December 10

“I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady.”

Tonight please read chapters 14 and 15 of To Kill a Mockingbird.   Then write your response.  Please consider the following questions:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class tomorrow?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?

Keep annotating!

Mockingbird blog #6


Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted December 10, 2018 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

32 thoughts on ““I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady.”

  1. Myles Ng

    “Although we heard no more about the Finch family from Aunt Alexandra, we heard plenty from the town. On Saturdays, armed with our nickels, when Jem permitted me to accompany him (he was now positively allergic to my presence when in public), we would squirm our way through sweating sidewalk crowds and sometimes hear, ‘There’s his chillun,’ or, ‘Yonder’s some Finches.’ Turning to face our accusers, we would see only a couple of farmers studying the enema bags in the Mayco Drugstore window. Or two dumpy countrywomen in straw hats sitting in a Hoover cart.”

    This paragraph is another good example of the age and growing divide between Scout and Jem. The fact that Jem does not want Scout around him shows a growing divide from the earlier chapters where he tolerated her. Now not so much, thus showing this divide. This also provides some questions about the disgraced Finch relative. Like what did one member of the family do that was so know that everyone forms a prejudiced against them?

    Reply
  2. Maddie

    “We watched Dill emerge by degrees. He was a tight fit. He stood up and eased his shoulders, turned his feet in their ankle sockets, rubbed the back of his neck. His circulation restored, he said, ‘hey.'”

    In this chapter, Scout and Jem receive an unexpected visitor. Scout was walking in her bedroom in the dark, finding her way to the light switch, when she stepped on something unusual. She got Jem, saying that she thought there was a snake under her bed. When Jem swiped under the bed with a broom, they realized that it had not been a snake under the bed, but Dill! This was a surprise to me, considering that he seemed to like his new father, from what he wrote in his letter. We come to find out that his father did not like him at all, and chained him up in the basement to die. I think it is important that Dill surprised them, because he is a good friend and summer playmate that they would have missed greatly if he had not escaped.

    Reply
  3. Emma Garbowitz

    “Jee crawling hova, Jem! Who do you think you are?”
    “Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I’ll—I’ll spank you.”
    With that, I was gone. “You damn morphodite, I’ll kill you!” He was sitting on the bed, and it was easy to grab his front hair and land one on his mouth. He slapped me and I tried another left, but a punch in the stomach sent me sprawling on the floor. It nearly knocked the breath out of me, but it didn’t matter because I knew he was fighting, he was fighting me back. We were still equals.
    “Ain’t so high and mighty now, are you!” I screamed, sailing in again.

    This quote was very interesting in my opinion. Since the beginning of part two in the novel Jem has been thinking and presenting himself as an adult figure. However, throughout this scene, the reader can clearly see he is still a child at heart although he doesn’t want to admit it. Jem wants to be seen as an adult and be respected by all those around him. He wants to be viewed upon as a wise, knowledgable person. However, he is still pretty young (not very young but is still considered a kid or teenager) and has a lot to learn throughout his lifetime. We can vividly see how he and Scout got into a physical argument and are just acting like two kids who got into a fight. In the middle of the fight Scout screams out to Jem that she and he are equal to one another. What she means but this is that they are both still children and aren’t fully grown up. They are still immature and have a lot to learn. Neither of them are technically an adult yet.

    At the same time, I wonder why Jem wants to grow up so fast and become an adult so early in his lifetime. Jem is still a young boy and doesn’t need to grow up so quickly. He should be acting like a child and should live his life to the fullest as a kid before he really grows up and can’t be a kid anymore. If I were Jem, I would want to spend as much time as possible being a kid and having fun instead of being mature and all grown up. Therefore, I am curious of why jem began acting like this all of a sudden and I wonder what is making him want to grow up so quickly.

    Reply
  4. Emily

    “Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were
    interested in, not about what you were interested in. Mr. Cunningham displayed
    no interest in his son, so I tackled his entailment once more in a last-ditch effort to make him feel at home.

    “Entailments are bad,” I was advising him, when I slowly awoke to the fact that I
    was addressing the entire aggregation. The men were all looking at me, some had
    their mouths half-open. Atticus had stopped poking at Jem: they were standing
    together beside Dill. Their attention amounted to fascination. Atticus ’s mouth,
    even, was half-open, an attitude he had once described as uncouth. Our eyes met
    and he shut it.”(p.205)

    In this scene the readers are introduced to a new way of dealing with their problems. Although Atticus had always told Scout to not to fight with her fists, but instead her words, this was little put into action. Many times throughout throughout the novel, the characters take action to deal with their problems. Scout has gotten into quite a few fights and even Jem is prove to this, as we saw when he attacked Mrs. Dubose’s flowers. In contrast to all of those violent scenes, we get a rare glance at how civility diffused a potentially horrible scene. I personally assumed that the first time the readers would be introduced to a civil Scout would mark her maturity, but in this scene we are reminded of her innocence. Scout was oblivious of the situation unfolding around her and instead she looked at the goodness in their soul.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree with you completely. Scout is truly beginning to understand one of her father’s lessons and instead of fighting with her fists she is beginning to fight with her words.

