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Analyzation on "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Chapter 1

“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.” - Page 6
They’re saying that not only Maycomb had been around for a while, but it was also boring, dull and bland the entirety that Scout could’ve known ever since she was born. It seems that during the great depression, small towns did bad and there was minimal entertainment, even knowing that movie theatres came out in 1902. It also meant that the people in there were boring and dull too. Later in the story, Boo was locked up in his house. This could also mean that some people were abusive and mean, hence the south in 1930’s. I picked this one because I wanted to say the above about Maycomb.
“I never knew how old Mr. Radley made his living-Jem said he ‘bought cotton,’ a polite term for doing nothing.” - Page 11
This stood out because in the setting of this book, the great depression was happening, and anyone without a job would become poor and homeless. If Mr. Radley were to have a house and carry grocery bags without a job, how is he making his money? For all I know, they’re referring to a ‘cotton trader’ which you can buy cotton low, and sell higher, so he could’ve dealt with the market for a living. I know for fact that people dealt with the stock market and loss a lot due to the great depression, but that just seems way too risky.
“There were other ways of making people into ghosts.” - Page 14
This is an interesting line. What other ways was to chain a person up to a bed? It’s pretty obvious that they’re talking about imprisoning Boo and keeping him locked up in a place, but what does this line means. I like to think that ghosts exist on our dimensional plane, because they can’t go to neither heaven nor hell. Basically referring people locked up is to ghosts, meaning that they’re stuck in a place. This stood out because it’s a good metaphor, and people who have been abused, victims or essentially depressed tend to lock themselves in, they’re ghosts per se.
“There goes the meanest man that god ever blew breath into.” - Page 15
This quote made by Calpurnia confirms her negative opinion of Nathan Radley. This surprises the kids, because she ’does not usually meddle in the affairs of white people’. Mr. Nathan Radley is legitimately disliked by most of the neighborhood, which is obvious.

Chapter 2

‘“Your father does not know how to teach. You can have a seat now.”’ - Page 23
Miss Caroline discovered that Scout was literate after having her read a couple of books. She says that her father teaching Scout to read or to teach in general is a bad thing and tells her that her father doesn’t know how to teach. This tells us that Miss Caroline is either very rude or she mostly despises the Finches. There’s not much to tell from this point, but because you know more doesn’t mean you don’t have to dumb others down.

Chapter 3

“He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a cunningham” - Page 33
Scout says this when Calpurnia is telling her that some people can’t eat like that, and you have to treat to guests. Calpurnia is saying that some people are simply poorer than others, but that doesn’t means you should be prejudice.

Chapter 4

“I could not help but receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something.” - Page 44
This interested me a bit because she’s probably talking about school. I guess that after she started school, Scout thought that it’s a huge waste of time for her and everyone else. She thought she was being ‘cheated’ out of her precious life years in this case. The way the narrator says it though seems like she is foreshadowing something that’s going to later happen in the story though.
“For some reason, my first year of school had wrought a great change in our relationship.” - Page 45
After school started, Jem specifically told Scout not to bother him or talk about him during the school year, probably so she won’t embarrass him. Jem in the book seems to be more aggressive after the school year, seeing as how now that his sister is in school.

Chapter 5

“My nagging got the better of Jem eventually, as I knew it would, and to my relief we slowed down the game for a while.” - Page 55
Scout was talking about Jem’s game, about that how Atticus told them not to mock other people. I can guess that their games involve pretending to be other people, making fun of them or some sort. Jem says he found a work around, saying that he doesn’t have to use the names of the people/person he is making fun of, thus he couldn’t be accused of anything.

Chapter 6

“Jem and I relaxed. The neighbors seemed satisfied: they all stiffened. But what was strip poker?” - Page 73
When Jem, Dill and reluctant Scout tried to contact Boo Radley, Mr. Radley thought that there had been trespassers on his property.The trio escaped from Mr. Radley’s shotgun, when Atticus told them where is Jem's pants, Dill had said that Jem lost his pants from a game of strip-poker, in which he didn’t know what it was. Jem than later told Scout that he was going to get his pants back.\

Chapter 7

“Mr. Radley, ah—did you put cement in that hole in that tree down yonder?” - Page 83
Scout and Jem was finding things inside the hole of a tree in front of the Radleys place. After finding out that someone had filled the hole with cement, Scout was stricken with sadness, and asked Mr. Radley if he had filled the hole. He admitted to the deed, and said he had done it because the tree is dying. The kids asked Atticus to verify if what had Mr. Radley said was correct, and he said that the tree is perfectly healthy. Why would Mr. Radley lie to the kids about the tree dying? Maybe it’s because that Boo had been giving them stuff through the tree, and Mr. Radley didn’t want Boo to have contact.

