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Harper Lee Essay Examples

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Interpretive Essay

Boo Radley is an interesting character. Because he has been shunned away from the public, it takes a lot of courage for him to come out of his house, and to save Scout's life is an even bigger task. He saves her life, and while doing so he is scared, yet he refuses to run away once he knows she is safe. "When I pointed to him his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat streaks on the wall, a...

Jim Crow Laws in to Kill a Mockingbird

Negroes are considered as trash due to the influence of the “Jim Crow” laws. Mrs. Dubose mentions “Your father is no better than the n*****s and trash he works for!” to Scout one afternoon. (135). At this point in the story, Scout is almost accustomed to having insults thrown at her, but this is the first one from a mature adult. (136). Due to the “Jim Crow” laws, blacks and people who...

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Coming of Age in to Kill a Mockingbird

Over the course of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the main characters Scout and Jem learn to respect and treat others for who they are as individuals. By meeting three other characters of the novel, they learn this important lesson. Mr. Raymond and Tom Robinson both teach the children that it is important to respect and honor the fact that Negros are, in fact, humans along with white citize...

To Kill A Mockingbird Characters

Atticus Finch, Jem’s father, is a successful lawyer, and they live in the richer part of town, and have Calpurnia, their colored nanny, who takes place of his deceased mother. Lizabeth is not so fortunate. She and her family live in a shack, on the outskirts of a town. Her mother works long hours to keep food on the table, while her father, doesn’t have a job, because he got fired during the G...

Empathy in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Harper Lee’s novel ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ illustrates how to “walk about in someone’s skin” through the protagonists Scout and Jem as they learn this lesson along with the reader. As their understanding grows - in particular Scout’s as she is the narrator - the reader’s understanding also grows as when the children learn and understand something, we also do. If we could get more p...

Atticus Finch

Atticus is obviously a very wise man, who can get the job done. In the part of the story with Mrs. Dubose, Atticus states, “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what” (93). Atticus uses many quotes like this in the b...

The Two Parts of To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee was able to show different variations of change in people, ideas and the community of Maycomb in both parts I and II. Lee’s dynamic novel is based on the beliefs of racism, segregation and much distinction, factors that cause problems in society; some problems are more easily fixed than others and some take more than one person to fix. People and human nature are the root of all the w...

Atticus Finch Monologue Analysis

He goes to Helen's home to tell her of Tom's death, which means a white man spending time in the black community. Other men in town would've sent a messenger and left it at that. His lack of prejudice doesn't apply only to other races, however. He is unaffected by Mrs. Dubose's caustic tongue, Miss Stephanie Crawford's catty gossip, and even Walter Cunningham's thinly veiled threat on his life. He...

Atticus Finch as a Moral Character

Acting morally does not require perfection, and any person or character will have minor flaws and imperfections. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch serves as a near-perfect role mode in contrast to the chaotic environment of 1930’s Alabama. His desire to avoid inane conflict, always strive to be the better person, and accept challenges in the process of doing what is right de...

To Kill a Mockingbird Archetypes

The way that man called him [Tom Robinson] 'boy' all the time and sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury everytime he answered - “ (226). This shows that Dill, as he is beginning to confront the reality of how humans can act (be it generally or as an assumption in his head), and how he will begin to start understanding how to handle the situations in a much calmer manner than tearing up ...

The Southern Gothic Motif of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

One time Scout said, “It occurred to me that in their own way, Tom Robinson’s manners were as good as Atticus’s…” (260). People in Maycomb believed Tom Robinson was just a nigger that raped a white girl, but if they looked deeper they would see that he’s just as courteous as the town-known lawyer, Atticus Finch. Another great example of appearance vs. reality is when Scout states, “N...

Empathy in To Kill A Mockingbird

Scout is beginning to respect Aunt Alexandra for her positive aspects, rather than showing disdain for her shortcomings. Scout also demonstrates a heightened sense of understanding to Boo Radley, specifically, when Boo wants Scout to walk him home. “I would lead him through our house, but I would never lead him home.” (Lee- 278). Scout understands that it would be embarrassing to Boo to have a...

Characters that influence scout in to kill a Mockingbird

In conclusion, The 3 characters that had the biggest impact on Scout’s character change towards the end of the novel were Atticus, Jem and Calpurnia. First, Jem always looks out for her. Second, Calpurnia has taught her how to act like a proper lady. Finally Atticus has taught her valuable life lessons. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee has displayed that everyone’s surroundings influence t...

