SUMMARY Jem, Atticus Finch who is a successful

SUMMARYThestory of To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb County Alabama, duringthe great depression, and tells the story of Jean Louise (known as Scout) andher older brother Jem Finch, two children who grow up in the town in the 1930’s.The story is from the point of view of Scout. A friend of the kids namedDill visits for the summer, and the three of them become very interested withgetting a glimpse of one of their neighbors, who is basically never seen, namedBoo Radley, a local “legend” to say. In the beginning of the book, the kids arescared of him. To Jem, Boo Radley isn’t fully human and is supposedly partmonster, “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; hedined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands werebloodstained–if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off.

There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had wereyellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.” Meanwhile in the plot, the father of Scout and Jem,Atticus Finch who is a successful lawyer, has decided to defend a black mannamed Tom Robinson who was falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman.The children get involved with the trial, and Tom Robinson is declared guilty.

He is later killed trying to escape prison. The book ends with Bob Ewell, whois Mayella’s father, trying to kill the children on their way back to school.Boo Radley, who the children had never previously seen, intervenes, and savesthem and ends up killing Bob. With influences from other characters such asCalpurnia, the Cunninghams, and Miss Maudie, Scout and the children changetheir perspective of the world as their character develops throughout the book.  CONFLICTAsmentioned, Scout, who is the main protagonist, was very scared of the thoughtof Boo Radley in the beginning of the novel. With influences, and made up,exaggerated stories from people around her, the image she had of Boo Radley wasvery intimidating. This conflicthappens at the end of the novel, and is a very prominent factor in therealizations Scout makes, which develops her personality as she “comes of age”.

One day, when Scout and the other kids werewalking home from school on a Halloween night, they hear a sound behind them. Apursuer starts running after them, and Jem tells Scout to run, but her costumeputs her off balance and she falls. Jem drags her forward, but the pursuertakes him and hurts him, making him scream. Scout runs towards him, and ends upbeing grabbed herself.

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Suddenly, the pursuer is pulled away; Scout tries tolook for Jem, but doesn’t find him in the dark. She runs back home. A mancarries Jem’s unconscious body to her house, and she realizes that this is the personshe has heard rumors about this whole time.

This man is Boo Radley. The pursuerturns out to be Bob Ewell, the father of Mayella Ewell, the woman who accusedTom Robinson.  This conflict results in characterdevelopment for Scout, as she realizes that the rumors about Boo Radley are nottrue. He is a kind-hearted man who is just different from others.

Scout recalls the lesson that herfather had given her some time before the incident, ” You never reallyunderstand a person until you consider things from his point of view– …untilyou climb into his skin…”Scout walks Boo Radley home after he saved her life,and looks at the street from Boo’s point of view, from his porch. This was themoment where she truly understood what the lesson her father gave her meant,”Atticus was right, just standing on the Radley porch was enough”. CONFLICTScout didn’t really know about theexistence of racism and racial prejudice before the trial of Tom Robinson andhis accusation by Mayella Ewell. Outsidethe courthouse, Dill starts crying when he hears Tom Robinson’s interrogationby Mr. Gilmer, as it was a very hostile one. Mr. Dolphus Raymond, who is awhite male, thinks the white society is full of hypocrisy, and prefers livingamong blacks and lives with his black wife. When he sees Dill crying, he says,”Cry about the simple hell people give other people–without even thinking.

Cryabout the hell White people give to colored folks, without even stopping tothink that they’re people, too.” He also says “Things haven’t caught up withthat one’s instinct yet…Maybe things’ll strike him as being–not quite right,say, but he won’t cry, not when he gets a few years on him…..”This develops Scouts character, as itis a prime example of her finding out about the prejudice colored people facein the white society.

Beforethis incident, Scout was too young to understand what racism really exists inher town, as there was always a colored woman in her household, Calpurnia, thehousemaid. Calpurniawas highly respected and was considered a member of the family and household. After this incident, Scout discoveredthe discrimination in her society and the division of her town, contributing toher development in the book. EVENTBefore Aunt Alexandra moved in withthe Finches, Scout didn’t really understand what it meant to be “ladylike”, andshe didn’t know what the term even really meant. When Aunt Alexandra moves inwith the family, she tells Scout that Atticus and her had decided that shecould use some feminine influence in the house as they mature, “We decided itwould be best for you to have some feminine influence.

It won’t be many years,Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys–” We find outearly on that Scout is a tomboy, as she plays with the boys, enjoys fights, andprefers to wear overalls instead of a skirt. She is against the idea of actingladylike.Aunt Alexandracontinues to entertain the ladies “her missionary circle”, even though Atticushas brought up the news of Tom Robinson’s death. She does this with a smile onher face, despite the bad news and recent events. This shows Scout the truemeaning behind being a lady.

It meant to be brave, stay strong, and to treateveryone with respect even through hard times. Aunt Alexandra was one of thepeople who influenced and guided Scout when she was coming of age, as sheshowed her how to handle herself in front of others as a woman in theirsociety.       

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