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It is suggested that Mayella was beaten by her father. Despite this Mayella insists that Tom is responsible and he is convicted of the crime.
The Ewell family lives on relief checks, which Bob "drank up anyway," and the home has no running water. The younger children are perpetually sick and dirty. They made their shoes out of strips of old tires salvaged from the dump. She does not stay in school because "with two members of the family reading and writing, there was no need for the rest of them to learn -- Papa needed them at home" (Lee 183).
Mayella is a lonely girl with has low self-esteem. This is demonstrated when she believes Atticus, the defense attorney is mocking her when he addresses her as Miss Mayella, and is offended when Atticus asks if she has any friends, believing that he is making fun of her.…
Carver, Joseph M. "Love and the Stocholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser." PsychForums.com. (2010). 29 November 2010.
Kill a Mockingbird
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by author Harper Lee tells the story of a southern American family living in a rural community during the Great Depression. Atticus Finch is the single, widowed father of Jeremy, nicknamed Jem, and Jean Louise, nicknamed Scout. Many people of the town of Maycomb, Alabama dislike the Finches because Atticus is educated, because of the way that Atticus is raising his children and also for his attitudes towards segregation and racial equality. Mr. Finch tries very hard to teach his children right from wrong, to let them live and make some of their own mistakes, and to raise them as intelligent human beings who judge men by the quality of the character, not the color of their skin. Although Atticus Finch is not a perfect man, he is ultimately a good father and a very good man.
Most of the plot…
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print.
Like other symbols of the civil rights movement such as the song "We shall overcome" and peaceful sit-ins, to Kill a Mockingbird quickly assumed a similar position.
As the focus of the movie was on right and wrong, the director of this film, obert Mulligan, provided the American movie viewing public with a strong lesson in justice but he was also able, largely through the character of Atticus Finch, to demonstrate that humanity can still prevail even under difficult circumstances. Mulligan could have soften the message and still have captured the essence of the book upon which the movie was based but, instead, Mulligan made a deliberate statement in the way that he portrayed the characters in the story and how the movie told the story. He took on the ways of the American South where the beliefs of men, despite their moral depravity, ruled their actions instead of the…
Referenced several times in the movie, the mockingbird is a symbol of harmlessness in that its only function is to make music for others. It has no real enemies and should be except from harm. As Atticus warns his children, "it is sin to kill a mockingbird."
In the movie Boo and Tom Robinson are similar to the mockingbird in that they are harmless individuals who would never intentionally hurt anyone, yet, both are harmed seriously in the movie and those who are hurting them is like shooting a mockingbird. The mockingbird symbolizes the good in life but, as the conviction and death of Tom Robinson demonstrates, evil has the power to overcome the mockingbird's goodness.
Another powerful symbol or image in the movie is the genuine goodness of the black community. The Maycomb black community is pictured in the movie as a group of simple, honest, and hardworking individuals who are barely eking out an existence but still manage to be happy. In spite of their poverty, they appear to possess a high measure of self-respect and pride in themselves. When Atticus decides to represent Tom Robinson, one of their own, the black community showers him with gratitude by supplying his family with fresh produce and baked goods to the point that the Finch home is overcrowding with such items and when Scout and Jem appear in the local black church they are treated with the highest degree of respect and deference.
The wholesomeness of the black community is contrasted with the poor whites in the Maycomb community who are depicted as being poor not because of their race but because of their inherent laziness and lack of ambition. Their living conditions are deplorable; their dress is filthy; they are rude; and, they ignore and abuse their children. Yet, in spite of their poorness and depravity they still look down at the blacks and consider themselves superior to them. These whites consider themselves superior not because of the quality of their character but because of the color of their skin.
The timing of the release of the movie is highly significant. The civil rights movement that was initiated to combat the very concerns addressed by the movie was fully active and this movie was a voice for the injustice that was occurring at the time. Because many of the injustices that were depicted in the movie remain relevant even today, the movie still has staying power nearly fifty years after its initial release. In 1962, the movie stood as a reminder of the effects of racial ignorance and it remains as such.
