I have to do a monologue on To Kill A Mockingbird and I have to choose from these three scenarios:
Dill Harris speaking to his relatives back home about what Maycomb is like.
Miss Caroline Fisher speaking to a friend about her first year teaching in Maycomb County.
Aunt Alexandra speaking to a relative about her thoughts on Atticus and his family.
How can I get started with my script?
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A monologue, which is a lengthy piece of dialogue, allows a character to express himself by verbalizing his thoughts. Often he is making a point which emphasizes an ethical issue, a conflict, or something crucial to the plot. In terms of To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many opportunities to expose wrongs, teach readers, and develop the plot.
Dill Harris is mischievous and has a vivid imagination. If you choose to center your monologue on a conversation between Dill and his family, over-exaggerate your point (this is expected of Dill). Dill's main aim is to understand Boo Radley and he is fascinated by the mysteriousness of the Radley house. In speaking about what Maycomb is like from Dill's perspective concentrate on:
1. Your (Dill's) relationship with Jem and Scout. You could start by saying that Jem and Scout will be in your life forever and that you will one day marry Scout.
2. Dill's obsession with the Radley house. Talk about the strange feelings you get when you pass the house and how you are determined to find out about the occupants who mystify Maycomb County.
3. Talk about all the adventure and scope in the rural town of Maycomb and how you will never tire of the adventure.
4. Talk about the feeling of belonging you get from being with Scout and Jem. This will subtly develop the plot because the reader knows that Dill thinks that his mother and step-father "do get on a lot better without me."
If you choose to write from Miss Caroline's perspective, concentrate on her lack of understanding of Maycomb culture. Your monologue will highlight the town's unique situation and will expose how Maycomb acts according to its own rules (the Ewell children do not even have to attend school). This will serve as a warning that there is an ethical issue in Maycomb and the Ewells are significantly in the center even though Miss Caroline cannot even begin to understand how far that issue actually extends (the Ewell's word is believed over the word of a black man, despite the fact that the family is despised by the community).
1. As Miss Caroline, your opinion will be formed by the children. Mention how diverse they are and how, if Scout Finch (who learned to read before being of a suitable age) is representative of the adults (being opinionated and quite rude), then you are worried about Maycomb.
2. Mention Burris Ewell and how horrified you were to discover lice ("cooties") and were then yelled at by this boy. Refer to the lack of respect for rules and regulations of this boy—and obviously his family—and question why he may be allowed to get away with his behavior.
3. Mention that you are really not comfortable in Maycomb because apparently the residents do not know how to bring up their children and you only hope that your first year teaching is not indicative of the future.
If Aunt Alexandra is your chosen character, you will have quite an opinion. She fits right in to her adopted community "like a hand into a glove" (ch 13) and frowns upon Atticus's way of bringing up his children.
1. Discuss how surprised you are that Atticus is so unlike you although you are his sister. Mention how you need to act quickly to transform Scout into a lady and that your arrival is perfectly timed to allow you to intervene.
2. Talk about Atticus's inability to manage his children, exposing them unnecessarily.
3. Concentrate on your role as a mother-figure to Scout and mention your concerns about Calpurnia (which will reveal your prejudice and total misreading of the situation).
To begin forming your monologue, try asking some basic questions about the perspectives of the different characters you are considering. There are no right or wrong questions to ask, you just want to get your thoughts flowing.
What is Aunt Alexandra's relationship with her brother like? How would that inform the way she talks about him (and his children) to others?
Does Dill enjoy visiting Maycomb? How much would he embellish in the telling of his story? What would he be most excited to share with his friends back home about his time in Maycomb?
What would be different about the way Miss Caroline talks with her friends from the way she interacts with her students? What did she like about her first year? What did she dislike?
Once you come up with some good questions about each character, go back to the book and look for context clues. Harper Lee gives a lot of insight into the thoughts and emotions of her characters that will help you in answering your questions. Look for the first appearance of each character in the book. The introduction of a character is when you'll find the most descriptive language about him or her.
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