Chapter 8

“For reasons unfathomable to the most experienced prophets in Maycomb County, autumn turned to winter that year.” - Page 85
Usually, this is weird because in the South, winter probably almost didn’t exist with it being so hot. The students in the school were confused on what snow was, since it probably never had snowed before. This tells us that the kids in the South really were inexperienced, and didn’t know much as we did.

Chapter 9

“Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine, I guess.” - Page 101
After Scout tells Atticus that he shouldn’t be defending a colored person, he tells her that he simply just has to for his own pride. Atticus says that if he doesn’t defend his client, he wouldn’t be able to hold his own head up. This tells us that Atticus has a fair amount of respect for himself, and others.

Chapter 10

“He did not do the things our schoolmates’ fathers did: he never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke. He sat in the living room and read.” - Page 118
This shows that Atticus was very much different than the others. Firstly, he is not racist nor discriminative, but he also seems to be very educative and respective in his own work. However, Scout doesn’t think that she has a good father, and wants him to do more. Since ‘Atticus was feeble’, Jem couldn’t really play his favorite sport with him, football.

Chapter 11

“We could do nothing to please her. If I said as sunnily as I could, “Hey, Mrs. Dubose,” I would receive for an answer, “Don’t you say hey to me, you ugly girl! You say good afternoon, Mrs. Dubose!”” - Page 133
Scout is talking about an old lady named ‘Mrs. Dubose’ in which she describes as the ‘sassiest, most disrespectful mutts who ever passed her way’. It was clear that the kids hated her, as saying that she cannot be pleased at all. Mrs. Dubose even accused Jem and Scout of playing hooky (skipping school), and said that she was going to report it, even though it was saturday.

Chapter 12

“Jem was twelve. He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody.” - Page 153
It’s true that during the teen years, things start to get harder and worser. Scout didn’t understand, and thought it could be solved with physical force, but Atticus said it’s normal and that she should leave it alone. Scout says that Jem tells her that she should be more like a woman or feminine. She questioned his diet, asking if he had tapeworm, but Atticus said he’s just growing.

Chapter 13

“Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.” - Page 172
Scout says that everyone in Maycomb has a streak in some way, saying that people often do things that reflects onto their reputation. While Scout talks about the Sam Merriweather’s suicide, Atticus says that the Finch's are not the first to marry it’s cousins. There are many stereotypical slander saying about incest in southerners, so a relation of this occurs to life.

Chapter 14

“Atticus looked around from behind his paper. He was in his chair by the window. As we grew older, Jem and I thought it generous to allow Atticus thirty minutes to himself after supper.” - Page 180
Scout heard a ‘skinny white man’ conversing with another person when Jem and her was in public. He was talking about people being loose and trying to’rape up the countryside’. Scout never heard of the word rape before, so she asks Atticus on what it means. Atticus explains to them what rape means, but Scout acts like she just doesn’t care. After that, Scout manages to change the entire topic on accident onto the day Calpurnia took the kids to the church.

Chapter 15

“The Ku Klux’s gone,” said Atticus. “It’ll never come back.” - Page 196 You would’ve thought that the Ku Klux Klan would’ve been around during this time. A long time ago, there was a group of racists who wore white garments over their entire body along with a white cone on the top. Speaking of the south during the 1930’s, I thought for sure they would’ve existed, but according to Atticus, they have been gone and he predict they will never come back.

Chapter 16

‘”You know, it’s a funny thing about Braxton,” Said Atticus. “He despises Negros, won’t have one near him”.’ - Page 209
At the end of chapter 15 in To Kill a Mockingbird, Mr. Underwood told Atticus that he had been watching the lynch mob the entire time, armed with a double barrel shotgun ready to aim. What he is wondering about is why was he trying to protect the Finch’s against the angry mob if he hated colored people himself. My theory is that some people secretly don’t hate it, but rather than fear more about being an outcast in the town. Atticus clearly does not care about being an outcast and having so many people turn him down, so maybe Mr. Underwood has some sympathy for him.

