Minimum Words: 400
Minimum Text References and Citations: 4 (Including works outside of To Kill a Mockingbird)
Due Date: Tuesday, March 19 at midnight. It must be done before large group discussion.
Note: You are very welcome to include references to other works, including books, stories, videos, music, and other things.
Helpful links: Sample Reader's Notebook from CIS Literature* | Critical Lens notecards | Reading Schedule | Reader's Notebook Instructions | Spark Notes
This notebook entry is supposed to be 100% dictated by your own analysis and relationship to the text. If you can, try to do this without looking at the suggested questions below. However, for those of you who need a little push to begin this voyage, please feel free to consider the following questions or statements:
- Try to apply a critical lens to your reading, the characters, or Harper Lee.
- Who is the protagonist in the novel? Who is the antagonist? How does the opposition of these two characters help develop the drama and the unfolding of the tale?
- How would this story be narrated, in the third person, from the point of view of Dill’s fabulous imagination?
- How would Boo Radley describe Jem, Scout, and Dill?
- What motivates the primary characters?
- What kind of teacher is Miss Caroline, Scout’s first grade teacher?
- Here are some pictures of America during the time frame in which the novel is set. What connections can you make to the text?
- Take a look at some of the actual artifacts from the Jim Crow era in America. How does this affect your reading or your perceptions of the novel.
Please cite page numbers and specific passages from the novel to support your inferences and conclusions. We will be using these questions and your conclusions, questions, and insights to spark classroom discussion on Wednesday.
Scout says that " Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it" (Page 4). She seems to be trying to emphasize not just the age of the town, but also the slowness of the town, the values of the people, and the way that summer heat made everything drag on.
This isn’t the first time we see one of the Price women choosing materialism over God, despite Nathan’s harsh beatings and warnings. On page 363, Rachel reaches for her mirror instead of for her Bible, explaining “[ . . . ] it didn’t seem worth saving at that moment, so help me God. It had to be my mirror.” Whether this shows rebellion or just the simplistic mindset of a 15-year-old teenage girl, I’m not sure. Perhaps she was, in her own, small way, rebelling from Nathan. But maybe she just wanted to make sure that no matter where she went in Africa, she would always know the state of her appearance. That seems pretty likely.