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To Kill a Mockingbird
By: Harper Lee
Imaginary district of Maycomb County in southern
Story begins in the summer of 1933 and ends on
Halloween night, 1935.
Country is in the grips of the Great Depression
Jim Crow Laws
Lee uses Scout Finch as a first-person narrator.
 People who do not conform to accepted
"codes of behavior" are persecuted and
sometimes killed.
 Most white people in Maycomb believe that
prejudice against blacks must be strictly
upheld if southern society is to be preserved.
 Sexism is a form of prejudice. Scout is often
admonished to "act like a lady."
In the beginning of the novel, Scout is innocent
and inexperienced.
Her world is delimitated by the boundaries of
her immediate neighborhood.
In the course of the novel, Scout outgrows
childish superstitions, learns to understand
people from their point of view, and realizes
how terrible and tragic the results of prejudice
The trial of Tom Robinson has a tremendous
effect on Scout's life.
The verdict leads her to questions the nature of justice
and the wisdom of those who administer it.
Atticus teaches Jem and Scout the importance of seeing life from another
person's point of view.
 The children learn to respect the behavior of very different people, such as
Mrs. Dubose and Boo Radley.
 Understanding is seen as the key to peaceful and coexistence between
antagonistic parties and as the means to achieve a greater equality among
white and black people.
~ The classroom is seen
as a microcosm of
Maycomb society.
~ The author is
obviously critical of an
educational system that
largely ignores the needs
and abilities of the
~ Religious
fundamentalists often
interpret the Bible in an
extremely narrow, almost
literal way.
~ Miss Maudie's
directness and honesty
are contrasted sharply
with the hypocrisy of the
missionary tea ladies.
~ Jem demonstrates physical courage when he accepts
a dare to touch the Radley house. Later he returns there
to retrieve his trousers.
~ Atticus shoots a rabid dog with a single shot.
~ Scout demonstrates a high moral courage when she
restrains herself from retaliating against children who
insult her and her family.
~ Atticus defends Tom Robinson to the best of his
abilities, refusing to be intimidated or compromised,
even though he knows that Tom has almost no chance
of being acquitted.
Diction-the style of speaking and writing as reflected in the author's choice and
use of words
Dialect-the characteristic speech of a region or social group
Irony-contrast between appearance and reality
Foreshadowing-a clue or suggestion of a coming event used to create suspense
and heighten the reader's interest
Symbols-any object, person, or place that represents something else
Humor-what makes people laugh