Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | Barron's Booknotes
1. Show the growth and maturity of Jem from the beginning of the novel till its end.
2. Describe the details of the Tom Robinson trial.
3. Elucidate on Harper Lees presentation of the black community in To Kill A Mockingbird.
4. Give a character sketch of Atticus.
5. Is Atticus an ideal father? Elaborate.
6. Do you sympathize with Mayella Ewells? Explain.
7. How has Harper Lee presented social snobbery in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird?
8. Elaborate on the relevance of the title to the plot of the novel.
COMMENT ON THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.
In this study guide for a well-known piece of literature, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, these booknotes will help you to accomplish that goal.