Tkam Essay

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To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and has become a classic piece of American literature.

It is set in the small town of Maycomb and is from the point of view of young Scout Finch who gives a child’s perspective on the very mature subjects of the book.

There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." By this description we can see that to Jem and Scout talking about Boo Radley gives them the same sort of thrill as telling ghost stories.

Jem and Scout believe Boo is a malevolent phantom, a zombie-like man who wanders the streets at night looking for something to eat.

Atticus explains to his children that she was a morphine addict, and her goal was to stop taking it before she died.

This shows how difficult it must have been, ‘she was very old; she spent most of each day in bed and the rest of it in a wheelchair.’ This makes Jem mature in many ways when he realizes the truth of her difficult life and he seems to regret his judgement of her. She was the bravest person I ever knew." Another good example of appearance vs.After she walks him home, she stands on his porch and imagines many of the events of the story as they must have looked to Boo.She at last realizes the love and protection that he has silently offered her and Jem all along, showing Scout and us as the reader that he is indeed not the malevolent phantom he appeared to be, in reality he was an almost regular man who was driven by loneliness.We as readers also feel this fear of Boo Radley; we see the dark settings and atmosphere that surround Boo, like the run down Radley house which Jem, Scout and Dill sneak towards under the cover of darkness, and we perceive him the same way as the rest of the characters in the book do, because as we have not yet exposed Boo in the book, we only see him as the characters describe him.Jem and Scout fear the tale of Boo Radley’s antics, how he got up to mischief as a young boy and was there by imprisoned in the house and he was "not seen again for fifteen years." They too have never seen Boo Radley but they still long to have some connection with him.Every time they pass her house she hurls criticisms and insults at them: ‘Mrs Dubose was plain hell’ She pushes Jem to his limits and causes him to destroy her most treasured possessions, her camellias. As Jem reads to her she still continues to throw criticism his way, but we seem to see her develop from being constantly verbally abusive to beginning to do it less, ‘For a moment I felt sorry for her.She was lying under a pile of quilts and looked almost friendly.’ Mrs Dubose’s attitude seems to change after a while which makes us think that she is different from just a mean and grumpy old lady ‘Mrs Dubose smiled at him.In this essay I will be looking at the theme of appearance vs.reality throughout the novel, also the minor characters such as Boo Radley, are the most clear example of this theme, as these are characters that we come to find out are not at all as they seem at first.He’s been sorta drunk ever since’ He is thought because of this to be a bad man by the residents of Maycomb ‘Mr Dolphus was an evil man.’ During the trial of Tom Robinson we see that he isn’t a drunk and that all he drinks is cola. When i come to town which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey – that’s why he won’t change his ways. I believe this is the way that Dolphus escaped the racism of society by pretending to be an alcoholic so he could marry who he wanted and blame it on alcohol.We also find that he is very wealthy and the reason he pretends to drink is that he would rather be shown as an alcoholic than have racism go around because he is white and married a black woman and had mixed children. He can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he does’ Scout and Jem soon come to understand that he chooses to be the way he is because it is the way he chooses to live, just like how Boo Radley chooses to stay inside the Radley house. In conclusion, I felt that Harper Lee very effectively conveyed the theme of appearance versus reality throughout the book as the minor characters like Boo Radley, Mrs Dubose and Dolphus Raymond appear to be evil, mean and scary but .


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