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To Kill a Mocking Bird

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 12:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.5 
  • Words: 1079
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Harper Lee uses a motif, mocking birds, in most of the main characters to explore the theme of prejudice. She also uses characterisation to show the contrast of how it affects all of the characters in the novel to “To Kill A Mocking Bird”.

The Finches- Atticus, Jem and Scout- are all mocking birds. The name Finch suggests this.

Atticus was Harper Lee’s ideal man his only fault was that he was too idealistic. Atticus didn’t see any place for prejudice of any kind. He defended a blackman Tom Robinson in a case that he knew would be very difficult to win and could totally change his life. Atticus was brave in doing this. He was “nigger lover” by several people but just took it in his stride. He even replied to Scout “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody.”

He also tried to act the same around everyone. He was always polite to black people, undesirable people and the rest of Maycomb. He always called Mayella Miss Mayella. Mayella didn’t see this as him being polite and got annoyed “Long hew keeps on callin’ me ma’am an’ sayin’ Miss Mayella I don’t hefta take his sass.” Miss Maudie comments on this and says “he’s consistently polite”.

Atticus was clever and carefully planed out how he asked the questions during the court case. He asks Mayella about her family background before he questions her about the alleged rape. Similarly, he asks Tom about his previous convictions before he asks him about the situation with Mayella. He does this because he knows it will have a particular effect on the jury listening “Jem said Atticus was showing the jury that Tom had nothing to hide.”

Scout is also a mocking bird and was affected by prejudice. She, like Atticus, was called a “nigger lover” and was nearly killed because Atticus defended Tom Robinson.

Scout started off quite prejudiced and would make fun or Boo Radley in the games she played with Jem and Dill....


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