To Kill a Mockingbird is told in first person by Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. The novel begins from the point of view of the adult Scout, as she looks back on her childhood. Through the filter of her adult experience, she revisits her memories that, though long ago passed, have a life of their own.
- Consider Chapters 8-11.
- Explore Scout's narration. Imagine the novel narrated by Dill or told from Boo Radley's point of view. How might it be different?
- Atticus explains to Scout that "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (36). Consider what the quotation means
- What is the speaker trying to explain to his daughter?
- What does the speaker mean by the term point of view?
- How does perspective, or point of view, come into play in writing?
The narrative mode encompasses not only who tells the story, but also how the story is described or expressed. With your group, discuss and record your understanding of how the narrative mode, particularly point of view, comes into play in writing. The following questions may be used to guide your response.
- Why might Harper Lee tell the story from an adult perspective, narrated by a child many years after the fact?
- What is the role of perspective in understanding a novel?
- What makes a good work of historical fiction?
Groups engage in discussion to extend and apply knowledge. The groups must examine all students' viewpoints, agree on a response, and justify their response using details from readings.
Post your final response to the question: Does the perspective from which this story is told improve or detract from the novel? Support your position with specific references to and quotes from the text.