Racism- “I’m simply defending a Negro—his name’s Tom Robinson” (75). With these words Atticus informs Scout of his life-altering task of standing up to the prejudice and racism that pervades the sleepy southern town that was Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s. Discuss the effects of racism on Maycomb citizens such as Tom and Helen Robinson, Calpurnia, Scout, Jem, Dill, Mayella Ewell, or Dolphus Raymond.
Empathy- According to Atticus, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (30). How is empathy toward others demonstrated or learned by characters such as Atticus, Scout, Jem, Dill, or Miss Maudie?
The Great Depression- “There was no hurry for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with,” (5). To Kill a Mockingbird is set during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. How does this economic catastrophe affect the actions of characters such as Walter Cunningham Sr., Tom Robinson or Atticus Finch? Why does the author state that the economy has no bearing on the actions of people like Bob Ewell?
Courage- Atticus says to Jem that he wants his son “to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand” (112). How is courage defined in this novel? What character(s) best exemplify courage? Why? What point does Harper Lee want to make about courage through her use of these characters?
Compassion- While at the trial, Scout states “it came to me that Mayella Ewell must have been the loneliest person in the world” (191). Is Mayella Ewell a character worthy of compassion? Answer this question using specific evidence from the novel and providing thoughtful commentary.
Loss of Innocence- With age and experience come knowledge, the realization of harsh realities, and finally wisdom and understanding. Trace the narrator’s journey from innocence to understanding in a thoughtful essay.
3 - 5 pages (700-1500 words), typed, double spaced, 12 font (Times New Roman), 1 inch margins
MLA Heading, including your full name, course title, teacher name, date, period