March 16 2017

When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them…

Tonight, please re-read the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird, and then analyze one theme she has clearly introduced at the very beginning.  Explain how she introduces it and how she develops it later in the novel.  Be as specific as you can using details and relevant quotations from the novel to support your thinking.

As always, follow the rules of standard written American English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

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Posted March 16, 2017 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

38 thoughts on “When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them…

  1. Toa Neil

    The theme of recollection is shown in this as the introduction is a look back to this story by an older Scout. Also, this chapter has heavy foreshadowing about the end including the Ewells starting something and it being their fault Jem’s arm was broken. Overall, the themes of foreshadowing are clear in this.

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    1. christophert3

      I completely agree. I was very intrigued by this foreshadowing that I had not remembered about but now makes so much sense after having read the book.

      Reply
  2. arihantp1

    Throughout the first chapter the theme of youth and life through a child’s eyes are present. Jem, Scout, and Dill are all very young in the first chapter of “To Kill A Mocking Bird,” and their child like wonder is revealed. Scout and Jem’s world consists of Maycomb, and Maycomb only, making everything new seem foreign and other worldly. When Dill arrives they are fascinated by him and all of the adventures he told them, since he was from Mississippi. Dill tells them that he went to the picture show twenty times. Jem’s response to this is amazement and wonder, “Dill had seen ‘Dracula,’ a revelation that moved Jem to eye him with the beginning of respect.” (pg.9). Scout, Jem, and Dill also make up stories for what they can’t explain. Jem describes Boo as a psychopath while in reality he’s a sympathetic, nice man who saves Scout and Jem from danger.

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  3. tarika1

    In the first chapter of the book, I noticed a theme of community. As soon as Scout is introduced as the narrator, she starts to talk about Jem then she talks about the Ewells. This shows her childlike personality and how she thinks about her community. This is different in the end of the book because the community is so split up. Tom Robinson’s trial has split the community, causing the Ewells to hate the Finches. Her community that she liked so much has split at the end of the novel.

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  4. alexo

    A theme I find evident in Chapter 1 was good and evil. Like Ari said, Jem, Scout, and Dill are very young, and they have a very narrow vision of the world. What comes with that narrow slice of knowledge is the simple belief that there is either all good or all bad, like we discussed in class. They assume that Boo is a horrendous, evil monster of a man that was a bad kid and attacked his own father, and they think that the rest of Maycomb County are nice, kind folks, with no flaws, something we discover later on simply isn’t true.

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    1. francescaa

      Yes, in the beginning of the novel Scout and Jem thought the people of Maycomb where all “roses and flowers,” but as their lives progressed they soon realized that the people of Maycomb had many flaws. The person who they thought was the root of all evil (Boo Radley) , actually ended up being very kind.

      Reply
  5. francescaa

    After reading chapter one of To Kill A Mockingbird for a second time, I noticed that the theme of children’s innocence and adventure is present. In this chapter Jem, Scout and Dill were all very young. Harper Lee does a very good job of telling this part of the story in a childish point of view. She also emphasised the how the kids were so scared of Boo Radley. Being a child you believe what you hear, so the kids were always scared of this monstrous human being Boo. The theme of child innocence and adventure carries on through the novel to show how much the kids grew up. With each passing year you can tell that Scout and Jem’s idea of “fun” and “adventure” had drastically changed from when they were younger. This idea brings be back to Great Expectations. In both of these books the author shows the characters maturing over time and the way they think change along with them. When the novel started out the reader could tell that Scout and Jem were heavily influenced by what they heard. Back to the “you believe what you hear” thing, I think that with time the children grew out of this conception. Once again this shows how the kids have matured throughout the book. In my opinion, this book could be considered a coming of age novel.

    Reply
    1. laurena2

      I completely agree, their ideas from youth were much different than the ideas they came up with at the end of the novel.

      Reply
  6. ilyssal

    One theme Harper Lee puts emphasis on in the first chapter of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is the theme of youth and innocence. I mentioned this theme on my blog last night as well. At the very beginning of the novel, Scout is extremely young and innocent. She has not experienced the evils of the world yet. Scout has a limited view on the outside world, because she is too young to have experienced much of it. Scout only knows what others tell her about the world, she does not yet have her own views. She is living her youth through the eyes of those who can see the world. Her personal beliefs are a reflection of what the adults around her say. For example, the knowledge Scout has about different people and families in Maycomb is not what she learned first-hand. It is a compilation of the things she has overheard through the years. This reminds me of Ethan Frome in the way that the narrator does not learn on his own, but through the words of others.

