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Homework booklet while watching the movie

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Homework booklet while watching the movie

  1. 1. 1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Homework Activity Workbook Name___________________________
  2. 2. 2 Atticus Finch Fatherof JemandScout, AtticusFinchsitsonthe AlabamaState Legislature andactsas Maycomb's leadingattorney.The epitome of moral character,Atticusteacheshischildrenandhiscommunity howto stand upfor one'sbeliefsinthe face of prejudiceandignorance bydefendingablackman, Tom Robinson,wrongfullyaccusedof rapinga white woman.The voice of reasoninthe townof Maycomb and inthe novel,Atticusdispelsthe wisdomandlogicthatisthe core of the novel.He isa man that goesbeyondthe wordtolerance;toleranceismerelytoputupwithsomething.Atticus looksat everyone andtriestounderstandwhotheyare and where theyare comingfrom and he quietlyandsubtlypassesonwisdomtohischildrenabouttaboosubjectslike racism. Havinglosthiswife whenScoutwastwoyears old,Atticusdevoteshimself tohischildrendespite criticismfromfamilyandneighbours whothinkhischildrenlackdisciplineandproperguidance. He islookedupto byhis familyandhisfriendswho"trusthimtodo right".AtticusFinchsetsa standardof moralitythatno othercharacter inthe book comesclose tomatching.Atticusisa studiousmanwhose behaviourisgovernedbyreason.Once he decidesthata givencourse of action isright,he perseveresregardlessof threatsorcriticisms.ButAtticusisnota crusader.He doesnot go lookingforcausestochampion.The Tom Robinsoncase wasnot one he volunteeredtohandle- the judge assignedhimthe case because he feltAtticuswoulddohisbesttowin.Atticus'sdesire to avoidconflictwhenpossible isanotherqualitythatthe authorobviouslywantsustoadmire.Atticus standsas one of literature'sstrongestandmostpositive fatherfigures. AlthoughAtticusseemsmellowandevenold-fashioned,manyof hisbeliefsare quite revolutionary. He allowsCalpurniatotrulybe a memberof hisfamily.He givesherfull respectandfairtreatmentat all times.WhenCal takeshischildrentoherchurch, he seemsunaffected.Itisall part of his consistentcode of conduct. At times,Atticusmayalmostseemacaricature of goodness.Neveronce doeshe falterorthinkill of people.ButinHarperLee'scapable hands,Atticusseemsbelievable andtrue. Activities 1. In Scout's account of her childhood,herfatherAtticusreignssupreme. (a) How wouldyoucharacterise hisabilitiesasasingle parent? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  3. 3. 3 (b) How wouldyoudescribe histreatmentof CalpurniaandTomRobinsonvisavishistreatmentof hiswhite neighboursandcolleagues? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (c) How wouldyoutypifyhisviewsonrace andclass inthe larger contextof hiscommunityandhis peers? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Describe Atticus'srelationshipwithhischildren. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. DidAtticusmake an error of judgementinregardtothe safetyof hisclientandhis children? Couldhe have kepthisownchildren,andhisclientTom, safer? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  4. 4. 4 4. In failingtoarrestBoo Radleyat the end,Sheriff Tate isbreakingthe law,asisAtticus,whoknows the truth of Ewell'smurder.Doyou agree withsome criticsthatAtticus'actionsare "wrong"as well as illegal? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 5. When Scoutcomplainsaboutherteacher,Atticustellsherthat"if youcan learna simple trick, Scout,you'll getalonga lotbetterwithall kindsof folks.Youneverreallyunderstandapersonuntil youconsiderthingsfromhispointof view…untilyouclimbintohisskinandwalkaroundinit"(p. 33). (a) Where inthe novel doesAtticushimself demonstrate thiskindof empathy? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (b) How doeshe regardthose whocriticize,ridicule,orthreatenhim? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (c) How wouldthisabilitytoempathizewithothershelpsolvethe problemsthatarise fromracism and prejudice? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Scout Finch Before youmake upyour mindaboutScout,you shouldrememberthatthe voice we hearnarrating the story isactuallythat of the grownupScout - JeanLouise Finch - lookingbackoneventsthat
