To Kill A Mockingbird (Literature Analysis #2 [ft. me trying to keep things simple])

This is a continuation of my half-finished literature analysis from a while back, where I talked about some of the characters and a little bit of the plot. I want to avoid making this literature analysis super wordy like the last one because I don't want to bore my reader :)))))

Told from the point of view of Jean "Scout" Louise Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee tells the story of the Finch family, who lives in Maycomb, Alabama. They live in a racist community, and this plays an important role in the story. The story begins when Jem and Scout go to school; Scout absolutely hates it because her teacher dislikes the fact that she can read. Jem Finch, Dill Harris, and Scout Finch soon become interested in Arthur "Boo" Radley, a quite creepy character who never leaves his house and was almost admitted to a mental institution. Because of this, the kids begin to creep up on his house and Boo eventually finds out and starts leaving presents under a tree for them. This is the start of a friendship between Boo and the kids. Later on, Atticus Finch, a lawyer and the father of Jem and Scout, defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape, in a trial; because of the racist attitude of the community, Jem and Scout get bullied by other kids at school. Tom Robinson is an innocent man, but still gets thrown in prison and gets shot while trying to escape. This directly affects Jem because he begins to question whether or not there's legit justice in Maycomb. The climax of the story is when Bob Ewell, a poor unemployed man, harasses and attacks Jem and Scout at a Halloween party. Boo Radley saves the kids and kills Bob Ewell; Jem gets hurt regardless. After saving the kids, Boo Radley returns to his home. The kids no longer see him as a weirdo; they see him as a human being, and more importantly, as a friend.

I have a feeling Harper Lee wakes up at 6 in the morning and feeds birds. I mean, the title of the book includes the name of a bird... :))))) I have a feeling she likes on a ranch or a rural area because Maycomb is a pretty rural area. I also imagine her tending a garden early in the morning, similar to how Miss Maudie would. She also seems like the type of person that enjoys tea, but I sadly have no evidence to back this up :p I envision her waking up early, making tea, and watching scary movies; she seems like the type of person who likes creepy things because Boo Radley was... quite the character, if I do say so myself. I feel like this author is the exact opposite of the author from my previous literature analysis. In the story, the chirping and the music of the mockingbirds are mentioned, which leads me to believe that maybe Harper Lee knows a bit about music? Maybe she plays an instrument like the cello? I don't know. I feel like figuring out a morning routine for Harper Lee is a little difficult. This book is considered a classic, which makes me think that Harper is a simple woman, who wakes up to the sound of mockingbirds and little kids knocking on her door asking for homemade treats. In other words, she sorta makes me think of Miss Maudie.

Ooooohhhhh boy. I personally think this is the most challenging part about doing a literature analysis. Here are a few simple literary techniques I found:

  1. Euphemism: One euphemism that was common during the 1930's was the use of the phrase "colored people" to describe African Americans. This relates to the balcony scene (not the one from Romeo and Juliet) where Jem and Scout sat in a section with "colored" people, which was basically a space designated for black people. 
  2. Imagery: The use of imagery is pretty common in most books, and this one is no exception. One part I remember clearly is the part where Burris Ewell attends school for one day and Harper Lee described him as a pretty... dirty and ugly looking fellow. This helped me understand the financial situation and social status of the Ewell family.
  3. Symbolism: This is something I didn't quite catch on to while reading To Kill a Mockingbird but as I researched a little bit more on the book to help me with the assignment, it began to make more and more sense. The mockingbird is a symbol of innocence. In the book, a mockingbird could represent Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Both were innocent people that did no harm to their society, but even so, people treated them badly. During one part of the book, Atticus Finch said it was a sin to kill a mockingbird and that is the only time he's referred to something as being a sin. Later on in the book, when Tom Robinson gets shot, we can say that the person who shot him killed a mockingbird, an innocent person who did no harm. The mockingbird could've also represented Boo Radley because he literally does nothing, yet so many people are scared of him. He freaks people out, simply because he chooses to stay at home all the time.

The biggest theme in this book is racial discrimination. We see this everywhere, really, but the main place where we see this is during Tom Robinson's trial. Though he is an innocent man, he still gets thrown in prison and the reader can assume this is because of the ongoing racism during the 1930's. It is important to note that during this time, Jim Crow laws were in effect, which were laws that limited African American rights. Atticus Finch was criticized for defending Robinson at his trial and though it was clear that the plaintiff Bob Ewell fabricated the story of Robinson raping a white woman, Robinson was still thrown in jail. Because of Atticus Finch's involvement in the Robinson trial, Jem and Scout were bullied by their white classmates. And speaking of classmates, I don't recall a scene where a black student was present in class, which could relate to the Jim Crow laws. In the story, Harper Lee shows that black people were being segregated by describing a scene at the trial where Scout and Jem Finch sit in a balcony with colored people.


Let's set this straight; I HATE READING. It's always been a challenge for me; words jump out at me, my mind mixes up letters, I skip phrases and lines accidentally, and my mind thinks it's cool to just wander off on me. Reading this book in Spanish added to the challenge because there were many words I didn't understand. I expected it to be a challenge, but this was way more challenging than I thought it'd be. I hoped that it wouldn't be too hard to understand (not because of the language); sometimes, it's hard for me to make connections between characters and follow along with the plot of stories. Thankfully, I didn't have too much trouble comprehending everything. I've always wanted to read classic books, but because I struggle so much with reading, I've refrained from doing so. My friend happened to have this book and he let me borrow it; I decided to step out of my comfort zone (simple books) and read something a little more sophisticated (is that the right word to describe a classic book?). Three things kept me reading past the first ten pages: this assignment, my genuine interest, and my inner child. This assignment sort of forced me to keep reading even when I didn't want to. I was genuinely interested in all the characters because some of the characters' traits are some of mine; I don't like leaving my house like Boo, I hate feeling limited in school like Scout, and I sometimes question the justice in our society like Jem. I also became interested in the Tom Robinson trial. My inner child was probably what helped me push through the most. When I was younger, I absolutely loved reading; I'd carry books with me everywhere and I was pretty advanced in reading. I remember one year I received a bunch of books for Christmas and I felt like the luckiest kid ever. Whenever I have to read a new book, my inner child comes out and I get super giddy; because of this, sometimes I'll read a LOT on the first day and I'll get super enthusiastic about reading.

My reading habits... hmmm. What are they? I don't really have any. I guess this depends on the book I'm reading. If I'm super interested in a book, I'll read multiple chapters in one night. If a book bores the hell out of me, I might take a little longer reading it. With this book, because it was in Spanish, I got sticky notes with words I didn't understand and I defined them, just in case they came up later in the book. Something that REALLY helped me out while reading To Kill a Mockingbird was reading it out loud. I tried it out, just to see if it would help, and it really helped me stay focused. Typically when I read, I listen to music; it makes reading a little bit less dreadful; this helps me read more per night. I notice that I tend to focus a little bit more as well.

Sooooonnnnnggggg: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars... DAMN BRUNO, BACK AT IT AGAIN SLAYING MY LIFE! This is an accurate representation of my reaction to his new song:


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