days work
  • Foul-mouthed
  • Dishonest
  • Immoral

The Black Community
  • Simple
  • Honest
  • Clean
  • Hard-working
  • God fearing
  • Proud
  • Would never take anything with paying it back
  • Respectful
  • Had stronger character than most of the whites
  • Oppressed
  • Uneducated
  • Discriminated against
  • Talked about badly
  • Deserve better than what is dished out to them by

  • Sometimes the language of Scout will be that of
    her as a child other times, she will be speaking
    in the voice of an adult
  • Atticus uses formal speech
  • Calpurnia uses white language in the Finch
    house and switches to black jargon when amidst
  • The Ewells use foul words and obscenities
  • Jem, Scout, and Dill will use slang words,
    typical of their age
  • Tom Robinson uses language typical of the
    southern black such as suh for sir and
    chillun for children
  • Various derogatory terms for blacks will be used
    such as nigger, darky, Negroes, and
    colored folk Lee uses such language to keep
    her novel naturally in sync with common language
    of the times

Legal Segregation in Alabama, 1923-1940
  • No white female nurses in hospitals that treat
    black men
  • Separate passenger cars for whites and blacks
  • Separate waiting rooms for whites and blacks
  • Separation of white and black convicts
  • Separate schools
  • No interracial marriages
  • Segregated water fountains
  • Segregated theatres

Morphine A Southern Ladys Drug
  • 1930s Typical Morphine Addict
  • White female
  • Middle-aged or older
  • Widowed
  • Homebound
  • Lives in the south
  • Property owner
  • Began using morphine for medical reasons (pain
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finch children
    will become acquainted with a morphine addict
    named Mrs. Dubose. Although only a fictitious
    character, she personifies the American morphine
    addict of the late nineteenth and early twentieth

Reflecting on What Weve Read so far Chapters 1-4
  • In your journal, answer the following questions
  • As the novel begins, we are introduced to the
    town of Maycomb and its inhabitants through the
    recollections of the narrator, Jean Louise Finch
  • a) What does Scout tell us about the history of
    the town? What is life like there when Scout is
    growing up?
  • b) What do we learn about the history of
    Scouts family? How is this history linked with
    that of Maycomb?
  • c) Briefly relate the history of the Radleys.
    What do you find odd about them? In what ways do
    the Radleys differ from the Finches?
  • Dills curiosity about Boo Radley sparks a series
    of attempted encounters with this mysterious,
    invisible neighbour. Examine each of the
    following encounters with Boo, and answer the
    questions below
  • the dare
  • the runaway tire
  • the new game
  • a) What do the children find so fascinating
    about Boo Radley?
  • b) What is the childrens motive in each of
    these incidents?
  • c) What evidence is given to illustrate that
    their actions are not going unnoticed?

Reflections for further ahead
  • As you are reading the novel for the first time,
    make entries in your journal at the points
    indicated below in response to the questions
    asked. Feel free to write other thoughts and
    feelings about other parts of the novel as you
    are reading!
  • After finishing chapter 11, give your opinion of
    Atticus. Would you like to have him as a father?
  • As you finish chapter 13, record your reaction to
    Aunt Alexandra. What will the relationship
    between her and Scout be like, in your opinion?
  • In chapter 14, Dill explains to Scout why he ran
    away. Have you ever felt like this?
  • Describe your feelings at the end of chapter 22.
    Was this the verdict you expected?
  • Write down your immediate feelings after
    finishing the novel.