      Reply
  5. Laila Sayegh

    “Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were
    interested in, not about what you were interested in. Mr. Cunningham displayed
    no interest in his son, so I tackled his entailment once more in a last-ditch effort to
    make him feel at home.”

    This quote intrigued me because it shows how mature Scout is, especially compared to most children her age. First of all, it shows how Atticus’ morals have affected Scout and the style in which he raises his children. Scout applies Atticus’ lessons into her own life and this is a good example of that. Also, she is so concerned about keeping the conversation alive, worrying about Mr. Cunningham and whether or not he is interested in the conversation. When realizing that he is obviously not, Scout thinks to put Cunningham’s interest first by changing the topic to something that she at least thinks that he will like… Scout even uses the term “make him feel at home.” This struck me as just so interesting because most young children her age like to ramble on and on, neglecting whoever they’re in a conversation. Not Scout. She wasn’t raised to be that way. She cares about people and puts herself in there shoes.

    Reply
  6. Brishti Sarkar

    “Atticus, it’s all right to be soft-hearted, you’re an easy man, but you have a daughter to think of. A daughter who’s growing up.”

    “That’s what I am thinking of.”

    “And don’t try to get around it. You’ve got to face it sooner or later and it might as well be tonight. We don’t need her now.”

    Atticus’s voice was even: Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have go along without her all these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to accept things the way they are…” (p. 182)

    This passage is part of a conversation between Aunt Alexandra and Atticus about whether they should get rid of Calpurnia. Through Aunt Alexandra’s behaviors, we can see that she is a very judgemental person. This passage raises the question of whether prejudice can be justified. Here, she tells Atticus to dismiss Calpurnia, and in other places she judges Atticus for defending Tom Robinson. When Scout tells her that she and Jem went to church with Calpurnia, she is visibly disgusted, due to the fact that it is an all-black church. In class today, we had a discussion about if we still love the people in our lives who have old-fashioned views. The same argument can be applied here that just because Aunt Alexandra is family, that does not mean that they have to love her, because she doesn’t even respect her own family. This also ties into the theme of how you should respect everyone regardless of age, because Aunt Alexandra clearly does not respect Scout. Atticus calls Calpurnia a “faithful member of the family”, which shows how he accepts her and sees beyond the color of her skin. However, Aunt Alexandra doesn’t, and it is hard to justify her racism. She is an older person, and it is likely that she does not want to adapt the new ideas. This explains her prejudice, but it does not excuse it.

    Reply
    1. Kate Ma.

      I think it’s really interesting you brought up the point in which why should they respect her if she doesn’t respect them? She is trying to make Scout more respectful and lady-like yet she doesn’t even have that much respect.

      Reply
  7. Kate Ma.

    Dill’s eyes flickered at Jem, and Jem looked at the floor. Then he rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood. He went out of the room and down the hall. “Atticus,” his voice was distant, “can you come here a minute, sir?”

    This quote intrigued me because it really represents how Jem is growing up. Jem knows that telling an adult before you run off is the right thing to do, instead of not “tattling on him” like a child would do. Like Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty much separated into two sections, childhood and adulthood. Although Scout and Jem are still children, they are maturing; especially Jem, and are starting to face the realities of the world and not be completely oblivious to them. As seen, Scout narrates, “code of childhood”, also alluding to the fact that she realizes what’s childish and what’s not. This quote demonstrates the process of Scout, Jem and Dill growing up and starting to merge into adulthood and understand more world problems.

    Reply
  8. Sunna

    “We watched Dill emerge by degrees. He was a tight fit. He stood up and eased his shoulders, turned his feet in their ankle sockets, rubbed the back of his neck. His circulation restored, he said, ‘hey.’”

    This paragraph struck me as quite interesting. We now know that Dill’s father hated him, and left him to die in the basement. Scout and Jem must have been relieved to see their friend, as they missed him quite a lot. It also makes me wonder hw someone could be so cruel to a child.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I agree that it was horrible for the parents to lock him in a basement, but I also think it was mainly because he wanted time for his wife and him to be together without kids. Although I can see his point of view, I think his way of accomplishing that goal was way too harsh. Great analysis.

