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What are at least three examples that express the theme "One person's wrongdoing can...

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arseng | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 25, 2011 at 6:28 PM via web

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What are at least three examples that express the theme "One person's wrongdoing can release evil into the entire community" in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted November 26, 2011 at 3:09 AM (Answer #1)

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MAYELLA EWELL.  Mayella's decision to "tempt" Tom Robinson before attacking him and then accusing him of raping her turns the town upside down. The people of Maycomb take sides about Tom's supposed actions, and he becomes the target of a lynch mob before eventually being found guilty and then killed. Atticus's reputation is tarnished, and he and his family's lives are put in danger--all due to the inherent hatred and ignorance that fills the Ewell family.  

OLD MR. RADLEY.  Mr. Radley's inhumane punishment of his son leads to a domino effect in the Finch neighborhood. Arthur Jr.'s life becomes one of reclusiveness, and the rumors that surround the incarceration within his own home leads to the cruel nickname of Boo. The Radleys become outsiders in their own community and their neighbors--and everyone else in Maycomb--avoid them. Boo spends the rest of his life inside the Radley House, only venturing out at night, and Old Mr. Radley's death does not lead to Boo "coming out," as Jem and Scout had hoped.

MISS STEPHANIE CRAWFORD.  The town's leading gossip, Miss Stephanie seemingly contributes nothing positive to the town. Scout and Jem have learned most of their information about Boo from her, and they eventually find that little of it is true. Her gossip extends to the activities of the Finch family, the trial, and the Negroes of Maycomb, and none of it is of a kind nature.

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