Empathy in "To kill a mockingbird"

Throughout the novel Atticus proves to us what a respectful and empathetic man he is and also shows his strong beliefs towards racial equality which was an uncommon quality in a man during the 1930’s. A prime example of his empathy towards people suffering racism was when he agreed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man wrongfully accused of rapping a white girl. To Atticus, cheating a black man is...

To Kill a Mockingbird Social Pressures

Dolphus Raymond was the town “drunk”. Everyone thought he was an alcoholic and therefore had no idea what he was doing having a “colored woman and mixed kids” (214). Despite their assumptions, he wasn’t ever drinking alcohol, just Coca-Cola. During the trial, Dolphus explains to Scout, “Some folks don’t – like the way I live… I try to give ‘em a reason, you see, it helps folks ...

Women in the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Miss Maudie is the respectable neighbor of the Finch's and a role model fro Scout. Miss Maudie shows respect toward Jem, Scout and Dill by allowing them to explore in her yard and baking special cakes for them. Miss Maudie takes pride in her flowers and does all of her gardening herself. Time after time Miss Maudie is proven to be a respectable citizen of Maycomb. When the trial of Tom Robison was...

"Neighbour Rosicky" by Willa Cather

At the end, Rosicky dies, and is returned to the earth. He is returned to nature, and buried in the ground - a part of the land he loved so very much. Rosicky remains a part of life - neighbors and family will pass the cemetery on their way to town, his animals will eat the fodder during the winder, and "Nothing could be more undeathlike than this place; nothing could be more right for a man who h...

Religion in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

In conclusion, religion plays an extremely important part in To Kill a Mockingbird. It forms a stem for other morals and beliefs such as discrimination; both racism and sexism and shows the reader what an unjust community Maycomb County is. On the surface of the communities personalities are holy, devout people. But, as we study their religion along with their morals, the realisation is in fact th...

To Kill a Mocking Bird: Appearence vs Reality

The characters in To Kill A Mockingbird work hard to maintain appearances that differ from reality. Many times in life, people, incidents, or events appear one way to us, when in reality, beneath the surface they really are or mean something else. Many times we interpret someone's actions in a different way than they intended. A simple example of this is when a teacher gives a test and tells stud...

"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Deserving more compassion than anyone is Tom Robinson. Tom, a poor black male, has to make a great effort to provide for a wife and four kids. He is a hard working and sincere man whose only mistake was having sympathy for Mayella Ewell. He tries to do her favor but because of the racism in Maycomb, Tom is soon accused of raping Mayella and founded guilty. Losing hope, he tries to flee but is soon...

Prejudice in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

The theme of prejudice is explored many ways throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The different kinds of prejudice explore how deep people's hatred of each other can go. It gives the reader good insight as to what makes people intolerant and why people shouldn't be prejudiced just because others are different. From discriminating against the poor to racial prejudice to silly rumors fueling...

Aunt Alexandra in "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Aunt Alexandra has many good and bad qualities most concern the maturation and upbringing of the children. Good qualities include the fact she wants the best for Jem, Scout and the rest of the family, she will uphold any moral (page 146), she had plenty of pride in her family and she constantly tries to improve herself (page 147). However she has a lot of bad qualities; she is dictative, she is pr...

Comparative Essay: To Kill A Mockingbird and Martin Luther Kin

Both composers wrote their texts for the same purpose, to help change social attitudes and to challenge the responder to employ tolerance and understanding. They achieved this by using various techniques to convey messages that help the audience 'walk in someone else's shoes' for a brief moment of time. King leaves his audience with a feeling of hope and optimism for the future; Lee's ending prov...

Family life in To Kill A Mockingbird

We don't hear very much about Dill's family, but from what we do hear, we can see that he has a very difficult situation where he comes from a broken family. Dill spins grand tales about his father but runs away from home later in the book because he feels his mother and stepfather don't care about him. Harper Lee makes it very clear to us that parents influence children so much so that we can see...

To Kill a Mockingbird - Atticus Speech analysis

Early on in the novel we are introduced to this malevolent phantom (page 9) that only appears at night. Any stealthy crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. Once the town was terrorized my a series of morbid nocturnal events: peoples chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barkers Eddy, people still looked at the ...