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  7. Rebecca F

    The introduction of the book begins with Scout recalling how Jem broke his arm and discussing what she thought was the start of it all. It’s an interesting way to begin and when I reread it, I understand more of it now, having read the book and knowing how Jem breaks him arm.
    Scout’s view of the world is different as well. Throughout the book, the older Scout makes appearances, giving her input on things that she did not understand then, but understands now, when enough years had gone by to enable her to look back on them.

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  8. laurena2

    In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, I noticed one of the first themes to occur was the purity of a young child’s mind. Young children, such as Scout, Jem and Dill live life with not a care in the world. Any idea formed by somebody else was the idea they went with. Because of all the rumors about Boo Radley, the children believed Boo Radley was evil. They didn’t form their own false ideas, their young, gullible minds believed the unproved truth. Because of their youth, the children had not experienced much of the world. The older a person became, the more they were able to form their own judgement. Scout, Jem and Dill were always open for exciting news, and were ready to believe anything they heard.

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  9. briannag3

    The novel To Kill A Mockingbird starts off with Scout telling the reader how Jem broke his arm. When I first read it, I thought it was slightly odd that Harper Lee would begin that way. But now that I’ve read all of the novel I can understand it. Jem breaking his arm led to the change in Scout’s point of view. In the beginning she described Boo Radley like a monster who eats squirrels and cats, has rotten teeth, and drools. However, her thoughts about him had been reversed in the last chapter. He saved them from Bob Ewell and she realized that Boo wasn’t a monster. He was a friend.

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  10. caias1

    One theme I noticed in chapter 1 was childhood innocence. Scout is a young girl at the beginning of the story, she is not old enough to understand that Maycomb is not the whole world as she believes it is. When Dill first shows up in the novel, he is a bit of a novelty to Scout and Jem, since he is from outside Maycomb’s boundaries. The three children, even Jem, have not had much time in the world outside of Maycomb. To them, it is the only place in the world. They also believed anything they heard, such as Boo Radley being a vicious, red eyed, yellow clawed monster in his home, while he actually turned out to be quite a hero.

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  11. christophert3

    The first chapter creates a theme of what I would call Boundaries. This theme is created because the first chapter mainly informs you of what the boundaries are. Not only the boundaries of the Radley place and Mrs. Dubose’s house for Scout and Jem, but of the boundaries of everyday life. Of how life has a set way – on Sundays everyone would go to each other’s house; doors left open; the Radley place and everything in it was off limits; boundaries broken by Atticus and Uncle Jack when they decided to have different jobs rather than being cotton farmers; boundaries(not actual ones) of life between children and adults; boundaries between people and the truth behind the Radley’s. There are so many boundaries that we are introduced to in the first chapter. Another two that are revealed later on are the boundary between men and women and the boundary between African Americans and whites. As you can see, there are a great deal of boundaries(or rules could be another word) that make up the town and lifestyle of Maycomb.

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    1. alekhya

      That is some very good insight and a valid theme. Some of those boundaries I didn’t notice until you brought them up.

      Reply
  12. maddy

    A theme introduced in the commencement of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is the unknown. Given that this is the commencing chapter, there is already an innate sense of potential occurrences and unanswered inquiries. However, Lee added to this general air of mystique by incorporating characters such as Boo Radley and Dill. The backgrounds of Boo Radley and Dill are both exiguously disclosed, and prove to vary in terms of explanation and veracity. Dill is a boy who, in the viewpoints of Jem and Scout, unexpectedly arrives from Meridian, Mississippi. He is expected to spend proceeding summers in Maycomb County with his Aunt Rachel. I had not observed heretofore that the reasoning for Dill spending summers in Maycomb is not provided, which is another example of Lee perpetuating the theme of the unknown. Another curiosity concerning Dill is his father, and the inquiry of why he is not a present or mentioned figure in Dill’s life.

