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text 2017-09-07 16:50
5 Best Study Questions on To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird


‘To Kill a Mockingbird,' written by Harper Lee, is a seminal work which is considered to be one of the most popular and influential books to tackle issues such as racism and the justice system in America. It was published in 1960 at a time when America was still reeling from the effects of racial segregation, and issues of racial profiling and discrimination against people of color are still rampant.


It was met with critical acclaim and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. However, it got mixed reactions from the public on its early release, but eventually got a better reception and became an American class worldwide.  It has been the only published book of Harper Lee for decades since its release, until the other book, ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was released, but it happened in more than 50 years later in 2015.


Most of the story revolves around the Finch’s family and the people of the Maycomb town, with the main characters Atticus Finch, and his children Scout and Jem, their friend Dill, and the mysterious neighbor Boo Radley.


No matter, whether you’re only reading it for the first time or are already revisiting it for a school assignment, there are a lot of insights that can be gained from reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Below we list down some study ideas that would help you in creating a discussion or in writing a paper for this classic work of literature.


Suggested Study Questions for Reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’:


  1. 1. What is the significance of the children’s encounters with Boo Radley in the story?


The character of Boo Radley served mainly as both an anchor and a pivot for the children regarding their character development throughout the book. At first, Boo was seen as some sort of an outsider, but eventually, children created a special friendship with him. How did their friendship with Boo plant the seeds for a value of compassion awakening in the children, regardless of what society thinks about them?


  1. 2. How children’s innocence is affected by the harsh realities of a racist society, particularly the one illustrated during the trial of Tom Robinson?


The scene of Tom Robinson’s trial is an important point that makes the book so memorable, and this is what makes this book hold its place as one of the most famous works of literature. There is a need to highlight the disparity between the presented evidence, which clearly proves Tom’s innocence, and how bias and prejudice affect the ruling of the jury.


  1. 3. What drives Atticus to fight for Tom Robinson and how does this affect the family’s relationship with the people of Maycomb?


It is said that Atticus’ character has become a model for lawyers who want to serve with integrity. In a society where it is easier to conform, what could drive characters like Atticus Finch to represent a person who is vilified by almost everyone in their town? Point out how did his choice to represent Tom has turned the Finch family to the outcasts of their city, and how were they able to find a community within the black people who treated them as of their own.


  1. 4. Most of the story is presented in Scout’s perspective, why you think Harper Lee did choose to write it from a viewpoint of a child?


The children are great vessels to tell the story since their innocence still leads them to be more impressionable and observant when it comes to the things that are happening around them. Since they are young, their prejudices against other people are not as ingrained as compared to the adults in Maycomb, and they are still willing to see the best in people, regardless of their skin color or place they take in society.


  1. 5. Atticus Finch describes a Mockingbird as an innocent creature, that does not cause any harm to people. The quotation “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” is one of the most definitive passages in the book. Discuss the reason behind calling it a sin to kill a mockingbird.


One of the greatest and perhaps the most climactic turning points for the characters in the book is the verdict and subsequent death of Tom Robinson in the hands of the supposed justice system. It brings out a great moral question, which is the heart of this novel. Compare this with the death of child’s innocence, when they have to witness such great injustice in a seemingly small and quiet town.


Regarding its importance, To Kill a Mockingbird has never wavered in its position as one of the most highly-regarded books of the last century.  Even until now, the relevance of this novel still rings true in a society where problems and issues concerning racism still exist. Recent events have shown us that racism is still alive in America, which is why a close reading of this work is relevant for students. It shows how these issues have a long history dating back from the time of social policies that were oppressive to people of color.


Literature has long been a tool of social awakening, and whether this was Harper’s Lee original intention or not, as in old interviews, she said that the story was loosely-based on her childhood experiences growing up in the South. Perhaps that fact has caused the appeal of this work in the voice of children; it still manages to instill humor and compassion on serious issues like rape, oppression and social injustice without failing to drive the main point through. Students at elementary and high school benefit from reading books on social problems in a voice that they can recognize, as it resonates with them deeply, and hopefully, instill the values that the book hopes to impart when they grow up.

