Explore the presentation of violence in To kill A Mockingbird.
These slides were prepared by a yr 11 class after an essay question (above). The idea was that we would track Lee’s presentation of violence through the novel and then the students wrote paragraphs in small groups which are appended to the end of the document. I think it is an interesting activity and the short paragraphs could be used to provoke comment and discussion in any classroom.
As ever, my starting point was: “what sort of society choice is Lee presenting here?” In short, do we want to live in an Atticus society or a Ewell society? From this discussion we developed thoughts about justifiable and non-justifiable violence and from there it was a relatively easy job to identify the types of violence on show. Since so many students are keen to tell me that “it is a sin to kill a mockingbird”, I was surprised how many did not see the fact that you can “shoot all the blue jays you want” suggests that there some aspects of violence which can be tolerated. Once this is accepted, the essay seems to fall into place!