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I am doing a summative on To Kill a Mockingbird and need help  regarding social class...

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tmax | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:29 AM via web

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I am doing a summative on To Kill a Mockingbird and need help  regarding social class and its importance

My topic is : Social Class and its importance in the novel. Consider the views of Aunt Alexandra as well as te Ewelss.

I need background information, plot deteails, character analysis and , p.o.v., irony suspense and espcecially significant quotes

It will be a great help if you can answer or support any of these categories

thank you

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lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 17, 2009 at 12:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The issues of social class are brought to the forefront in the novel by three characters: Tom Robinson, Dolphus Raymond, and Mayella Ewell.   Tom Robinson, though seemingly a good-hearted, kind, and hard-working man, is considered to be at the very bottom of the totem pole, even beneath the very low-class Ewells, all because he is black.  Mayella, though uneducated and crude, is still considered to be superior to Tom because she is white.  Dolphus Raymond, however, stands apart from both in that he somehow manages to balance on the line between races as he is white yet prefers to spend his time with the black community.  Everyone in town thinks he is a drunk as he is always sipping out of a bottle in a brown paper bag, which many believe is a coke bottle filled with whiskey. However, the kids soon find out that this rumor was created intentionally by Dolphus Raymond. Seeing the hatred between the races, he figures his actions seem more acceptable to the whites if they think he is drunk.  This quite possibly makes the loudest statement about social class as he shows how difficult it is for him to be accepted by the white community for spending his time among the black community.

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 17, 2009 at 3:04 PM (Answer #2)

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A 'summative' is a way for an individual to judge the value (in this case) a work of literature. The focus is on the outcome. For example, was the book just a story, or was their a higher purpose for the literary work. To Kill A Mockingbird accomplished both tasks. It is a work of fiction, however the novel is steeped with historical relevance. Maycomb epitomizes the deep, resentful, and destructive nature of racism through, but not limited to Bob Ewell, Mayella, and even Jem. The novel also suggests a wonderful alternative, to rise above resentment, social hypocrisy, and racism with Atticus, Scout, Boo Radley, and by the end of the novel many others.  Harper Lee's genius in To Kill A Mockingbird lies in the beauty for every reader to construct their own assessment of the novel. She forces the reader to make a decision, in the end is the novel destructive or constructive? To write a summative you must answer that question, and support you answer with inferences from the book. Take these steps to further address your question:

1. Research the south during the 1930's

2. Read the character analysis (link provided below)

3. Research the author, Harper Lee. Although she wrote this as fiction....make no mistake she wanted to speak her peace.

Good Luck !!!

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