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text 2017-01-16 21:53
The Sex Lives of English Women: Intimate Questions and Unexpected Answers - Wendy Jones

I first learned of this book from having listened (online) to an interview the author gave BBC Radio London last summer. What she said about her book, "THE SEX LIVES OF ENGLISH WOMEN: Intimate Questions and Unexpected Answers" was enough to pique my curiosity and induce me to buy the book. I read it at a leisurely pace over several months and came to appreciate the candor with which the women in the book spoke about their sex lives and views on sexuality. Among the women interviewed were: a nun, a lesbian, a transexual, a student, a trapeze artist in her 30s, a veiled Muslim woman in her 20s, a burlesque dancer, a feminist into BDSM, a pianist, and a 94 year old widow (who, before marriage, admits to have had a variety of enjoyable sexual experiences as a land girl in Britain's Land Army during World War II).

Frankly, I think any man who wants to understand women as they really are would benefit from reading "The Sex Lives of English Women." It reinforced my belief that a man can never know enough about women. Indeed, a man should value, cherish, and appreciate the relationships he has with them, either in the bedroom or outside of it. That means making an effort to establish meaningful connections with women, provided they are receptive to him. What's more, there is a quote from one of the women interviewed for this book that really stood out for me, and it is this: "Sex is a massive risk and adventure because you don't know who you're going to reveal in yourself."

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text 2016-11-23 10:55
Movie Vs Book - Fault In Our Stars

So I'm about 30 mins into the movie and really enjoying it so far. The book was brilliant, no doubt, but I had fears the movie wouldn't live up to my high expectations. So far it's not letting me down. (yay)

Anyways the whole point of this post is you know when your watching a movie and something happens and you swear a detail is off and it really bugs you. Especially because your not sure if your right or wrong because it's been so long since you've read the book?
Well I'm having that moment but with something a bit bigger than a minor detail..... I was totally under the impression that Augustus was well... of colour. (Which personally I would totally dig) Now I know this was a giant issue with Hunger Games and maybe that was reflected while I was reading The Fault In Our Stars? It has been quite a few years.... I don't know. :/

Did anyone else feel the same in relation to this book? or have a similar thing happen to them?

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review 2016-08-28 17:32
Twenty Questions for Gloria - Martyn Bed... Twenty Questions for Gloria - Martyn Bedford I liked the premise of this book at first. Gloria is a teenager who has been missing for over two weeks, and the story starts out with the detectives interviewing her to uncover the whole story. It's a psychological thriller like that. The focus of the mystery is on Uman, the mysterious boy who turns up at school one day and whom she eventually ends up falling for. It's a slow, subtle thing, but the two of them end up running away together. And it spirals out of control, they start running out of food, run out of money, start stealing... Overall I did like it but I don't think this is exactly unique. I guess Uman is a unique character, but in the beginning he is VERY annoying. He talks like a smart-arse and acts like he's better than you, says stuff like "that teacher has lost her pedalogical mojo" I mean...what?? Maybe teenage girls find this attractive in guys or something? I honestly can't tell. Well, once you get halfway through the book and realise Uman has a tragic backstory and actually has more depth to his character, then he stops being so annoying. They make out that he lied to Gloria about various aspects of his life. And...he probably lied about one or two things, but it's not that drastic? So I don't know what they were getting at there. It is kinda romantic, the relationship between Gloria and Uman, and it did give me that bittersweet feeling of when something perfect and beautiful is split apart. I did really enjoy the ending too as well. But ni the end, it felt like nothing that dramatic happened anyway. They ran away together, they took it waaaay too far, and then...she finally came to her senses and came back home. I liked it, but Martyn Bedford has much better books.
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text 2016-08-28 07:50
How did you come to write your first novel, Saving Spirit Bear?
Saving Spirit Bear: What Price Success? - Rod Raglin

Many sites I post my books on have a question and answer component - the readers ask the authors questions. I've never actually asked a question of any author whose work I've read, though sometimes I pose them in my reviews, and I've never received a question from a reader.