  5. 5. 5 happenedyearsearlier.Some of the opinionsandideasexpressedinthe novel are reallythoseof the olderJeanLouise.Youshouldjudge Scoutbyheractionsand quotedwordsinthe story,keeping these separate fromthe opinionsof the narrator. OriginallynamedJeanLouise Finch,Scoutisthe narrator.In the storyshe is lookingbackas an adult to the two yearsof her life whenshe learnedaboutcourage andkindnessandthe importance of doingwhatis right.She learnedfromherfatherandherneighboursthatdoingwhat isright isn't alwaysrewarded,butit'sthe rightthingto do and thatprotectinginnocence isalarge part of that. JeanLouise Finch,whose nicknameisScout,isonlyfive-and-a-half yearsoldwhenthe novel begins, but she isalreadya complex andinterestingpersonality.Herhabitof speakinghermindinthe presence of grownupsmakesScoutoftenseemolderthanheryears.Inrecallingherfirstdayinthe firstgrade,Scout thinksof herself andherschoolmatesaslittleadults,whomusttake care of the confusedfirst-yearteachers.Later,whenshe isunjustlypunishedforgettingintoafightwitha cousin,Scouttakesit uponherself toexplaintoheruncle whyhismethodsof handlingchildrenare wrong.Afterthese incidentswe are onlymildlysurprisedwhenScoutisable tofindthe rightwords to turn awaya lynchmobthat has come to kill TomRobinson. Scout isalsosomethingof anoutsider.A tomboy,she isstill notcompletelyacceptedbyherbrother Jemand theirfriendDill.We neverhearof herhavingany close friendsherownage,eitherboysor girls.Andincontrast to Jem,whoisconstantlydisappointedbythe shortcomingsof humannature, Scout seemstotake bad newsinstride. Activities 1. Howimportantisit to the novel thatthe narrator, Scout Finch,isa childat the time the eventsof the story take place? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Howis Scout able tomaintainherpositive outlookonlife afterthe terrible eventsshe witnesses inMaycomb? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  6. 6. 6 3. What are the conflictingmessagesScoutreceivesabout"beingalady"fromthe female characters inthe novel? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Jem Finch Scout's olderbrother,JemFinchchangesconsiderablyoverthe course of the novel.Atfirstyousee himas Scout's playmate andequal.Once the childrenstartschool,however,Jembecomesmore aware of the differenceinage betweenhimselfandhissister.He doesn'twantherto embarrasshim infront of hisfifth-grade friends.Andlaterhe andDill developafriendshipfromwhichScoutis partly excludedbecauseshe isagirl.In thispart of the storyyou see Jemasthe wiserolderbrother. He isthe firstto figure outthat Boo Radleyhasbeentryingtocommunicate withthem, andhe does hisbestto explainunfamiliarwordstoScout,eventhoughhe oftengetstheirmeaningswrong. Jemisalso the more thoughtful andintrovertedof the Finchchildren.Unlike Scout,whoisafighter by temperament,Jemseemsdeterminedtoobeyhisfather'srequesttoavoidfighting.He letshis angerbuildinside,until one dayina fitof temperhe destroysMrs. Dubose'sgarden.Later,at the time of the trial,Jem'soptimisticview of humannature becomesapparent.He isprobablythe only personintownwhoreallybelievesthatjustice willbe done andTomRobinsonfoundinnocent. Whenthisdoesnot happen,hisdisillusionmentissogreatthat fora time he can't stand eventotalk aboutthe incident. By the endof the storyJemis almostgrownup.Onthe surface,he seemsquickerthanScoutto put the trial behind,butinwardly,he hasbeenmore disturbedthanScoutbythe eventsof the trial.It is worthconsideringthatJem'sbrokenarmat the endof the story isa deliberate signthathe will be woundedforeverbywhathe has observed. Activities 1. JemFinchisone of the most importantandcomplex charactersinthe novel. (a) How doeshisrelationshipwithScoutchange overthe course of the story? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  7. 7. 7 (b) Who do youthinkresemblesAtticusthe most- Jemor Scout? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Jemisin the processof understandingthe adultworldanditsattitudes. (a) What doeshe learnfrom hisexperience withMrsDubose? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (b) What doeshe learnaboutthe nature of Boo Radley? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (c) Why was he so shockedbythe verdictreturnedbythe juryat the trial of Tom Robinson? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. AsJemgrows older,whydoeshe finditdifficulttodeal withthe hypocrisyandcrueltyof people? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  8. 8. 8 4. Howis Jemshownto be Scout's protectorthroughoutthe novel? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ "Boo" Arthur Radley Boo Radley(Arthur) isthe objectof fascinationforJem, Scout,andDill.He isa recluse whohas remainedinthe house downthe streetfromthe Finchhouse foryears.Mythsand rumoursabout Boo and hisfamilyabound.Accordingtotowngossip,Boostabbedhisfatherinthe legwhenhe was a boy and hassince beenconfinedtohishouse.The childrenimagineBooasa ghoulishfigure who eatscats andstalksaboutthe neighbourhoodunderthe coverof night.Infact,Boo standsas a figure of innocence thatbefriendsandprotectsthe childreninhisownway. The theoriesthatvariouspeople inthe neighbourhoodputforthtoexplainBootell youmore about the theorizersthanaboutBoo himself.MissCrawford,wholovesgossip,spreadsthe tale thatBoo Radleyroams the neighbourhoodatnightpeepingintopeople'swindows- especiallyhers.Scoutand Jem,earlyonin the story,imagine Booas oversix feettall andhorrendouslyugly,amonsterwho stranglescatswithhisbare handsand theneatsthem.MissMaudie,an optimisticwomanwho believesinenjoyingnature andthe goodthingsinlife,issure thatBoo isthe victimof hisfather's overstrictandgloomymoral code. Oddlyenough,evenasyoulearnthatBoo actuallyisthe killerof BobEwell,he seemslessfrightening nowthan he didbefore.Face to face withthe neighbourhoodhermitforthe firsttime,Scoutsees that he is reallyashy,pale,harmlessman- amiddle-agedchild. Activities How doScout, Jem,andDill characterize BooRadleyatthe beginningof the book? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  9. 9. 9 Why are Jem andScout and Dill sofascinatedbyhim? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ What hintsare there thatBoo isnot a monster? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Examine whatBoodoesfor Scoutand Jeminthe novel. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  10. 10. 10 In whatway doesBoo'spast historyof violence foreshadowhismethodof protectingJem andScout fromBob Ewell?Doesthisrepetitionof aggressionmake himmore orlessof a sympathetic character? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ "You neverreallyunderstandapersonuntil youconsiderthingsfromhispointof view - till youclimb inside of hisskinandwalkaroundinit". Analyse whatScoutandJemeventuallycome tounderstand aboutBoo personally,andaboutthe general issue of prejudice,asaresultof theirexperiences. Considerthe change inthe children'sattitude toBoo,andwhatthis change inattitude means. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Why isBoo Radley,aman whois hiddenawayfornearlythe entire novel,suchanimportantfigure inTo Kill a Mockingbird? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  11. 11. 11 In whatwaysis itboth ironicandappropriate thatthe manJemand Scout mostfearis the one who savesthem? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Good and Evil Like manyotherclassicbooks To Kill a Mockingbird isan explorationof the moral nature of human beings:whetherpeopleare essentiallygoodoressentiallyevil.The novelapproachesthisquestion by dramatizingScoutandJem'stransitionfroma perspectiveof childhoodinnocence,inwhichthey assume thatpeople are goodbecause theyhave neverseenevil,toamore adultperspective,in whichtheyhave confrontedevil andmustincorporate itintotheirunderstandingof the world.Asa resultof thisportrayal of the transitionfrominnocence toexperience,one of the book'simportant sub-themesinvolvesthe threatthathatred,prejudice,andignorance pose tothe innocent:people such as Tom RobinsonandBooRadleyare not preparedforthe evil thattheyencounter,andasa result,theyare destroyed.EvenJemisvictimizedtoanextentbyhisdiscoveryof the evil of racism duringand afterthe trial.Where Scoutis able tomaintainherbasicfaithin humannature despite Tom's conviction,Jem'sfaithinjustice andinhumanityisbadlydamaged,andhe retreatsintoa state of disillusionment. The moral NorthStar of To Kill a Mockingbird isAtticusFinch,whoisvirtuallyuniqueinthe novel in that he has experiencedandunderstoodevil withoutlosinghisfaithinthe humancapacityfor goodness.Atticusunderstandsthat,ratherthanbeingsimplycreaturesof goodorcreaturesof evil, mostpeople have bothgoodand bad qualities.The importantthingistoappreciate the good qualitiesandunderstandthe badqualitiesbytreatingotherswithsympathyandtryingtosee life fromtheirperspective.He triestoteachthisultimate moral lessontoJemandScout to show them that itis possible tolive withconsciencewithoutlosinghope orbecomingcynical.Inthisway, Atticusisable to admire Mrs. Dubose'scourage evenwhiledeploringherracism.Scout'sprogressas a character in the novel isdefinedbyhergradual developmenttowardunderstandingAtticus's lessons,adevelopmentthatculminatesinthe final chapterswhenScoutisatlast able tosee Boo Radleyasa humanbeing.Hernewfoundabilitytoview the worldfromhisperspective ensuresthat Scout will notbecome jadedasshe losesherinnocence.
  12. 12. 12 Activities Harper Lee doesnotignore the existence of evil insociety,butdoesshe suggestthathumanbeings are bornwitha desire todo the right thing?Inyour answergive specificexamplestosupportyour viewpoint. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Do youthink To Kill a Mockingbird isultimatelyapessimisticnovel ordoesLee leave the readerwith cause for hope.Inyour answergive specificexamplestosupportyourviewpoint. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Inhumanity Much of To Kill a Mockingbird isconcernedwithwhatthe poetRobertBurnscalled,"man's inhumanitytoman"and whatMr. DolphusRaymondcalls,"the simplehellpeople giveother people."We witnessBobEwell'sinhumanitytowardshisdaughter;the inhumanityshownbythe Radleystowardstheirson;the inhumanityshownbywhite people towardsBlacks.Onanotherlevel we see howartificial barriersbetweenpeople are createdbyvague conceptionslike "breeding"and "background"and"our kindof folks".The childrenfindall thisdifficulttounderstand.Jemhasa theorythat,"there'sfourkindsof folksin,the world"(Chapter23),but Scoutthinksthere isjustone kindof folks.Butif there is,asks Jem,whycan't, theygetalongwitheachother?"If they're all alike, whydo theygo outof theirwayto despise Ieachother?"Understandingadultsandtheirworldis difficult.Scoutisoftenconfusedandrebellious;Dillisatfirstdisillusionedandthencynical;Jemfinds it a sad businessandatone pointhe thinkshe understandswhyBooRadleynevercomesoutof the house "it'sbecause he wantsto stayinside".
