Understanding To Kill A Mockingbird

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Overview

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel of such profound power that it has affected the lives of readers and left and indelible mark on American culture. This rich collection of historical documents, collateral readings, and commentary captures the essence of the novel's impact, making it an ideal resource for students, teachers, and library media specialists. Drawing on multi-disciplinary sources, the casebook places the issues of race, censorship, stereotyping, and heroism into sharp perspective. Through these documents, the reader also gains a taste for the historical events which influenced the novel as well as the novel's relevance in today's world. Among the documents which speak most eloquently are testimony from the Scottsboro Case of the 1930s, memoirs and interviews with African Americans and whites who grew up in Alabama in the 1930s, and news stories on civil rights activities in Alabama in the 1950s. Most of the documents presented are available in no other printed form. Study questions, project ideas, and bibliographies are also included for ease of use in further examination of the issues raised by the novel. Thirteen historical photographs complement the text.

Following a literary analysis of issues raised by the novel, the casebook opens with testimony and newspaper articles from the 1930s Alabama Scottsboro Case. The significant parallels of this case to the novel paint a social and historical background of the novel. Memoirs and interviews with African Americans and whites who grew up in Alabama in the 1930s further complete the historical landscape. Articles and news stories from the 1950s depict the increasingly tense, volatile environment in which the novel was written and published. Documents examine the stereotypes of the poor white, the African American, and the southern belle; and how the novel allows the reader to walk around in the shoes of those who have been stereotyped. More current articles examine the legal, literary, and ethical ramifications of the novel. These articles include a debate between lawyers over whether Atticus Finch was a hero, and discussion of attempts to censor the novel.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

CLAUDIA DURST JOHNSON is Professor of English at the University of Alabama, where she chaired the English Department for 12 years.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Literary Analysis: Unifying Elements of To Kill a Mockingbird 1
2 Historical Context: The Scottsboro Trials 15
From the Testimony of Victoria Price and Dr. R. R. Bridges in the Scottsboro Trial, Spring of 1931 22
From Judge James E. Horton's Address from the Bench in the Scottsboro Case, March 27, 1933 32
From the Testimony of Victoria Price and Dr. R. R. Bridges, April 3, 1933, as Reported in the New York Times 33
From the Testimony of Ruby Bates in the Trial of Haywood Patterson, April 7, 1933 37
From the Testimony of Lester Carter in the Trial of Charley Weems, April 17, 1933 45
From the Opinion of Judge James E. Horton, June 22, 1933 53
From the Testimony of Victoria Price and the Deposition of Ruby Bates in the Retrial of Clarence Norris, December 2, 1933 62
From the Supreme Court Decision Rendered in Spring of 1935 69
3 Historical Context: The Civil Rights Movement 83
From the Supreme Court Decisions Known as Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas 94
"Boycott Leader's Home Is Blasted" 99
"UA Tells Negro She May Enroll" 101
"Fourth Cross Burned at Tuscaloosa" 102
"Negro Student Taking Room Denial to Court" 103
"Prominent Negro Home Blasted" 104
"Negro Says Well-Wishers High Spot of Day at UA" 106
"1000 in Demonstration at U of A, Witnesses Call It Negro Protest" 107
"Negro Student Barred from UA Campus to Halt Rioting" 112
"Rioting at the Capstone" 116
"Negro Determined to Attend Classes" 117
"Carmichael Denies Conspiracy Charges" 118
"Return-Lucy Petitions Draw 500 Names at UA" 120
"Jury Indicts 115 in Capitol Bus Boycott" 122
"Mass Meeting Speakers Urge Continued Protest" 124
"U of A Pulls Down Curtain of Secrecy" 125
"UA Faculty Continues Probe of Disorders" 127
"Alabama Not Alone in Tradition Fight" 129
4 Realities and Stereotypes 137
From Thomas Nelson Page, Gordon Keith (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903) 140
Mr. Bonner's Response to Integration 142
Interview: A Perspective on the 1930s 145
From Helen Ekin Starrett, The Charm of Fine Manners (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1920) 154
From Vernon Johnson, "A Memoir: Growing Up Poor and White in the South" (Unpublished Memoir, 1993) 157
From Shields McIlwaine, The Southern Poor-White from Lubberland to Tobacco Road (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1939) 165
From Erskine Caldwell, God's Little Acre (New York: Grossett and Dunlap, 1932) 166
From William Faulkner, "Wash," in The Portable Faulkner (New York: Viking Press, 1946) 166
Description of Victoria Price from Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979) 167
From Virginia Foster Durr, Outside the Magic Circle (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1985) 168
Interview: Growing Up Black in the 1930s in McCulley's Quarters, Alabama 170
From Donald Bogle, Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films (New York: Continuum, 1989) 175
From Thomas Dixon, The Flaming Sword (Atlanta: Monarch Publishing, 1939) 177
From Virginia Foster Durr, Outside the Magic Circle (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1985) 177
From Paul Boyer and Stephen Nussbaum, Salem Possessed (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1974) 180
From Thomas S. Szasz, "Power and Psychiatry", in Deviance in American Life (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1989) 181
5 The Issue of Heroism 187
Monroe Freedman: "Atticus Finch, Esq., R.I.P.: A Gentleman But No Model for Lawyers" 189
R. Mason Barge: "Fictional Characters, Fictional Ethics" 191
6 The Issue of Censorship 197
"Mr. Bumble and the Mockingbird" 202
"Some Novels' Fate Remains Uncertain" 203
"College Student Defends Morality of Banned Book" 205
"Hiding 'Seamy Side' Is False Protection" 205
"Two Books Banned - No Doubt" 206
"Who Killed the Mockingbird?" 207
Letters and Editor's Comments from "Forum," Richmond News-Leader 208
Letters from "Forum," Richmond News-Leader 211
Letters and Comments from Richmond News-Leader 212
Letter from "Voice of the People," Richmond Times-Dispatch 213
Letters and Editor's Comments from "Forum," Richmond News-Leader 214
Index 221
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Don't Waste Your Money!

    The REAL book, "To Kill a Mockingbird" was written by Harper Lee in 1961 and released as an e-book in June 2002. The cost of the REAL e-book by Harper Lee is only $4.99 + tax through Barnes and Noble. PLEASE USE YOUR BRAINS! Google or search the name of the author before wasting your money! Use your own brain to read, review, critique, etc... a book! This is really crazy to spend $50+ on someone else's idea about a great book! Go read the REAL book by Harper Lee. I hope this has been of help to a lot of you...

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Expensive

    $52 are they serious? Are they selling the bird?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    What?!?!

    52 BUCKS!?! THIS BETTER HAVE A MILLION PAGES FOR ANYONE TO BUY IT!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Wtf

    That is really high i wouldn't even want to pay that for a book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    $$$$$%

    There are books that are 500 - 1000 bucks. Beat that! Search encyclopedia and you will find them

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Wattttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Talk about expenseve

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    52 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

    I don't even think u can get that much on a nook gift card!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    WOW

    Who would have the money for this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    Holy cow!!!!

    Talk about expesive!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Say WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    $52 seriously? Thats WAY too much for a book like that. I started reading the actual To Kill A Mockingbird and I understand it perfectly. (And I'm only 11 & going into 7th grade)
    No one needs this book. Don't waste your $ on this book. It's not worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    What the heck?

    Did anybody actually buy this????

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Wtf

    ?????

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 14 Customer Reviews

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