      Reply
  9. janem

    “It’s different with us grown folks, we—”

    His maddening superiority was unbearable these days. He didn’t want to do anything but read and go off by himself. Still, everything he read he passes along to me, but with this difference: formally, because he thought I’d like it; now, for my edification and instruction.

    “Jew crawling hova Jem! Who do you think you are?”

    “Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I’ll—I’ll spank you.” (p. 184)

    Unlike the first part of the novel, Scout is finding more significant conflicts at home. For instanced, Jem is growing up and doesn’t want to be around Scout like he did when he was younger. Instead of wanting to see Boo Radely or go into the treehouse with Dill, Jem now just wants to read or be left alone. This is hard for Scout to handle, considering how close she used to be with Jem. Scout is finding it hard to be alone a lot, but what puts her over the edge is Jem thinking and acting like he is an adult. When he threatens to spank her is when the readers can see that Jem is really trying to take power over Scout. He wants her to obey him like she obeys Atticus. But the minor, yet significant, hesitation in Jem’s threat to spank her tells us that he is just maturing and in his heart, he isn’t trying to be rude to Scout, just trying to mature and find his place.

    Reply
  10. stephaniec

    “Do you really think so?”
    “This was Atticus’s dangerous question. Do you really think you want to move there, Scout?” Bam, bam, bam, and the checkerboard was swept clean of my men.”(p.195)

    When Atticus said, “Do you really think so?”, Scout referred to it as Atticus’s dangerous question. Atticus uses this question to make people see something in a new light. He uses this with children, such as Scout and Jem, but also on adults. For example, when Atticus was at the Macomb jail guarding Tom Robinson, he was approached by a group of men. After finding out that Heck Tate would be unable to protect him from these men, Atticus said, “that changes things, doesn’t it?”, and one man responded, “It do”, and Atticus responded with his dangerous question, “Do you really think so?”.(P.202). Atticus said this to hopefully change the minds of the men before they go through with their violent intensions. I think this quote is important because if Atticus can use his “dangerous question” to change the minds of Macomb’s children and adults, maybe he use it in his trial.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I like how you related the question “Do you really think so?” back to the trial. I agree that Atticus does use it to have people see things in a different light so that they may change their minds.

      Reply
  11. MadiR

    “Well, Atticus, I was just sayin’ to Mr. Cunningham that entailments are bad an’ all that, but you said not to worry, it take a long time sometimes… that you all’d ride it out together…’ I was slowly drying up, wondering what idiocy I had committed. Entailments seemed all right enough for livingroom talk. I began to feel sweat gathering at the edges of my hair; I could stand anything but a bunch of people looking at me. They were quite still.
    “What’s the matter?” I asked.(p.206)

    This passage interested me a lot in this evenings reading, because it shows that even though people have their differences, it does not mean violence is the key. In this chapter, Scout saves Atticus a great deal of trouble without even realizing it. When Scout starts to talk to Mr. Cunningham about several different topics the whole mob seems to become sane again. Scout wins Mr. Cunningham over when she brings Mr. Cunningham’s son into the conversation. All the men look at Scout with, “their mouths half-open”, as she continues to speak about entailment. After her first flawed attempt, she has everyones undivided attention. Scout soon brings all the men together while she is talking about entailment and how Atticus had helped Mr. Cunningham before. The whole mob and Atticus understand each other now. Their common ground is their financial problems, which have taken over the times they live in. Everyone is now unified and the men can no longer threaten Atticus.

    Reply
  12. Zoe

    “We watched Dill emerge by degrees. He was a tight fit. He stood up and eased his shoulders, turned his feet in their ankle sockets, rubbed the back of his neck. His circulation restored, he said, ‘hey.’”

    Although this is a small quote leading up to a not so important scene within the book, I do believe the scene happened for a reason. The scene revealed a lot more about Dill who we haven’t seen in a couple of chapters and the event itself was incredibly unexpected. Although it didn’t progress the story in the following chapters, it did reveal more of Dill and the way he feels about his parents. When Dill tells Jem and Scout why he came he says that his newly married parents don’t want to pay attention to him anymore and they wanted him to do more things on his own. In other words, Dill’s parents were telling him to grow up and be more responsible for himself so they can spend less time worrying about him and pay more attention to each other. When they told him this, Dill ran away and thought going to Scout and Jem would be the best plan. In this way, Dill is directly connecting to Peter Pan, who also ran away from home in an attempt to prevent growing up. This definitely shows a contrasting family, very different from Scout’s family and their problems, to take a break from the struggling storyline to look more into Dill’s life and how it progressed from his last visit. Although this scene may not be important for the upcoming scenes, it was important to understand more of Dill.