    Boo Radley is arguably the most intriguing character introduced in the first chapter. Boo is an equivocal mystery for a number of reasons; one being that he has remained a recluse for fifteen years, and his appearance and nature are merely assumed by the citizens of Maycomb. Gossips such as Aunt Stephanie spread enhanced falsehoods of Boo Radley, such as his being a rabid stalker. Descriptions of Boo depict him as a monster, malevolent phantom, and danger to society. Given how mysterious and conversed of Boo is, he certainly contributes to the theme of the unknown. Although the predominance of perusers view it improbable that he is just as the tall tales portray him as, so many inquiries of Boo are elicited from the first chapter. One may ponder the reasoning for Boo being a hermit, or if Boo is or ever was dangerous.

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  13. sofiad1

    One theme I noticed in chapter one was recollection. We can clearly see that Scout is looking back and judging everything that happened. She is even looking back on times before her and mentioning how that affected who she is today.

    Reply
    1. sofiad1

      Another theme I noticed was that people change a lot over the years. We can tell that Scout changed a lot because of the way she is narrating at the beginning versus how she talks during the story.

      Reply
  14. willowm

    In the first chapter of To Kill A Mockingbird I noticed the introduction of the themes of family reputations, tolerance, and racism. When Scout was telling us about how the Finches made their way to Maycomb, she mentioned why Simon Finch left England. She said “In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of those who called themselves Methodists at the hands of their more liberal brethren.” (pg 4) The Finches have developed a reputation of tolerance towards others. Harper Lee develops this theme by having Atticus represent Tom Robinson’ in court, not only because the case was assigned to him but because he felt it was his obligation to send a message to the people of Maycomb.

    Harper Lee also briefly introduces the theme of racism while introducing Boo Radley. Scout tells us that Boo got in a lot of trouble when he was younger, but not enough to go to jail, and so his father promised Boo wouldn’t get in any more trouble. She recalls hearing “The sheriff hadn’t the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes.” (pg 14) Clearly there is favoritism towards Boo Radley, who is white, that a colored man would never enjoy. Lee develops the theme of racism in the trial with Atticus and Bob Ewell. She also uses the character Dolphus Raymond showing that he was a good person, even though his children were mixed race.

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  15. charlottes

    One theme that I saw in chapter one that is developed over the course of the novel is assumption. When Jem, Scout and Dill are talking about Boo Radley, they describe him as a hideous beast. They have never seen him, so they assume things about him because of things they’ve heard. Since he only stays locked up in his house and his mother claimed he tried to kill the whole Radley family, the kids can assume that boo is a ravenous person. Assumption follows the children and everyone in Maycomb county throughout the book. The citizens of Maycomb and the people at Tom Robinson’s trial assume that Mayella Ewell is telling the truth about what happened to her, when clearly no one else was there. They are also assuming Tom Robinson is lying because he is a black man. People assume that the Ewell’s a trash because they live next to the dump (yes, I agree they are trash, but if you don’t know them, you don’t know it’s true). People assume that Heck Tate isn’t smart because he can’t tell right from left. Well truthfully, you don’t really know the full story until you’ve been in someone’s position (Atticus’s philosophy). Assumption is a constant theme throughout Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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    1. avae1

      I agree, people are constantly making assumptions about others and I believe it caught up with some of them in the end.

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  16. avae1

    A theme I believe became more evident after a second reading of chapter one was the theme of gossip and listening to what others say. While describing the Radley place for the first time, Scout stated, “Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him.”(p.10) What I noticed after this quote was that Harper Lee chose to continue the repetition of “people’s” and “people said”. Whether it was “people’s” flowers or their chickens, this was Scout’s evidence for the claim that whoever was inside the Radley place was a monster. There are no specific names or information, so there is a great chance these stories are rumors that were passed around Maycomb.

    Harper Lee definitely expanded on this theme as the novel progressed, as Boo became more of a reality and more of a friend to Scout and Jem. It also reminded me of the quote “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see” because this is the opposite of what Scout does in the beginning. If Jem said it or the town gossip, Miss Stephanie said it, Scout generally agreed with it. However, I think that as Scout matured she realized that she shouldn’t always believe what people share about others, especially if she didn’t know that person herself.

