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What are some specific examples of deceptive appearances in Part One of To Kill a...

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airlbierra | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2011 at 10:01 AM via web

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What are some specific examples of deceptive appearances in Part One of To Kill a Mockingbird?

I have to write an essay about Part 1 in To Kill a Mockingbird. The essay has to explain what theme Lee was trying to portray in Part 1. I chose the theme Deceptive Appearances. Can I have some analysis of some examples of deceptive appearances in Part 1 only?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 11, 2011 at 5:47 AM (Answer #1)

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An obvious example is that of Boo Radley, believed to be a "malevolent phantom" and a "ghoul" by the children and most of the town. Jem and Scout soon come to see that Boo's reputation is undeserved: The gifts left for them in the tree, and Boo's other acts of kindness--mending Jem's pants and warming Scout's shoulders with a blanket--show them that Boo is neither malicious nor a man to be feared. Mrs. Dubose is another example. Jem and Scout believe her to be the meanest woman in the neighborhood, but Jem comes to understand that her temperament is caused by her addicition to morphine. The gift she leaves for Jem just before she dies shows a side of kindness not immediately noticeable. Scout also seems to change her mind about Calpurnia during the first half of the novel. At the beginning, Calpurnia is described as "tyrannical;" and following her angry removal of Scout from the dinner table after Scout's remarks about Walter Cunningham Jr., Scout promises to

... just wait, I'd fix her...

But later, Calpurnia makes up with Scout, and as Scout grows older she seems to understand that the housekeeper's motives are out of love and a desire to teach her right from wrong.

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