Chapter 17

‘He stood up and pointed his finger at Tom Robinson. “—I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella!” So serene was Judge Taylor’s court, that he had few occasions to use his gavel, but he hammered fully five minutes.’ - Page 231
When Mr. Ewell was up to the stand, he testified that when he checked up on Mayella, he saw Tom Robinson ‘rutting’ his daughter. Rutting is a coarse word for human beings and he could’ve said rape. However, he’s trying to create a larger gravity of this situation by using an explicit vocabulary. This is probably to buy all the non-colored people in the court room’s faith into him, so that he has a better chance of prosecuting Tom.

Chapter 18

‘“Then why didn’t the other children hear you? Where were they? At the dump? Where were they?” No answer.’ - Page 250
The reason that Atticus is asking all these repetitive questions is because he is trying to find the truth and inconsistencies with the defendants testimonies. At this point, the victim is stuttering and trying to find herself when she’s lost in her own words. Atticus continues to pressure her, hoping to get a truth out of her until she starts crying. They all took a break and the judge told Atticus to finish the case by afternoon. I feel like Atticus’s methods involve trying to save time and wait for the perfect moment to provide evidence why Tom Robertson is not guilty.

Chapter 19

‘Tom Robinson shut his eyes tight. “He says you goddamn whore, I’ll kill ya.”’ - Page 260
Tom Robinson was giving the full story on what happened to him. Mayella was ‘coming onto’ Tom, until he says that her father Mr. Ewell came by and yelled out that she’s a whore and he was going to kill him. Tom Robinson hesitates a little before saying that sentence, which sheds some light on his manners along with him calling Atticus ‘sir’. According to Tom’s testimony, it doesn’t sound like Mr. Ewell and Mayella have a steady relationship as a family. It seems like that he hates her and even though she is taking care of the kids, he just doesn’t care.

Chapter 20

“I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.” - Page 275
In this part, Atticus now begins to go through with all the evidence and why Tom is innocent. Before Atticus talks about anything, he says that you should not judge the defendant's sentence based on his appearance. He wants the jury to base the sentence on reasoning and common sense. Atticus then proceeds to argue with the people with his evidence and then all of the sudden Calpurnia was in the court.

Chapter 21

“I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was polling the jury: “Guilty… guilty… guilty… guilty…” I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each “guilty” was a separate stab between them.” - Page 282
Calpurnia took the kids home for supper, but promised said that they can come back to hear the verdict if the jury wasn’t done yet. After the jury came back in ‘dream like quality’, the foreman handed their votes to Mr. Tate and then to the Judge. The Judge counted multiple guiltys while Jem was frustrated. Atticus whispers something into Tom’s ear and then left the building. A person tells Scout that her ‘father’s passin’.

Chapter 22

‘At that moment Aunt Alexandra came to the door and called us, but she was too late. It was Miss Stephanie’s pleasure to tell us: this morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life.’ - Page 290
Around town, everyone’s been talking about what happened with Bob Ewell and Atticus. Scout hasn't heard of the news until Miss Stephanie told them that he had spit into Atticus’s face and he would get revenge on him for testifying him against court. I think this foreshadows something into the future. This is probably one of the biggest problems in the book since it sounds like that Mr. Ewell isn’t kidding around at all.

Chapter 23

‘“Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin‘ bastard?” Miss Stephanie said Atticus said, “No, too old,” put his hands in his pockets and strolled on. Miss Stephanie said you had to hand it to Atticus Finch, he could be right dry sometimes.’ - Page 291
Atticus has the unique ability to control himself though, making him stand out from the rest of a common racist crowd. Although the recent occurred events that just have happened right before him, he doesn’t care what others think about his own judgment. Both Scout and Jem are frightened for Atticus, thinking that he should do something about the offense Mr. Ewell had just committed. It’s surprising, and yet great to know that there are people able to stand their ground and keep their own opinions based on people against what you believe (unless it is viewed in a violent or wrong approach for example, positive opinions on the KKK clan).

Chapter 24

‘“Cal,” Atticus said, “I want you to go with me out to Helen Robinson’s house—” “What’s the matter?” Aunt Alexandra asked, alarmed by the look on my father’s face. “Tom’s dead.”’ - Page 314 - 315\ Calpurnia rushed to tell Atticus the news that Tom Robinson is now dead. While Tom was on death row, he tried to escape from the prison camp. He had attempted to escape by climbing the wall, but he was shot seventeen times. Seventeen times is a bit of a severe way to kill a person at the same time a waste. Why would the guards stop at nothing to kill Tom Robinson, when they could’ve ran after him or shot him once in a non-vital area. I would hypothesize that the fact of discrimination against the colored folks inside the prison, as the guards themselves are probably white. The fact that whites are against blacks makes it pretty obvious on why would a person shoot up someone so much.\