  13. 13. 13 Activities 1. Examine three examplesfromthe bookwhichillustrate people'sinhumanitytoeachother. Discussthe reasonsforthisand alsothe consequences. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  14. 14. 14 2. In the followingtable show five characterswhoare harmedinsome wayand describe their responses. Characters How they are harmed Response Boo Radley Tom Robinson
  15. 15. 15 Prejudice andBigotry A dominanttheme inthe novel isthe crueltythatpeople inflictuponothersbythe holdingof preformedideas,'the simple hell peoplegive otherpeople',asDolphus Raymondputsit.Itisnot just the matter of the deepracial prejudice whichispresentinMaycombbut the intolerant,narrow,rigid codesof behaviourthatmosttownspeople wishtoimpose onothers.Thisbigotryismade all the more menacingbybeingdepictedas'normal'behaviourbymanycharactersinthe book.Againstthe backgroundof thissmall townsuch people asBooRadley,DolphusRaymondand,tosome extent, Maudie Atkinson,are persecutedbecause theydonotconform.TomRobinsonisfoundguilty,inthe face of verystrongsuspicionthathisaccusersare lying,because he wentagainstthe accepted positionof aNegroand daredto feel sorryfora white person. The bigotryof some fundamentalistreligioussectsistouchedoninthe introductionof the foot washingBaptistswhocriticize MissMaudie Atkinson.HerconversationwithScoutonthissubject leadsScoutto thinkaboutwhat isimpliedbyagoodand a reasonable life. Scout alsopondersoverthe lipservice paidtothe ideal of democracy('equal rightsforall,special privilegesfornone') whencontrastedwiththe realitiesof intolerance andprejudice:forexample, the horror expressedbyMissGatesat Hitler'spersecutionof the Jewsandherownintolerance of Blacks.Thisis one of many instancesinthe novel of the contrastbetweenreason(representedby the character of Atticus) andprejudice,whichisbornof ignorance andfear. At differentpointsinthe storywe findmanycharacterswhoare misunderstoodthroughignorance and fear;oftenthishasbeenthe resultof gossip.Subsequently,these charactersare notwhatthey trulyseemtobe.Most wouldwrite off BooRadleyasa reclusive madman,MissDubose asa mean spiritedoldwoman,andDolphousRaymondasasocial deviant.These people are reviledbymost, but these are notfair judgments.Once we getbeyondthe gossipsurroundingthese people,we geta clearviewof some verystronghumanbeings.The majorproblemwithgossip,Lee issaying,isthat people rarelystoptocheckwhetherthey've gottheirfactsright.Theyoftenpassonfalse, misleadingandpotentiallyhurtful informationthatcanharm a person'sreputationandcharacter. ActivitiesTasks 1. How is prejudice andbigotryinculcatedinMaycombsociety? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  16. 16. 16 2. Who are the obvioussymbolsof tolerance andbigotryinthe novel andhow are theyportrayedin the novel? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Which characters are referredtoas "white trash"and whatdoesthisexpressionmean? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Considerthose characterswhoare the subjectof gossipandas a resultare not trulywhothey seemtobe.What is the 'truth' that we,like the children,eventuallylearnaboutthem? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 6. How doesthe use of the FirstPurchase by the African-Americansandthe whitesreflectgroup attitudes? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  17. 17. 