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  17. faithw

    In Chapter 1 of To Kill A Mockingbird, we are presented with the theme of childhood innocence, which will later be destroyed as the children grow older and gain more experience in life. Scout, Jem, and Dill are first described as living a carefree life in a small, “tired old town” (p.6). They acted out stories from books and played games based on the mysterious Boo Radley. They have not been exposed to evil or any real significant problems in their life, and therefore have an innocent perspective of the world. They are young enough to believe that people are entirely good in nature. We know that as they get older they will develop a more mature view on life. As they grow, the children will be exposed to evil and will have to incorporate that into their understanding of the world. For example, we see Jem’s reaction to racism during the Tom Robinson trial and how he loses his faith in humanity and fairness. Atticus, however, somehow manages to see that there is both good and evil in people. He tries to impart this wisdom onto his children. Early in the novel he tells Scout to try to place herself in someone else’s position before judging him/her. Atticus teaches how important it is to appreciate that which is good in people, yet be understanding of their bad qualities as well. This attitude reminded me of a point made by Barack Obama in his A More Perfect Union speech. He spoke of how even though there were things that he did not like about Reverend Wright, he respected his strengths. Similarly, Obama spoke of loving his white grandmother who had raised him, despite her having some racial tendencies. In his words, “He [Reverend Wright] contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years … I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.”

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  18. cameronl3

    After rereading the first chapter of To Kill A Mockongbird, I noticed a theme that I had not recognized in the first theme, and that is the relationship between good and evil. From the start of the novel where we met Scout and Jem, it is shown that they are definitely filled with goodness. But is that true goodness, or the fact that they have never been exposed to evil, because of their young ages? As they mature over the span of the book, we see them begin to be introduced to the evil and harm of the world. We see a difference in them from other characters, however, such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley who are not ready for what they encounter, and eventually end up being destroyed. Even when Jem first experienced the true evil of the world, he never recovered fully, and still looks at the problems of society unfixable.

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  19. George

    After rereading the first chapter of the book i realised that all the weird and un pertaining things at the beginning of the book was supposed to be little kid rable. The way that they talk about anything for hour’s and hour’s. However as the book progresses we see more organization and though going into he speech. It is calculated and meaningful. This is just another shred of evidence that supports that the book not only is about racism but growing up and losing innocence. We see a huge amount of signs of puberty maturity and a greater understanding of the world that surrounds Scout.

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  20. alekhya

    Chapter 1 has a theme of rumors and ignorance. Despite knowing that Boo Radley did not commit certain crimes the town takes it upon themselves to title any mysterious, unexplained crimes as Boo Radley’s work. “Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events; people’s chickens and household pets were found mutilated; although the culprit wad Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Baker’s Eddy, people still looked at the Radley place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.”(11) Scout then goes on to state the codes of the Radley place; theories and rumors that are hardly fair. “The Maycomb school grounds adjoined the back of the Radley lot; from the Radley chickenyard tall pecan trees shook their fruit into the school yard, but the nuts lay untouched by the children; Radley pecans would kill you. A baseball hit into the Radley lot was a lost ball and no question asked.”(11)

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  21. marinas1

    After rereading the first chapter, I noticed the the way Jem’s fear of certain things progresses throughout the novel. In the first chapter, Dill urges Jem to touch the Radley house. Jem bides his time for three days, for he is certaintly afraid of touching the ominous house that so few aren’t fearful of. After making excuses and thinking of other ways to make Boo Radley “come out”, he settles to just touch the wall. Then, he runs. Harper Lee writes “Jem threw open the gate and sped to the side of the house, slapped it with his palm and ran back past us, not waiting to see if his foray was successful.” (p.18) In this section, we see Jem as a child, fearful of a ghost, one that (supposedly) lurks around town at night. However, as the reader clearly knows, touching the Radley House will have absolutely no effect on him, something Jem certaintly did not come to terms with.

    By the end of the novel, we see a competency different kind of Jem, one that seems completely alien to the Jem we met in chapter one. In the face of danger, Jem keeps a calm and collected persona for Scout (and for himself), and does not blink in the face of real and threatening issues. Right before they are attacked by Bob Ewell, Scout asks Jem if he is scared. In reply, Jem says “‘No. Think we’re almost to the tree now. Few yards from that, an’ we’ll be to the road. We can see the street light then.’ Jem was talking in an unhurried, flat toneless voice.” (p.350) Here, we see Jem trying to keep his sanity intact, regardless of the fact that he feels like there is an unknown entity lurking in the darkness. Later, when Bob Ewell truly attacks them, Jem yells for scout to run, not only thinking about himself. Then, Harper Lee writes “Someone rolled against me and I felt Jem. He was up like lightning and pulling me with him…” (p.351) This further accentuates the fact that Jem tries not only to help Scout, but also quickly thinks of getting away, unlike Scout, who’s brain moves slowly in apparent danger. Here, however, Jem not only tries to keep himself safe, but also his little sister, regardless of the danger he is facing. After seeing how much Jem has grown, I can finally accept Calpurnia calling Jem “Mister Jem”.