Most of these are stock questions generated by the site.  The questions that aren't I've come to believe are also bogus - asked by a friend or even the author themselves with hopes the answers will spark some sort of dialogue or?

We are a desperate lot, aren't we.

Here's a question I often ponder and so I asked myself and am sharing the answer with you. If you find this exercise slightly distasteful than consider yourself partly to blame for not asking me your own questions.

How's that for rationalization?


QUESTION: How did you come to write your first novel, Saving Spirit Bear?

I had a plan to become a successful, published author.

I would begin writing romance novels because they have the most readers of any kind of fiction and are the easiest to get published. This is not to say authors of genre fiction aren’t good writers. I have subsequently learned writing within the confines of genre is more difficult than doing otherwise.
Back to the plan.

Once I had a bit of a publishing track record traditional publishers of mainstream, literary fiction would be more likely to consider me. Right?

Saving Spirit Bear was my first novel. The theme I wanted to explore was whether the end ever justifies the means? I wanted to present real moral dilemmas for both the protagonists and the antagonists not just the desire for profit or power. For example, is it all right to compromise your integrity if the goal is just and noble?

As well as presenting a satisfying romance, I hoped to address this issue by introducing a subplot about an environmental issue, in this case endangered species and destruction of their habitat, something I feel strongly about.

The story's about Kimberly James, an ambitious, young, junior executive in a New York corporate relations firm who sees an opportunity to advance her career by doing whatever's necessary to push through the development of a mega ski resort in Canada.

Jonah Baker is part owner of a lodge on the land of the proposed ski resort. He's an ardent environmentalist and not about to permit a development that threatens ancient rainforests and the habitat of the rare and endangered Spirit Bear for any price.

Kim begrudgingly respects his principles before profit, but cannot allow a tree-hugging, bear-loving zealot to derail her fast track to success. Jonah admires her determination and worldliness, but will fight to the end to stop a materialistic corporate climber from destroying something rare and unique.

You likely know the rest of this story because genre literature is formulaic and if you read romance you know what's going to happen. If you don't and you want to find out go to my Amazon Author's Page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU and buy a copy.

Anyhow, after striking out with agents and traditional publishers I sent Saving Spirit Bear to three e-publishers. All of them wanted to publish it. I chose one and rationalized my failure to attract any real publishers by saying e-books were preferable - less impact on the environment.

It would be an overstatement to say sales were mediocre. Reviews were almost non-existent. No agents or traditional publishers came knocking on my door.

At the time I was a member of the local chapter of Romance Writers of America (eighty-five women and two men). Since I wasn't getting any significant reader response I asked the published writers in my RWA chapter what they thought the problem(s) was?

Saving Spirit Bear, I was told, was not popular with romance readers for a number of reasons. I didn’t introduce the love interests soon enough. My ‘Happily Ever After’ was lukewarm or not at all. I needed to ‘sex it up’. My subplots overshadowed the romance. My heroes lacked testosterone. My heroines didn’t show enough vulnerability. My words were too big, my plots too real, my characters too unlikable. My stories were out of control.

However, I was encourage by my publisher who dubbed the book Eco-Fi (environmental fiction) and asked for two more with a similar theme for a series entitled Eco-Warriors.

There was never any question about letting the lack of success of my first novel defeat me. I love to write - successfully or otherwise and during the process of writing Saving Spirit Bear I experienced glimpses of something very exciting - the story following it's own course and the characters taking on lives of their own.

I eagerly set about writing my second novel but I was worried. Would I find my next story and it's characters restricted by the confines of this genre?

Next Question: Did you find your next story and it's characters restricted by the confines of this genre?

The answer is forthcoming.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs




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