Write a comparison of yourself at the beginning of your reading of "TKAM" and now, at the end.What understandings do you have now that you didn't have at the beginning? Please be very clear and...

Write a comparison of yourself at the beginning of your reading of "TKAM" and now, at the end.

What understandings do you have now that you didn't have at the beginning?

Please be very clear and explain ur answer


Expert Answers
James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

EDIT: The original poster corrected two responders (including me). Neither of us apparently understood that we should talk about ourselves! For me, I don't think that reading the novel To Kill a Mockingbird has changed me at all. It's a fine novel and I teach it in my Literature of the South course, but I don't see it as transformative. Maybe that's the change. I had heard wonderful things about the novel before I had read it and expected something new. What I got (and, yes, I'm simplifying here just a little) was pretty much the same "love thy neighbor" message that I've heard all my life (and that people have been repeating forsome 2,000 years or more). So, in a nutshell, maybe the change was from hopeful to disappointed.


The result of this assignment, of course, is going to have to come entirely from your own thoughts and your own reading experiences, but I hope that my comments may be helpful to you.

You might think about how your reading of the novel made you think more about the material in the story and your own thoughts or values in general. You might find it helpful to focus at least at first on just one one of the themes listed in the enotes study guide to the novel:

  • Prejudice and tolerance
  • Guilt and innocence
  • Knowledge and ignorance
  • Courage and cowardice
  • Loss of innocence

My own reading of the novel, for example, made me think a little more about the small but meaningful acts of courage that really make alll the difference in our lives. Simply taking on the case of Tom was, for Atticus, an act of courage. Blocking a lynch mob with his own body was an even greater act of courage.

On a less positive note, in keeping with the them of "loss of innocence," I wasn't happy as a reader to see another development in the story. The murder at the end of the novel is covered up. To my mind, convicting an innocent man is wrong, but concealing evidence in order to cover up a murder (even if the murder was justifiable homicide) is also wrong.

The assignment seems to call for you to reflect on how you were changed by reading the novel. Your change will probably not be as dramatic as Scout's (you probably didn't suddenly appear at the door wearing a dress!), but reading the novel probably will have made you think at least a little more about something that you hadn't considered much before.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Seeing that much of this answer is personal, little can be offered in terms of a direct answer.  I would suggest that one way the response can take a unique turn is to analyze the themes of racial intolerance and prejudice in your own life or in your own situation.  Do you see situations where moral courage is needed to combat situations of injustice and unfairness? Do you see moments where voices need to be heard and silence is the only result?  I think in analyzing these positions either on a social level or in your own existence, there might be more present for you to provide a detailed analysis as to how the work has developed meaning in your own life before you started reading it and afterwards.

ashley123456789 | Student

People please, i am trying to ask how you guys changed

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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