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To Kill a Mocking Bird

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Essay title: To Kill a Mocking Bird

To Kill A Mocking Bird Essay!!

In this book by Harper Lee, we learn all about racism and inequality throughout America. Furthermore, we learn about the hierachy in society and how people can be treated differently when they speak out rather than follow the crowd.

In chapter 1, Scout, who is known as Jean Louise Finch, talks about how her brother Jem, older by 4 years, broke his arm badly at the elbow when he was thirteen. To this day she insists that the entire incident began with the Ewell family, the most wretched family in Maycomb County, but Jem disagrees. He believes that the whole thing started way back when Dill came from Meridian, Mississippi, to spend his first summer in Maycomb with his aunt, Rachel Haverford, the Finch's neighbor. To take a broader view of things, Scout suggests that it all started when General Jackson chased the Creek Indians north and Simon Finch, their ancestor, moved up the river and built Finch's Landing. Because they couldn't decide who was right, they asked their father, Atticus, and he says that they were both right. Scout begins relating the stories of her childhood that build up to the night that Jem broke his arm.

Years before Scout and Jem were born, Atticus broke the tradition of having a male Finch living at the homestead when he went to Montgomery to study law. His younger brother, Jack, went to Boston to study medicine. Their sister, Alexandra, stayed on at Finch's Landing with her husband. When Atticus was admitted to the bar, he returned to Maycomb County, twenty miles east of Finch's Landing, to practice law. He got off to a rocky start because his first two clients were hanged. Scout counts that as the reason Atticus began to dislike.

Scout remembers that Maycomb was a tired, slow-moving town when she first knew it as a child years ago. There was no hurry to get anywhere and nowhere to go beyond the boundaries of their small county. At that time the Finch family lived on the main residential street with Calpurnia, their cook. Scout and Jem liked Atticus very well as far as fathers go, but in her earlier years, Scout battled constantly with Calpurnia and always lost because Atticus usually sided with Cal. Scout believed then that Cal was too hard on her and liked Jem better. But her cries of injustice were ignored because Cal had been with the Finch family longer than Scout had. Calpurnia became a part of the Finch family when Jem was born and stayed on after Mrs. Finch died. Scout was only two years old when her mother passed away, so she didn't remember or miss her. But Jem could remember her, and Scout was sure that he missed her.

When Scout was six and Jem was almost ten, they met Dill for the first time and made a lasting friend. Scout and Jem were playing in their backyard when they heard something in Miss Rachel's collard patch next door. Expecting to find a puppy, they found Charles Baker Harris, a.k.a. Dill, sitting in the collard patch watching them. Dill was a little fellow with blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt. He had a shock of white hair on top of his head and blue eyes. He was almost seven years old, a year older than Scout was then, but he was small for his age. He was so small, in fact, that when he'd been sitting in the collard patch, he wasn't any taller than the leaves. Dill bragged that he could read, but Jem was unimpressed because Scout had been reading since she was born. Although Dill didn't win them over with his literacy, he hooked them when he told them about seeing Dracula at the movies. From that moment on, they were inseparable friends. For the rest of the summer the three of them played together. As the days went by and they bored with their games, Dill became fascinated with the Radley place, a gray and isolated house three doors down from the Finch's house.

To entertain and inform Dill, Jem and Scout had told stories about the living ghost in the Radley house. Miss Stephanie Crawford, a gossipy neighbor, had given Jem all his information because Atticus wouldn't talk about the Radleys. He had always told Jem to mind his own business and let the Radleys mind theirs. Miss Stephanie, however, was happy to tell Jem that from the beginning the Radley family seemed peculiar to Maycomb because they kept to themselves. They didn't associate with their neighbors during the week, and they didn't even go to church on Sundays

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