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What are some of the flashback scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird?It is already known that...

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cubefreak8101 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 5, 2012 at 6:09 AM via web

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What are some of the flashback scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird?

It is already known that the whole book is a flashback, but would you say that the exposition revealed in the first chapter are flashbacks? What other flashbacks are found inside the book. I am not very good at identifying the differences!!! :)

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

Posted January 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM (Answer #1)

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I tend to consider many of the "flashbacks" in the first chapter as "remembrances." Flashbacks are usually transitions from the present back to the past in a fully developed scene; most of Scout's stories about Simon Finch and Atticus as a young man serve as exposition and are not really flashbacks. Of course, it can be argued that the entire novel is a flashback, since Scout begins her narration in Chapter 1 as an adult. There are examples of flashbacks in the novel, however.

  • There is a flashback at the beginning of Chapter 9, when Scout is about to fight Cecil Jacobs. The scene shifts forward to Scout questioning Atticus about his decision to defend Tom Robinson; then, later, Scout returns to the previous scene in the schoolyard, where she decides not to fight Cecil after all.
  • Another flashback (in the form of a recollection) comes in Chapter 25 when Dill leaves for Meridian. Scout misses him, and she recalls in length how Dill described seeing Tom Robinson's widow, Helen, fall "down in the dirt" after she learns of Tom's death.
  • Chapter 27 consists of a series of semi-flashbacks, where Scout recalls recent events in Maycomb before returning to the fateful Halloween night.

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