Discuss the idea of what you liked and disliked in the 1st chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Personally, I like the way To Kill a Mockingbird begins with an older Scout looking back on a time in her life that was very influential.  The book’s beginning is very engaging.

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. (ch 1)

This one sentence tells us that we are in for an interesting tale, and it also tells us a lot about Jem’s personality.  He is athletic, intelligent, and easy-going.  It tells us about Scout too, because the words “assuaged” and “self-conscious” are those of an intelligent older person, and Scout is a precocious young girl.

If I had to choose something I didn’t like, I would say that while the descriptions of Maycomb are interesting, the long Finch family history lesson can be difficult to wade through.  All of that background is important, but it is too much background for some at a time when we want to get to know the characters.


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