    Although this may be the theme/idea I noticed after rereading the first chapter, I also noticed a couple of details that tie in with the book at later occasions. One is Jem breaking his arm. Obviously, it is apparent that this is referring to Bob Ewell’s attempt at murder, and I was far more interested in the way Scout describes Jem’s break. She declares “His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right…” (p.3) This is so incredibly interesting, for it is exactly how Tom Robinson’s arm was. I believe this further proves another theme in this novel, one preaching the idea that deep down, everyone is exactly the same. Another thing I noticed was how Jem said “‘…it’s sort of like making a turtle come out…Strike a match under him.'” Here, he is referring to a way of making Boo Radley “come out”. This, (not) coincidentally, is exactly how Boo first comes out of his house. When Miss Maudie’s house sets on fire, he is the one to give Scout a blanket while she is shivering in the cold weather outside. Finally, even before the first chapter begins, Harper Lee puts in a quote. It is “Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.” This quote most certaintly struck me, for Harper Lee is referring to Atticus, who is so pious. When you stop and think about it, however, you may realize that Atticus’s parents and surroundings must have rubbed off on who he is dipicted to be in the novel. In this way, we see how Jem and Scout are influenced by the people on their town and by Atticus, and how that will continue to affect them in life beyond this novel’s pages.

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  22. margauxc

    At the beginning of the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, it is revealed that, “Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.” (pg. 06) Fear, as noted by FDR, paralyzes and only worsens the situation. Numerous times throughout the novel, underlying themes of fear and weakness have been present. On page seventeen, Scout comments, “Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn’t scared of anything.” From this quote, it can be assumed that, in Jem’s perspective, fear is a shameful emotion which indicates weakness. In a certain light, one can claim that their fear of Boo Radley is what drives Jem, Scout, and Dill to express intrigue in the Radley household. As evident from Scout’s narrative in the beginning chapters of the novel- Dill and Jem initially believe that whoever showed less fear when chasing Boo would be the one who’d appear braver and stronger. The association between fear and weakness is also evident in the last chapters of the novel- when Scout states that she was not at all scared of Bob Ewell, only because Jem was not. Fear, in general, happens to also present itself during Tom Robinson’s trial- taking the form of Mayella Ewell. Fear of her father and fear of self-acknowledging her actions are what drive Mayella mad enough to convict an innocent man. It is in this scene, that Mayella is depicted as weak, fragile- possibly even a damsel in distress. In conclusion, the correlation between fear and weakness is a theme conveyed numerous times throughout the novel.

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  23. eshap

    In class, we have often talked about the theme of duality regarding outside vs. inside. After reading chapter one for the second time, I saw another example of duality: simplicity vs. complexity. In this novel, I think this theme relates to the way Atticus raises his children. He tries to be involved in Scout and Jem’s lives, while still keeping a distance. He treats them with respect, the same way he would outside of his home. “…we consulted Atticus. Our father said we were both right.” (page 3) Here, Atticus shows how being a lawyer influenced the way he helps his children solve disputes. He gives both sides consideration before saying what he thinks is correct. By saying both Scout and Jem are correct, Atticus implies his fairness to his children. He doesn’t favor either of them, but cares for them both equally. Furthermore, by keeping his distance, Atticus lets his children grow up as individuals. “Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.” (page 6) Atticus doesn’t want Scout and Jem to be too dependent on him, knowing that one day they would grow up, mature, and live on their own. In a way, he is doing them a favor by helping them grow up. Atticus keeps his distance by letting them play with others, and doesn’t become too involved in their matters except when necessary. From these examples, we can see that Atticus tries to raise his children in a simple manner, to avoid anything from twisting their views.

