Could these examples work? Essay on To Kill a Mockingbird. Help, please?Prompt: Throughout Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is on a journey to discover what it means to be an adult. In an...

Could these examples work? Essay on To Kill a Mockingbird. Help, please?

Prompt: Throughout Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is on a journey to discover what it means to be an adult. In an essay, discuss how Scout crosses into the world of adults. Be sure to discuss scenes that symbolize her new understanding. Any use of other literary devices and aspects is encouraged.

My thesis: In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout gains new understanding on issues which show her transformation from a child to an adult.

3 supporting examples:

- Scout finally understands the meaning of "standing in someone's shoes."

- Another example that shows Scout's new understanding as a mature adult is when she realizes that the racism presented in her environment is unjust.

- Scout's righteous perspective on the Cunninghams shows that she believes people should not be treated differently due to their family background.

I'm having doubts about the third example. Could these examples work? Any advice reagarding the thesis, examples, or anything is appreciated.



Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I might throw this out there:

You have great specific examples that should be used within your body paragraphs, but support a broader idea.  I usually encourage students to come up with 3 broad topics (topic sentences) that can be supported by two specific pieces of text - quotes or paraphrases.

Your thesis sets you up perfectly with "gains a new understanding on issues..."  Instead of using the three specific examples listed as your three topic sentences, come up with broader topics that define three different "issues."

Examples: from your specific examples you could say one issue she gains a mature perspective on is "racism" (this would nicely tie in your second example).  Another is "class distinction" or something with socio-economics (which works with your third example).  The first example you have is the most broad... sounds like you'd go into some detail with Boo Radley on that one... so maybe the issue is understanding people who are different in some other way besides race and money.

I love what you have here - I'd encourage you to come up with 2 textual examples within each topic to fully support your ideas.  Also - when it comes to the final order of your paper - put your best body paragraph last and your worst 2nd to last.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In concurrence with the previous post, you will wish to revise your three "opinions" which you will support with the textual evidence as suggested.  Always be sure to use parallelism in your thesis statement as it aids in the reader's understanding of what you are setting out to prove.  For instance, you could write your thesis something like this, in which each opinion employs a gerund phrase for parallelism:

In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird,  Scout's transformation from naivete to maturity is evidenced in her new understanding of others, an understanding of racial and social prejudice, and an apprehension of what it means to be an adult (this can relate to the theme of courage vs.cowardice).

If you will read about the themes of Lee's novel on the site listed below, there should be information there that will help you generate ideas.  Good luck!  

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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