17 7. The followingisanexcerptfromthe UnitedNationsdeclarationof the Yearof Tolerance (1995): "It isessential tounderstandthatwhileall are equal indignity,all are differentintermsof their talents,convictionsandbeliefs,andthese differencesare afactor of enrichmentforeveryindividual and forcivilisationasawhole." Write ashortreflectiononyourthoughtsandopinionsonreading thisstatement.Linkyourresponse toeventsandattitudesinthe novel. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Racism In To Kill a Mockingbird HarperLee touchesonmanysocial questions.Foremostamongthese isthe problemof racisminthe southernstatesof Americainthe mid1930s. The focusfor thisisthe charge broughtbyBob Ewell againstTomRobinsonandthe way inwhichthe anti African-American feelinginMaycombisthe cause of animositytowardsAtticusandhisfamilybecause of hisdefence of Tom.It is manifestedinthe Cunninghams'attempttolynchTomand Mr Gilmer'scontemptuous cross examinationinthe courtroom.Itisalso evidentinAuntAlexandra'sdisapprovalof Calpurnia and inthe hypocritical attitudesof MissGatesand the ladiesof the MissionaryCircle. The "rigidand time honouredcode"of societywasthat,while,white peoplecouldemployandeven exploitAfrican-Americans,therecouldbe nopersonal relationshipbetweenAfrican-Americansand whitesandnorecognitionthatAfrican-Americanshadthe same reactionsandfeelingsaswhite people.Further,therewasanevil assumption"thatall Blackslie,thatall Blacksare basicallyimmoral beings".Theycertainlydidnothave the benefitof the supposedimpartialityof the law.The ReverendSykessays,"Iain'teverseenanyjurydecide infavourof a colouredmanovera white man".Atticusdoesnot understand,"whyreasonable people gostarkravingmad whenanything involvingaNegrocomesup"andhe callsthisemotional attitude, "Maycomb'susual disease".Mr DolphusRaymondtalksabout,"the hell white people give colouredfolks,withoutevenstoppingto
  18. 18. 18 thinkthat they're people too."Atticusfearsthat,"one of these dayswe're goingtopay the bill for it". ActivitiesTasks 1. Whichcharacters inthe novel are the symbolsof white racial prejudice?How dothese characters cope withbeingvictimsof the racial prejudice of the whites? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. The townof Maycomb as a whole isthe symbol of groupracial prejudice.How isthisillustratedin the novel? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Not everyone inMaycombisprejudicedtowardsAfrican-Americans.Whoisn't?Dotheyhave differentreasonsfortheirtolerance?Whatare they?What evidence dowe have of this?Which characters inthe story are notracist? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  19. 19. 19 4. Tom Robinsonmakesahuge mistake when,duringthe prosecutor'scross-examination,he says that he "feltrightsorry"for Mayella.Whywouldthe whitesinthe courtroomfindthisstatementso disturbing? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Couldyou defendthe townof Maycombfor itsattitude towardsAfrican-Americans?Give your reasons. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Who isresponsibleforTomRobinson'sdeath?Whatanswersdovariouscharactersin the novel give tothis question?Whatanswerdoyouthinkbestrepresentsthe author'spointof view?What do youthink? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ The novel issetin the 1930s butwas writteninthe late 1950s. The dialogue ismarkedbyfrequent use of the word"nigger".Thisisa convenientwaytoindicate tothe readerthe racist attitudesof variouscharacters.Whenshe wishestorefertoAfrican-Americans,HarperLee usesthe term "coloured".Itisnot onlyracistwhiteswhosayuse the term "nigger",however - atFirst Purchase church, CalpurniaaddressesLulaas"nigger".