    Reply
  13. Casey

    By an involved route. Refreshed by food, Dill recited this narrative: having been bound in chains and left to die in the basement (there were basements in Meridian) by his new father, who disliked him, and secretly kept alive on raw field peas by a passing farmer who heard his cries for help (the good man poked a bushel pod by pod through the ventilator), Dill worked himself free by pulling the chains from the wall. Still in wrist manacles, he wandered two miles out of Meridian where he discovered a small animal show and was immediately engaged to wash the camel. He traveled with the show all over Mississippi until his infallible sense of direction told him he was in Abbott County, Alabama, just across the river from Maycomb. He walked the rest of the way.

    This paragraph stood out to me for multiple reasons. First of all, we knew that Dill hated his new father and his new father hated him back. It shocks me that his new father would attempt to murder his new son, out of pure hatred. Dill explains that he was chained up in his basement and left to die. That is such a horrible thing to do to an adult, let alone a child. He says that he was only able to survive because a kind farmer heard his screams and brought him food. Another thing I noticed about this paragraph was how much Dill considers Atticus, Scout, and Jem his family. He used to spend all of his summers playing with Scout and Jem. He also promised to marry Scout once he had enough money to.

    Reply
  14. Hannah Pitkofsky

    “Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were
    interested in, not about what you were interested in. Mr. Cunningham displayed
    no interest in his son, so I tackled his entailment once more in a last-ditch effort to make him feel at home.”

    This paragraph strikes me as interesting because it shows Scout as she matures throughout the course of the novel. She remembers Atticus saying to not think about what you were interested in and to instead think about what THEY were interested in, and Scout remembered that and used the “lady-like” advice when she was with her guest.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I agree. Scout is showing her maturity and that she takes account of the lessons that Atticus teaches her, and tries (to the best of her ability) to apply them to her everyday life.

      Reply
      1. trinityt

        I agreed. Scout is showing her maturity and uses the lesson that she learned in her life. As she continue to grow up, I believe she will learn more.

        Reply
  15. Sophie

    “His maddening superiority was unbearable these days. He didn’t want to do anything but read and go off by himself.” (p. 184)

    Jem and Scout’s growth and development have been prominent in the last few chapters. It seems to me that Jem is going through developments that any normal teenager would go though. He has been less willing to play and Scout, and more willing to act mature, and read and go off by himself. The part of the above quote that stuck out to me was the ‘going off by himself’ part. I remember that in the earlier chapters Scout said that when Jem was missing their mother, he removed himself from his surroundings and went by himself. I wonder if the loss of their mother is causing any of these current actions. Maybe he wishes that their mother was there to help him as he grows. Maybe he is sick of having a younger sister to get along with, and would rather be with a real, biological mother. Especially when Atticus is away, even though Cal is a wonderful mother figure to have, maybe Jem just misses the comfort of his real mother as he’s getting older.

    Reply
  16. maxwellw

    In these chapters, Dill’s return emphasizes the growing gulf in development between Scout and Jem. In the previous section, we saw the twelve-year-old Jem urging Scout to act more like a girl, indicating his growing awareness of adult social roles and expectations. Here again, Jem proves clearly too old for the childhood solidarity that Dill’s presence recalls. Scout says that, upon seeing Dill under the bed, Jem “rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood” by telling Atticus. To Scout, this act makes Jem a “traitor,” though it is really an act of responsibility that marks Jem’s maturation toward adulthood.

    Reply
  17. Mikayla Friedman

    “‘It’s different with grown folks we–‘

    His maddening superiority was unbearable these days. He didn’t want to do anything but read and go off by himself. . .

    ‘Jee crawling hova, Jem! Who do you think you are?’

    ‘Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I’ll– I’ll spank you.'” (p. 184)

    Up until now this point in the book, Jem has been getting more and more ‘grown up’ every day. He no longer speaks to Scout in the same way, and he makes it seem like he is too good to be seen playing with her. I found this sort of amusing, seeing that Jem is only about twelve years old. He isn’t even a teenager, yet he is anxious to be seen as grown up. I think this mindset comes from Atticus. After dinner every night, Atticus reads the newspaper, a routine Jem has grown into. Jem admires his father, and therefore wants to be like him. This idea reminded me of the scene where Atticus asks Jem if he wanted to be a lawyer, and Jem responds with “‘I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but I ain’t so sure now!'” (p. 66) Jem was just kidding here, I think he truly does want to be a lawyer.