    As the novel continues, Harper Lee continues the theme of simplicity vs. complexity. Although Atticus wants to raise his children in a simple manner, this proves to be quite impossible once he is assigned to defend Tom Robinson. During school hours, Scout and Jem were almost bullied by other kids, who were saying how their father was a “n***** lover”. This angered them, and when addressing it to Atticus, he told them to let it be. However, they continued to get comments from other children, that caused Scout to think about why his father had taken the case. This brings the first complexity. For defending the accused, who was an African American, Atticus’s work began to interfere with Scout and Jem’s childhood. Although they know plenty about the law (as we can see by Jem during the trial), Atticus doesn’t think his children should see him as someone who ruins his reputation from a single case. In addition, Atticus brings up his way of raising Scout and Jem to Heck Tate towards the very end. “Sometimes I think I’m a total failure as a parent, but I’m all they’ve got…I don’t want to lose him and Scout, because they’re all I got.” (page 366) Atticus mentions how he thinks involving his children in the case was not a good idea. Even though he wanted to keep his work and home personality the same, he thought that if he couldn’t win a case where the accused was clearly innocent, he couldn’t keep his children’s lives simple. For example, after the case, Bob Ewell goes after the children, and not Atticus. This caused Jem to be unconscious with a broken arm, and Scout to be confused and taken by shock by the quick actions that took place. Their lives grew more complex as the novel went on, introducing them to danger. Atticus had never thought that his children would be in danger due to his simple ways. Scout and Jem had grown to understand the world more, and gaining their own opinions from Atticus’s, used their knowledge from their father to help understand their surroundings more. The complexity of their lives increased the most when Aunt Alexandra came to live them. Scout was told to be a lady, but disobeyed her and went to see the trial. Since Bob Ewell saw them at the end when Mr. Underwood pointed them out. He saw how much they wanted Atticus to win, and used their innocence to get back at their father. Therefore, Scout and Jem’s lives progressed from simple to complex, from Atticus’s teachings and the trial of Tom Robinson.

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  24. Kathrynr

    Int the first chapter we are introduced to many themes. For instance I think that reputation is a theme here. This is the first chapter and we have not seen the characters as they really are yet. For instance right now we see Atticus as a lawyer who is somewhat distant to his children. Calpurnia is the mean cook, not someone we see as a mother figure. Also at this point when Dill introduces himself he goes by his full name and keeps telling Scout and Jem about how amazing he and his family are. At this point he is new in Maycomb and trying to develop a good reputation.Another theme is curiosity. When Dill hears about Boo Radley he is immediately curious and then tells Jem to touch the Radley house. This part creates a lot of the fascination with Boo and really sets up major parts of the novel. The part with Boo also presents the theme mystery. Until we meet him in the very end Boo is a mystery. We slowly get more and more information but at this point in the story we do not know much.

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  25. adam

    The novel progressed from the beginning until the end. Something I noticed in the beginning was Jem’s football skills and involvement. He was very interested and played football often, which was a large part of his life. But, as the novel progresses, Jem shows monumental maturity. As far as readers know, he gets less interested in football. We see his maturity show greatly in the end. He is involved in the court case. He is involved in that and making his own opinions and thoughts in the Court room rather than the football field. This is very much so a theme, of maturity and intellectual growth of Jem.

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  26. ivanl

    A theme that I found very clear in the first chapter on a second reread, is the theme of ignorance. This is clearly with Boo Radley. Boo Radley, a mysterious character who is unknown to us at the end, is portrayed as a savage and horrifying monster, supposedly eatting squirrels and other animals raw with his bare hands. Jem and Scout are ignorant, and just take the word of the rumors being spread of him. Even later on, when Jem and Scout receive very generous gifts from Boo, they are still very afraid of him, showing the ignorance is a very prominent theme.

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  27. Tyler Newby

    Two themes that were very clear in the first chapter were ignorance and youth. The children were very young and had not discovered the world, so they believed everything that anyone else said. The children believe all the rumors that Miss Stephanie spread about Boo Radley. For example, “Miss Stephanie said old Mr. Radley said no Radley was going to any asylum,when it was suggested that a season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo. Boo wasn’t crazy, he was high-strung at times.” Scout often repeated that Miss Stephanie said this or that, suggesting that she might not have been completely truthful. Since the children were very young however, they believed her.

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