Chapter 25

‘Maycomb was interested by the news of Tom’s death for perhaps two days; two days was enough for the information to spread through the county. “Did you hear about?… No? Well, they say he was runnin‘ fit to beat lightnin’…” To Maycomb, Tom’s death was typical, typical of a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw.’ - Page 322
Paragraphs like these show the stereotypical truth in the 1930’s. As much as it’s cruel to believe so, history has its way of doing things that seems hurtful in a number of ways. Apparently the death of a colored person is popular, and yet it’s proved to be typical like an average Saturday morning. These are more information moments in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ that tells us what was going on during the setting of a book.

Chapter 26

‘Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an‘ then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home—”’ - Page 331
In Scout’s third grade class, her teacher Miss Caroline assigned the class a current event project. One student in the class did an article on Hitler, and how he’s prosecuting the Jews regardless of what they did. Miss Caroline disagrees with Hitler’s actions and tells the class what Democracy is and how they are built based on that system of freedom. However, Scout sees a fault with this, even with Miss Caroline prosecuting against Tom Robinson she continues to say that what Hitler did was a felony. Hypocrisy is the characteristic in this occasion.

Chapter 27

‘If Mr. Ewell was as forgotten as Tom Robinson, Tom Robinson was as forgotten as Boo Radley. But Tom was not forgotten by his employer, Mr. Link Deas. Mr. Link Deas made a job for Helen. He didn’t really need her, but he said he felt right bad about the way things turned out.’ - Page 333
Since Tom Robinson was away, his wife named Helen who is now a widow was introduced to a new job after Tom’s death. Tom’s employer who was actually the sheriff of the town, named Mr. Link Deas ‘felt right bad’ and offered her a job. No way would the town full of prejudice and racial opportunities make a black person the sheriff, so it had to be a white person. This sheds some light on Mr. Deas because it seems that he is also against the discrimination that’s been going on too. At first, it seemed that the entire town except for Atticus very much hated blacks, but as the story progresses we begin to see more people who are also with Atticus’s opinion.

Chapter 28

‘Mr. Tate found his neck and rubbed it. “Bob Ewell’s lyin‘ on the ground under that tree down yonder with a kitchen knife stuck up under his ribs. He’s dead, Mr. Finch.”’ - Page 357
It seems to be that Bob Ewell was trying to murder Jem and Scout. However, it was later compromised that her chicken wire blocked the slash of the knife but Jem had been ambushed. He had come out with broken bones while in a coma unfortunately, but still breathing. However, after taking Jem to the doctor, Mr. Heck Tate tells Atticus that Mr. Ewell has been stabbed in the stomach and died. The primary question to this is who stabbed him, if it was by one of the kids it had to be for self-defense.

Chapter 29

‘When I pointed to him his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat streaks on the wall, and he hooked his thumbs in his belt. A strange small spasm shook him, as if he heard fingernails scrape slate, but as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face. His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor’s image blurred with my sudden tears. “Hey, Boo,” I said.’ - Page 362
This is a very surprising way to close a chapter as well as to physically introduce a character. After having Scout explain in full detail of what happened during and before Mr. Ewell’s ambush, she begins to remember of a person who saved the two from Mr. Ewell. She doesn’t know who it is, until the person is standing right out front of the doorway. That person is Boo, from the famous rumor that has been going around the county. As from her fantasies of meeting Boo, she had imitated exactly as what she would’ve do if she met Boo, just say ‘Hey, Boo’.

Chapter 30

‘I wondered why Atticus was inviting us to the front porch instead of the livingroom, then I understood. The livingroom lights were awfully strong.’ - Page 364
Apparently everyone is treating Boo like in the rumors. You think that they wouldn’t treat boo according to the local myth of Boo Radley, but his deprived social skills, resistance to light and the person himself is all true.

Chapter 31

‘He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.’ - Page 376
Scout talks about how Atticus would be there whenever they needed him. It seems that the two kids are very dependent on Atticus in teaching them, taking care of them (even knowing that Calpurnia is) and being their father. Throughout the experience and events they kids went through, I think they have their utmost respective for Atticus. The fact of how he testified against Tom Robinson when no one wanted to, eliminate all odds and tried, and went by his gut instincts made him a true hero and example of how the two wanted to grow up to. This quote is also the last line of the book, and a good ending too. I found that this book is amazingly deep and you definitely can learn a lot about the cruel past in the south.

Book Review


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