    Jem thinks he is such a grown up that threatens to spank Scout. In addition, Jem clearly refers to himself as a grown up. He thinks he is part of this world, a world that only adults belong to, and Scout is not part of it. After Jem tells Scout he’ll spank her if it comes to it, Scout counters by starting to fight him. They hit each other, and to Scout the fact that Jem is willing to fight her means they are equals. I think this is interesting. To Scout, they are still equals (despite what Jem might say) if Jem feels the need to fight for her for him to be right. The fighting proves that they are both still children and siblings, and although Jem might see himself as superior, they will always be equals.

    Reply
  18. jaclynl

    “Atticus’s voice was even: “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she
    wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all
    these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to
    accept things the way they are. Besides, sister, I don’t want you working your
    head off for us—you’ve no reason to do that. We still need Cal as much as we
    ever did.”

    Although Calpurnia may just be the cook for the Finch family, Atticus, Scout and Jem have grown to love her as if she was one of them. When Aunt Alexandra begins to take control of the house, her beliefs and values interfere with the normal routine that they have been used to for years. Even though Atticus is usually not into fighting with people, Aunt Alexandra’s suggestion to get rid of Cal is one of the first times that he is seen arguing with someone. Although Atticus has been called some horrible names by the people of the town, what really will get to him is when you say something about someone that he cares about. Since Atticus has such strong values and is such a selfless character, this is why he is willing to put up a fight in order to keep her with the family.

    Reply
  19. josepha4

    “We watched Dill emerge by degrees. He was in a tight fit. He stood up and eased his shoulders, turned his feet in their ankle sockets, rubbed the back of his neck. His circulation restored, he said, hey”.

    This passage is out of the ordinary because it shows more character development for Dill who i believe will develop into an increasingly important character as the story progresses. Dill goes to extreme lengths to get free from his parents. They begin to take less notice of him and he feels neglected. To escape, He takes a train by himself from Meridian to Maycomb, then walks the rest of the way. From this we infer that Dill is ad determined and independent young men. This is important because we gain deeper insight into how Dill acts, before he was just the boy who plays with Jem and loves Scout, now he’s the independent and strong willed person we see from a different perspective. Dill we can infer that Dill feels welcome and noticed when he plays with Jem and Scout and stays with Atticus. This scene doesn’t progress anything with Jem and Scout but it is important to understand supporting characters roles in the main characters life.

    Reply
  20. angelicac1

    “Atticus’s voice was even: “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she
    wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all
    these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to
    accept things the way they are. Besides, sister, I don’t want you working your
    head off for us—you’ve no reason to do that. We still need Cal as much as we
    ever did.” (pp. 182-3)

    This passage shows shows a huge difference between Aunt Alexandra and Atticus when it comes to family. To Aunt Alexandra, it is necessary to “kick out” those from a family that aren’t good enough to be counted in. Atticus, on the other hand, considers loyalty and affection as traits for an individual to be a part of a family. For example, Cal has always helped out Atticus and his family through the years and she has remained loyal to them throughout that timespan. Aunt Alexandra doesn’t see Atticus’s perspective and she arranges families by whether or not they’re “good enough” to be a part of it.

    Reply
    1. Hannah M.

      I agree. Aunt Alexandra is most definetly not my favorite character so far. Like how you chose to explain this difference between them Good work!

      Reply
  21. trinityt

    “Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in. Mr. Cunningham displayed no interest in his son, so I tackled his entailment once more in a last-ditch effort to make him feel at home.” (p.205).

    This passage strike me because it shows that Scout has grow up and she learned from Atticus that it is rude when you’re talking to others about things that YOU like, not what THEY like. So, she uses what she has learned in her conversation with Mr. Cunningham by talking about things that would spark interest in him. Also, part one of this novel is about childhood, and part two (which we are currently reading) is about adulthood. Part two shows us Scout growing from childhood to adulthood, and her maturity grows. Jem is not the only who is growing up, but Scout is also growing up as well.

    Reply
  22. Hannah M.

    Chapters 14 and 15 have us meeting Dill once again, although, in an untraditional way. In these chapters we see that Dill has run away from his home and isn’t planning on going back any time soon. Neglected and hurt, he wants to stay with the Finches who will be able to love and care for him. “…having been bound in chains and left to die in the basement (there were basements in Meridian) by his father, who disliked him…”(pg.186). While Dill exaggerates his story, it is clear to us that he is having some Father to son issues. At home Dill is not only abused by his father, but he is neglected by his mother. It’s sad to see that Dill is provided with no care from his family and while dealing with these situations he tries to make a plan to sty put in Maycomb. Will he move in permanently or will his unloving parents bring him back before the summer ends?

    Reply

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