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Scout's Curiosity

Scout's curious behavior plays an important role in the life of the community, along with her own personality. As a result of this curiosity, she saves the life of Atticus, Tom Robinson, Jem, and herself and she rescues Boo from his lonely life. She has learned to reject prejudices in life, especially toward certain people, such as blacks or Boo Radley. However, the majority of Maycomb has yet to ...

To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Idea of Justice

If it were any other man it'd be different. But not this man, Mr Finch.'" (Heck Tate, pg 304). Even Scout seems to understand Heck Tate's arguments. "'Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?'" (Scout, pg304). On the other hand, Boo did kill a man, and according to the law he committed murder, even if it was in self-defence. "...it's my duty to tell the town all about it and...

Is Atticus Fitch a good Father

¬Atticus is a normal person with a unique parenting style. He does not abide by the basic principle of the Maycombian lifestyle in which other parents use while raising their children. He believes that children should make their own decisions and develop their own personalities. He gives them freedom because he trusts them enough to do so, but as soon as they take advantage of that freedom, he is...

Atticus Finch In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

Atticus believes that any man using a man of any other color is inferior even to the man he is using. He illustrates this a talk with Scout, Youll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and dont you forget it-whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. ...

Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Book

Finally, the setting of Maycomb contributes greatly to the theme of courage as Harper Lee portrays Maycomb as a Negro-hating society, one which has no one that bothers to stand up for Negroes and a psychopath that has a thing for killing. Atticus and Boo himself break this spell of a scared Maycomb by Atticus standing up for a Negro and Boo saving the lives of the two children. The setting was pr...

The Father-Daughter relationship of Atticus to Scout

The sacred bond between daughter in father comes in many varieties and fashions, one of which being Teacher and Student. This happens to be the way that Atticus and Scout are, which does mean that they arent as close as others. Scout is still developing in life, and her role in Atticus life is changing, and eventually will take on an entirely different form. But as of now, Atticus tends to be the ...

Courage (To Kill A Mockingbird)

Another example of courage is when Scout rolls the tire into the Radley yard. She is terrified when she realises where she is and her immediate reaction is to run straight back to the street. When she gets back Jem tells her to go back and get the tyre but Jem ends up doing it anyway. When Jem returns he accuses Scout of being a sissy girl. What he doesn't know because Scout decided not to tell hi...

Racism in "To kill a mockingbird"

"I knowed who it was, all right, lived down yonder in that n*****-nest, passed the house every day. Jedge, I've asked this county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder, they're dangerous to live around 'side devaluin' my property-" (Lee, 199). Ignorance can cost people their lives, ruin their families, and bring separations to those who should be united. Harper Lee's book described ...

Defining a Hero: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Atticus Finch’s Heroism

That is the promise of modern literature; veracity, despite the overwhelming depression of life and its deception toward everyman. Writers are honest in their writing, and in modern literature realism and not heroic standards of Greek drama but the Achilles heel is what is depicted. Whether or not the novel ends on a happy or sad note, the point is choice – despite Atticus being a tragic hero hi...

To Kill a Mockingbird: Racism in Film in the 1960’s

This scene most likely made its largest impact in the south, where the artistic execution coupled with the content of the speech would really strike a cord. Alexander Golitzen and Henry Bumstead served as art directors for the film. They successfully created sets in Hollywood that were both historically accurate and beautiful interpretations of Alabama in 1932.16 The film’s ability to transcend ...

To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Response: Is Atticus a Good Parent

Hence, this shows me that Atticus is a unconventional and liberal parent. I think that Atticus is a successful parent who brought up his children well. He does not treat them condescendingly and instead treats them like adults, yet still love and care for them greatly. He managed to gain his children's respect and trust through his way of raising them and formed a strong bond with them. Although h...

To Kill a Mockingbird vs If by Rudyard Kipling

Jem may be young but he does however inherit Atticus’ wise ways and this is perceived several times throughout To Kill A Mockingbird. Jem looks up to Atticus as Scout looks up to Jem. For as young as Jem may be, he has a way of comprehending much about Atticus and Calpurnia’s similar outlook of their society. As visibly portrayed in the book, Jem follows the trial as his father Atticus continu...

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