Influence of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Published 1960) H/W by Patricia Loughnane
“A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this enchanting classic-a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.
Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties.
The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice.”
- First person narrative
- Stream of consciousness
- Child’s view of world
- Characters have traits which reveal the culture of Maycomb and speak in their own style.
- Humour pervades throughout even most serious scenes
- The opening line is in fact referring to the last incident in the novel; where the story draws to a close but the reader doesn’t realise till the end. (It actually makes the reader go back to reflect)
- Motif: mockingbird (gentle songbird that never hurt anyone)Pg 99 ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’
- Atticus’s sage advice throughout (makes the reader take sides)
- Race, class, education, poverty, violence, hypocrisy dealt with in the narrative (causing the reader to reflect)
- Mystery man: Boo Radley (children nearly always have a bogeyman in their early childhood) adds intrigue as the reader asks whether it’s due to an overactive imagination or a real person that they have created the air of suspense around.
Pg 19 ‘Now you tell your father not to teach you anymore…You tell him I’ll take over from here and try to undo the damage-‘Miss Caroline, the young new teacher form out of town cannot believe Scout is so advanced in reading so she tries to take control by being authoritative.
Pg 169. The mob are at the jail gunning to lynch the accused, Tom Robison but Scout intervenes in a way that no adult could have, ‘Atticus had said it was polite to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.’ Scout manages to touch a chord and the angry crowd disperse.
There’s so much more to tell but I’d recommend you read it for yourself when you want to dwell on what makes the human race tick and why it’s so diverse and yet fundamentally similar. EnjoyJJJ