-Everyone knows everyone
-Atticus is related to everyone in Maycomb
-Maycomb is hot
-Based on Monroville in Alambama where Harper Lee grew up.
-Nothing ever changes
- even snow is rare,
- suggests it will take a while to change the attitudes of the town
-Landscape is explained in detail
-Is used to represent any Southern Town
Racism and Intolerence 1
-Most whites see blacks as inferior
-Characters use reacist words without a thought.
- Even Scout says 'Nigger' until Atticus tells her not too.
- She then points out everyone else uses the word.
- Most characters don't actually see these words as offensive.
- They take it for granted that they are above blacks.
-There's loads of other evidence of racism in the town
- Blacks and whites are segregated (kept apart).
- Black children are not allowed to go to school (Cal teaches her own children).
- Ewells word is taken over a black person evenm though they are nasty people.
Racism and Intolerence 2
-Harper Lee wants to change people's Racist Attitude
- She makes Atticus an honourable man to encourage readers to agree with his point of view.
- Makes lots of racist characters seem horrible.
- When it was written racism was still around, she challenged it with the book.
Racism and Intolerance 1
-Tom's trial is the focus of the book
-Atticus is prepared to stand up agaisnt predujice
- Atticus believes Tom to be innocent.
- He calls racism Maycombs 'unusual disease'. He realise how hard it is to change what people have believed their whole life.
-Things may be starting to change a little by the end.
- The jury takes several hours to make it verdict - one jury member argues Tom is innocent.
- Mr Link Deas gives Helen Robinson a job and stands up for her.
-But may still see black people as second class citizens. (Tom is still found guilty)
Racism and Intolerance 2
-Racism isn't the only intolerance seen in the novel
- People gossip about Boo Radley because he stays in.
- Aunt Alexandra tells Scout Walter Cunningham is beneath her
-Atticus thinks Empathy is really important.
- Teaches Jem and Scout that you can't understand someone unless you have stood in thier shoes and considered their point.
- Originally Jem and Scout hate Mrs Dubose but after they learn she wa only nasty because she was suffering so much they begin to understand why Atticus saw her as brave and respect her.
-The people af Maycomb arn't too good at it.
- Racism and intolerance are rife because white people can't imagine what it's like to be black.
- Dolphus Raymond pretends to be drunk because it gives the people of Maycomb an excuse for his relationship with a black woman.
-Harper Lee wants you to empathise with certain characters.
- It's easy to understand Scout and Jem, because you follow them as they are growing up and learning about life.
- You start of disliking characters like Mayella Ewell but then you realise the other side of them. Mayells is very lonley her red geraniums show she wants a better life.
Childhood and Growing up 1
-Scout, Jem and Dill Learn about Life.
- The children find out people arent always what they seem.
- Near the end of the book Scout gets Boo to take her arm so it looks like Boo is helping her along the street, so they wont realise she's taking him home.
-There's a feeling of nostalgia for childhood innocence.
- Lots of time is spent describing childhood games.
-Gradually the innocence starts to fade away.
- In part 2 Jem changes, becomes clear when he tells Atticus about Dill being in the house.
- Dill says he will be a clown when he's older as he's so angry with the way people behave you can only laugh at them (he doesnt realise clowns make poeple laugh not the other way round)
Childhood and Growing up 2
-There are good reasons for using a childs perspective.
- Allows room for humour and irony
- The children provide hope for the future as they are the next generation.
-Scout doesn't like school.
- Miss Caroline Fisher tells her off for being able to read and write.
- Miss Gates doesnt see how Hitles persucution of the Jew is similar to blacks treatment - Scout can
- Tries to get off school by swearing to make out school as a bad influence.
- Atticus sends her anyway as she has to obey the rules.
-Scout and Jem learn alot from their father.
- Atticus teaches Scout to fight with her head not her fists.
- Scout learns about injustice at first she uses the word '******' casually. By the end of the book she sees how badly black people are treated.
-It's not just the children that are educated.
- Mr Cunningham is educated aboutside the jail, Scout chatter helps him realise wahat he is trying to do isn't right.
- One of the Cunningham's is on the jury and holds out that Tom is innocent.
- Aunt Alexandra changes too. Originally she was agaisnt Atticus defending Tom but when he loses she seems genuinly sorry.
Family and Social class
-It's very important in Maycomb which family your from.
-It's impossible to Escape your family background.
-Some people don't fit into their family.
Innocence and Bravery
-The children are innocent at the start of the story.
-Tom Robinson is an innocent man.
-You see lots of different examples of bravery in the book