Discuss the presence of Jim Crow laws and their manifestation in the novel and social ramifications.
Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark case for maintaining segregation and inequality for blacks. Discuss how this was demonstrated in the novel.
Discuss how the economic stresses of the time added to social tensions in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tom Robinson is a black man charged with rape of a white woman, tried by a white jury. Discuss the problems inherent in this situation that will ensure he won’t receive a fair trial.
Discuss the parallelisms between Boo Radley and Tom Robinson.
Discuss the parallelisms between Jem Finch and Tom Robinson.
Dill Harris is an intriguing supporting character as he represents a melee of so many of the people and circumstances around him. Discuss.
Critics have described Atticus Finch as overly optimistic. Agree or disagree and explain.
The novel is not a…
In this To Kill a Mockingbird essay example, the exploration of race and family will play a role in how the characters are experienced by the reader. A look at setting, an emphasis on characters like Aunt Alexandra, will help provide the kind of context needed to explore the topic further. The topic of family is an interesting area to cover because it is a personal and private attempt of the writer to showcase feelings that he or she may not otherwise show in their own lives. Novels like To Kill a Mockingbird offer a glimpse into ideals or struggles of family for the author.
Race Relations in To Kill a Mockingbird
A Look at Jim Crow Laws in To Kill a Mockingbird
Calpurnia and Tim Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird and Their Portrayal of the Black Community
Selected Title: The Role of Family in To…
Scout and Jem are likewise tormented by their classmates because of their father's courageous decision to defend an obviously innocent man. Scout already hates school and feels like a persecuted mockingbird in its controlled, conformist environment. She would rather be playing with her brother and her best friend Dill. School is yet another example of the ways in which society can be cruel and persecutory of people who are 'different.'
Scout is not above hurting other people, however. When she is humiliated by her teacher because she explains why a poor boy named Walter cannot afford even to borrow money for lunch and her teacher reprimands her, Scout turns against Walter by beating him up during lunchtime. Before she is saved by Boo, she is frightened of him and she and her friends make up stories about him, because they fear what they do not understand. It is this misunderstanding…
Kill a Mockingbird is one of the classical American novels that described the lynching of a black man accused of rape in Alabama during the 1930s. In this story, Tom Robinson is completely innocent, having been accused falsely by a white woman named Mayella Ewell. In reality, she was attracted to Tom and attempted to seduce him, but when her father found out he forced her to accuse him of rape. Atticus Finch knows the charges are false and defends Tom in court as best he can, knowing that the death sentence is inevitable in this case. As I reader, I can identify with the heroism of Atticus in the case, and sympathize with the injustice being done to Tom, who never has a chance of surviving once these charges have been made. Even the Ewell family, as degraded, violent and racist as they are should also be considered victims…
Bloom, Harold. Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Infobase Publishing, 2007.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins, 1960, 1988.
McElaney, Hugh, "Just One Kind of Folks': The Normalizing Power of Disability in To Kill a Mockingbird in Michael J. Meyer (ed). Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: New Essays. Scarecrow Press, 2010: 211-30.
Murphy, Mary McDonagh. Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins, 2010.
By allowing his children to address him by hist first name, Atticus is dismantling one of the many traditions that serve to reinforce and perpetuate traditions that ultimately only serve to delegitimize the experience and perspective of certain people. This forces the viewer to take Scout's recollections and narration more seriously, because although they are the memories of a relatively young child, the viewer cannot help but treat them with a little more respect in recognition of the respect that Atticus, as the most idealized character in the entire film, grants them.
Thus, taking a cue from Atticus, Scout and Jem are respectful and relatively well-behaved, but are never hesitant to question or challenge attitudes and behaviors that they perceive as unjust or unjustified, and particularly in the case of Scout, are especially sensitive to behaviors that hypocritically contradict the ostensible moral standards of society. hile is worth noting that…
Edgerton, Gary. "A Visit to the Imaginary Landscape of Harrison, Texas: Sketching the Film
Career of Horton Foote." Literature/Film Quarterly 17.1 (1989): 2-12.
Foote, Horton. To kill a mockingbird, the screenplay: and related readings. Boston: McDougal