To Kill a Mockingbird- Themes

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  • Created by: gracegear
  • Created on: 01-04-14 17:42
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  • To Kill a Mockingbird- Themes
    • Racism
      • Rife in the American South during the 1930's
      • Common use of racist language
        • "nigger"
        • "darky"
      • White community have no respect for the black community
      • Atticus calls racism Maycomb's "usual disease"
      • Black people are inferior
      • Not easy to stand up against racidm
      • People's prejudices are even stronger than cold, hard evidence
      • Intolerance
        • Social
          • Aunt Alexandra bans Scout from playing with Walter Cunningham because of his poor family status
          • Dolphus Raymond has to pretend to be a drunk in order to be accepted
        • Gender
          • Sexism in Maycomb
            • Women aren't allowed to sit on a jury
          • Aunt Alexandra is trying to turn Scout into a lady
          • Women are expected to act in a certain way
        • Religious
          • "Foot washing" Baptist tell Miss Maudie she's going to hell just because she is growing flowers
          • People gossip about the Radley family
            • Don't go to church and worship at home
    • Empathy
      • Maycomb is not very empathetic
        • Prejudices
          • Racist character like Bob Ewell don't empathise with the black community
      • Empathise with certain characters
        • Scout and Jem
          • Likeable characters
          • Bring humour to the novel
        • Mayella Ewell
          • Disliked character
        • Bob Ewell
          • Harper Lee does not give him redeeming qualities
    • Childhood and growing up
      • Growing up
        • Bildungsroman
          • Characters grow up and learn lessons
        • Harper Lee tells the story through the eye of a child
          • Shows how simple the relationships are between the children
            • Children forgive and forget quickly
              • Don't hold grudges
      • Trial
        • Fun and games at the start of the novel shows how young and innocence the children are
        • Children are forced to grow up
        • Jem matures the most
          • Scout and Jem "begin to part company"
          • Miss Maudie recognises he is maturing
            • Starts calling him "Mister"
    • Education
      • Formal education
        • HL satirises classroom learning
          • Satirises=making fun of people or ideas by exaggerating them to make them seem ridiculous
          • Miss Caroline punishes Scout for being able to read instead of encouraging her
        • Miss Gates is a hypocrite
          • Teaches the children that what Hitler did is wrong
            • Persecuting the black people in her own neighbourhood is fine
              • Miss Gates is a hypocrite
                • Teaches the children that what Hitler did is wrong
                  • Persecuting the black people in her own neighbourhood is fine
          • HL makes fun of the school but makes it clear that education is important
            • The uneducated Ewells come across as ignorant
        • Outside the classroom
          • Atticus teaches his children empathy, courage and fairness
        • Power of education
          • Characters like Atticus and Uncle jack are powerful, therefore respected
          • Black people are powerless without an education
          • Education is important to the black people's future
            • Calpurnia taught Zeebo how to read
      • Family and social class
        • Impossible to escape family background
          • Streaks can pass on form generations
            • Burris Ewell is filthy and rude- the rest of his family are no different
          • Scout says that families have been together for so long no that they are "utterly predictable"
          • Children grow up to be like their parents
            • Prejudice will also be passed on
          • Can't be viewed as an individual
            • When Atticus is defending Tom, Jem and Scout get insulted too
        • Social prejudice is everywhere
          • Social hierarchy in Maycomb
            • Finches-top, Cunninghams below, Ewell's towards the bottom, black community at the bottom
          • Aunt Alexandra thinks family reputation is really important
      • Innocence and bravery
        • HL shows it is impossible to be completely innocent forever
        • Brave characters
          • Mrs Dubose
            • Put herself through pain to die free of her morphine addict
          • Atticus
            • Uses Mrs Dubose as a way of explaining bravery to the children
              • "You know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what"
            • Stands up for what he believes in
              • Even though people disagree with him
            • Won't in the trial with tom but carries on anyway
          • Mr Underwood
            • Wrote an article about Tom's death
              • Brave as he knew everyone would disagree
        • You don't have to be strong and aggressive to be brave

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