  20. 20. 20 Since the novel waspublished,attitudeshave changedaboutwhatisacceptable tospeakandwrite. In the trial of O.J.Simpson,the word"nigger"wasconsideredtoooffensive torepeatincourt,and was describedasthe "N-word". Q. How isthe term "nigger"isusedbyvariouscharactersin the novel? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Justice /Law and Order Harper Lee portraysthe legal systemrealistically.She showsthatisnotalwaysfairandit isnot alwaysjust.Itis throughAtticusthat we learnthatthe legal systemisonlyasjustas the community it serves. Activities 1. Skimandscan throughthe novel tofind anystatementsthatAtticusmakesaboutlaw andjustice. Write out eachquote and recordthe page numberandsome detailsaboutthe situationinwhich Atticusmakeseachof these statements. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. In failingtoarrestBooRadleyat the end,Sheriff Tate isbreakingthe law,asisAtticus,whoknows the truth of Ewell'smurder.Doyou agree withsome criticsthatAtticus'actionsare "wrong"as well as illegal? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  21. 21. 21 __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Relatedtothe theme of innocence andexperience isthe novel'ssuggestionthatinnocentchildren can oftensee large moral issuesmore dearlythanadults.Scout,JemandDill neverwaverintheir horror at the injustice done toTomRobinson.The adultsinthe story,however,see all the complexitiesof the situationtothe pointof beingblindedtothe central issue of andwrong. HowevermuchScoutmay grow throughherexperiences,one hopesthatshe will neverlose her childlikeundertakingof justice.HarperLee emphasisesthatjustice isaconceptnotalwaysinherent inthe machineryof legal process.Torecognize the difference betweenjustice andinjustice doesnot take any special degree of wisdomorsophistication.The novel supportsthe beliefthatjustice iseasy to recognise anddefine. Activities 1. What examplesof justice andinjustice are depictedinthe novel?Foreachexamplegive an explanationof yourchoice. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 2. WhydoesMr. Underwoodcome tothe aidof AtticusindefendingTomRobinsonfromthe mob? ContrastMr. Underwood'sbehaviourwiththe decisionof HeckTate to file afalse police report aboutBob Ewell'sdeath.Howdothe twomen'sideasaboutjustice differ? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  22. 22. 22 3. What if Tom Robinsonwasan Indigenous-Australianmanand the eventsof To Kill aMockingbird occurredin Australia?Explainwhatyouthinkwouldhappenandthe outcome of TomRobinson's case consideringthe change insetting. __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Atticusalsoinsiststothe jurythat "there isone wayin thiscountryin whichall menare created equal-thereisone humaninstitutionthatmakesapauperthe equal of a Rockefeller,the stupidman the equal of an Einstein,andthe ignorantmanthe equal of any college president.Thatinstitution, gentlemen,isacourt" [p.234]. (a) Doesthe jury'sguiltyverdictinvalidateAtticus'sclaims? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (b) Are the courts today"the greatlevellers,"makingusall equal,asAtticusbelieves,ordowealth and race playan inordinate role inthe wayjustice isdistributedinAustralia? __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Symbols Certainobjectstake onsymbolicvalue inToKill A Mockingbird.Thatis,an objectisusedby the author as apart of the settingornarrative,yetthatobject pointstoor representssomethingoutside itself.Of course,acentral symbol isthe mockingbird,describedbyMissMaudie as a creature that shouldneverbe killedbecauseitisharmlessandevenprovidessongforthe enjoymentof others. Both BooRadley and TomRobinsonare basicallyblamelessindividualswhoare atthe mercyof society,yetsocietyiscruel toBoo,and ultimatelyTomismurdered.The symbolof the mockingbird alsopointsto Scout,bothas an innocentchildandas the grown-upnarrator, who"singsa song" in tellingthe story.
  23. 23. 23 Activities Symbolismofobjects Explainthe waysinwhichthe followingfunctionassymbolsinToKill A Mockingbird: (a) the mad dog __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (b) the treehouse __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (c) the gun __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ (d) the cementedhole inthe tree __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Symbolismofnames Atticus'sname isa reference tothe district(Attica) of ancientGreece inwhichAthenswaslocated. As an ancientcivilisation,Athenswasrenownedforitswisdom, rationalapproachtolife,andits belief injustice.Insome waysAtticus'rational approachtolife issimilartothatof ancient philosophers.Youmightlookupthe viewsof the Stoics; theirphilosophyhasacertainresemblance to Atticus'type of southerngentleman. (a) Throughoutthe novel,there are manyexampleswhere Atticusillustratesthe qualitiesorvalues of wisdom,rational approachtolife,andbeliefinjustice.FindatleastONEexample foreach (remembertoinclude page references.) __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
  24. 24. 24 (b) Now,workout whatthe followingnamessymbolise andprovideatleastone exampleforeach character: • Finch(the characters'surname) • Scout • Jem • Dill • Tom Robinson • BooRadley

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