To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

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To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Blitz on Mon May 30, 2011 8:56 pm

Hey guys, this is my final essay to conclude English 2, so I wanted your feedback so I can hopefully make it better.
The essay is addressing the significance of the mockingbird and which characters symbolize it.
If you have read the book or seen the movie, you will have a better idea of what I'm talking about. If not, I still want your input!
I have another whole day to edit it, so I need as much feedback as possible. Without further to do here it is. (On my word document it's 12 font and double spaced, so it may seem a little small here.)


To Kill a Mockingbird

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, we learn that killing a mockingbird is a sin, the significance of the bird, and how this statement relates to the story. Towards the beginning of the book when the children receive air rifles as a gift, he refuses to teach them saying he doesn’t want to be involved with guns. But he does say this to Jem: “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” He says it’s because the mockingbird does nothing but make pretty sound for all to hear. They are not bothersome and don’t nest in the crops like some other birds, and that is why Atticus has come to this conclusion. Throughout the story, there are two main characters that symbolize the mockingbird.

The first character to symbolize the mockingbird is Boo Radley. We learn his story and how he has been maltreated throughout his life. People in Maycomb stereotype him as being this dark, frightening figure that only comes out at night to kill you. This is only because they have never seen or heard from him. Acts of kindness towards the Finch children throughout the story show that Boo is a ‘mockingbird’ and he means no harm, despite what people think. A few incidents where he has proved this status are: Folding up Jem’s pants that he left stuck on the fence, putting a blanket on Scout while she is out in the freezing cold, and defending the kids from the ambush of Mr. Ewell. Although he is a man of few words, unlike the mockingbird and how it sings, his good heart is shown through his actions.

The second person to symbolize the mockingbird is Tom Robinson. We find out about him through his trial, where Atticus is appointed as the defense attorney. He is accused of raping Mayella Ewell because her father is too cowardly to stand up to the truth. Tom is at a disadvantage because of the racism factor during this time, but Atticus does his best throughout the trial. One can clearly see who the guilty party is, but the jury’s majority votes guilty on the defendant. Tom’s conviction symbolizes the killing of a mockingbird: An innocent being who can do nothing to stop the cruelty of the opposition. Unfortunately, Tom tries to escape from his sentence and is killed as a result of a missed shot meant to injure him.

In conclusion, these are the best examples in the book relating to the explanation of the mockingbird and its purpose. Mockingbirds are known for being pleasant and doing things to help, not harm, others. I think these men best fit the meaning of the mockingbird. Boo and his kindness and caring, and Tom being innocent despite racism.
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Hawk on Mon May 30, 2011 9:21 pm

Hey blitz! this was an interesting read....and Yesh I have read the book it has been a while....but very well written...I hadn't quite thought of it that way! I hope that you get an A+ on your paper. XD

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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Gunn3r on Mon May 30, 2011 9:33 pm

some of the grammar nazis will prob be able to help youz more haha i was sposed to read it but i kinda just skimmed it :/ XD im sure ur paper will be great bro Smile
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Blitz on Mon May 30, 2011 9:45 pm

It's understandable Gunn3r. It's not really supposed to be interesting, it's just supposed to address the prompt.
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Mesh on Mon May 30, 2011 9:49 pm

well i am a grammar nazi and it looks fine try using as little "is"s as possible
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by frang on Mon May 30, 2011 10:14 pm

Don't know how to respond. Back before....everyone knows my story, so I'll just say that around 2000 I was a college instructor. This would not be a satisfactory college essay. First, it's too short, it needs to be twice as long. Second, it needs quotations from the novel to illustrate your points about the symbolism contained in the work. Third, a brief mention of the novel's impact, of what reviewers thought of the book at the time, should be mentioned. Fourth, you gotta mention the great movie adaptation of the book. Fifth, you need, right at the first, to stress the environment the novel was written in. I'm a geezer, and even I don't have memories of the Civil Rights era and segregation in the Old South. So you gotta frame the novel, put the novel in its place and time.

That's how you'd do it in college. I have not a clue about high school. I'd put in a brief quote or two from the novel, maybe make more of the racist environment in the Old South at the time, and maybe mention that much of the symbolism and the setting would be unfamiliar to modern readers, being that the conditions it was written under ended with Johnson's Civil Rights legislation in the early 1960s. Racism and bigotry are unfortunately still with us, but the large-scale and government backed racism of the years before the 1960s is gone.

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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Cuyir on Mon May 30, 2011 10:27 pm

I'm such a noob... I pressed the wrong vote button and I can't figure out how to change it! Embarassed

Can't really offer any advice... But, I can say that it's better then most of the kids in my class did (Myself included). You'll probably get between a A+ and a C. (Don't know your teachers though, but mine were completely evil! XD )
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Blitz on Mon May 30, 2011 10:54 pm

Alright thanks Frang. This isn't like a big essay or anything, it's just a side project to the actual exam. It was only supposed to be 3 paragraphs, but I definitely know what to expect in college now.
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Hawk on Tue May 31, 2011 9:11 am

hahah YA!! In college ....some of the writing projects completely suck!! But hey! it's alright! Because there is enough fun ones that it makes up for it. And if you were to find something that you find interesting....it makes it alot easier to write about. Razz

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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Jack on Tue May 31, 2011 12:54 pm

It's decent, though my teachers make me cite page numbers and more quotes would be good.. The more quotes and explanation of the quotes the bigger the paper, the more correct you are, and yea other stuff and things. Looks good though for the most part for a high school essay. I actually did a somewhat similar one last year, though my introduction was much more philosophical then with the book, and i talked a lot about the innocence of Scout. So yea, pretty decent. Smile
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Durza on Tue May 31, 2011 1:14 pm

I understand it's just a summary of the book, but try and use a more interesting topic statement. Add something that 'grabs' the reader's attention right off the bat. It's not much, but it might improve the comments/grading you recieve on the intro paragraph.
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Blitz on Tue May 31, 2011 1:36 pm

@Hawk - Yeah, writing about something you enjoy makes it way easier.

@Jack - I usually am required to site works and use more quotes, but this is a minor essay only because I was asked to journal a paragraph for every which gets tedious. So the teacher didn't want to make it a big assignment because we have a final to worry about.

@Durza - Definitely Durz, I looked for quotes or some scene I could describe to grab the readers attention But once again, this is a small project.

Thanks guys for all the input, I have changed some stuff around.
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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by frang on Tue May 31, 2011 2:43 pm

I'm nitpicking here......English is a weird language, did you know that cite, site, and sight are all pronounced the same? Smile

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Re: To Kill a Mockingbird - Tell me what you think

Post by Blitz on Tue May 31, 2011 3:15 pm

*cite Embarassed
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