Bildungsroman This is a novel that traces the development of a character from childhood to adulthood, a quest for identity that leads him or her to maturity. The term bildungsroman comes from the German for "formation novel," or "education novel.“ Can you think of another novel that could be classified as a bildungsroman? As you read, consider how TKAM is a novel about Scout and Jem growing up. Who is teaching them the most?
Recluse A recluse is someone in isolation who hides away from the attention of the public, a person who lives in solitude or seclusion. What are some reasons why someone would become a recluse? One of the main characters of this novel (and one of the greatest literary characters of all time) is a recluse, the ghost-like Boo Radley. Harper Lee, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, became a recluse after the worldwide attention from writing this classic. She never wrote another book…
Maycomb, Alabama-1933-1935 Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop…somehow it was hotter then... bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.... There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.
Write down two observations you can make about the setting from Harper Lee’s description of Maycomb. Write down one question you have.
Mrs. Schibillia’s Note: I read To Kill A Mockingbird every year. It is my #1 favorite book. However each time, I notice different things-sometimes something funny Jem says or foreshadowing about Mr. Ewell, the novel’s villain. You don’t have to love it, but keep reading past the difficult first chapter. Enjoy the mystery about who Boo Radley really is. Laugh at the trouble Scout, Jem, and Dill get into every summer! Also, don’t forget to write notes in your book or on post it notes about the characters and setting, especially your questions.