Introducing To Kill a Mockingbird

Class Notes:
Harper Lee

One student always has to ask:  “Mr. Hudson, is this an instructional novel?”  No, it is not.  It’s a metaphor, and today we only began to understand why the only novel Harper Lee ever published has been read by nearly every American secondary student for the last 40 years.

Today we took some notes, paying particular attention to the similarities between the author’s childhood and the child protagonist of the novel.  Hopefully our understanding of the various topics we’ve researched from the 1930’s has helped to inform us about the context of the novel, and the kinds of lives the characters live.  As we read this novel, it is important to pay attention to the way the characters develop, the way they are stereotyped, and the way these stereotypes influence the way we act around people.  Although it seems very dry and boring, the opening historical paragraphs are very important in this regard.

Read chapter 1 for tonight.

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