To Kill A Mockinbird-Please can i have Feedback

Question: Analyse how one or more minor characters influenced the development of a main character.

The Novela “To Kill A Mockingbird” based in a small town in alabama called Maycomb this novela written by Harper Lee shows how a minor character in the novel has a great impact/development on Jem Finch. Jem Finch is a boy who is innocent to the racism, inequality of Maycomb due to his lack of knowledge he also has had to grow up with only his father,Atticus Finch and their housekeeper/nanny Calpurnia (who is a black woman) Jem would soon realise slowly that Calpurnia would be more than just their housekeeper.

In “To kill A Mockingbird” Authored by Harper Lee Calpurnia would clean the house head to toe, get Jem and Scout ready and make food for the Finches because she was their nanny/housekeeper Calpurnia had a big impact on the Finches especially Jem Finch throughout the novel we see how close Calpurnia gets to being a Mother figure in Jem’s life. Calpurnia grew up with manners throughout her life so she tried to teach those manners onto Jem and Scout, Jem was only 10 at the start of the novel he was still a naive immature young boy who would do anything to keep himself busy and who had not learnt any manners yet so Calpurnia took it upon herself to try teach Jem some manners so that he wasn’t a rude boy Jem would poke himself around Boo Radley’s house (Arthor Radley)and believe and spread rumors around his neighborhood,Play a game called “Boo Radley”to prove bravery,compete in peeing competitions with his friend Dill Haris, Imaginanary reenactments and many more childish games and acts. Calpurnia would then try to teach Jem proper manners and how to act she also doesn’t want Jem to talk like most of the black community,Maycomb does or to buy into their superstitions because Atticus believes in everyone should be treated equally and Calpurnia has picked that up and tried to teach that onto Jem who in part 2 of the novel then manages to mature into the proper young teen Calpurnia had taught him to be this is known as “Jems Journey To Adulthood” after Jem had matured and realised what was beneath the surface of Maycomb he started reading like his father and cut out all childish games and left Boo Radley to be because he saw how he is invading their privacy and saw Boo as a person. We see here how much of an impact Calpurnia had on Jem and his “Journey To Adulthood” without Calpurnia Jem would not have all the manners and maturities he has now.

Calpurnia is the only mother figure that Jem and Scout have had in their lives because their real mother died; she ran off with another man when Scout was two and Jem was six; she was then killed in a fire a year before the novel starts so Calpurnia has had to treat them as if they were her own kids even though she has a son of her own Calpurnia makes their food, cleans their clothes,makes sure they look tidy, makes sure they have good manners, tells them off when they are rude or disrespectful, When Jem and Scout decide to accompany Calpurnia to her church, she is careful to dress them in their finest clothes and wishes them to be on their best behavior. Calpurnia has a big effect on Jem as he was six when his mother left and nine when she passed away which would have been tough for Jem to go through so with Calpurnia making it seem as if she was always there would have helped. Calpurnia also would make sure that they were safe at all times and would make sure she knew where they were going an example of Calpurnia caring about Jem and Scouts safety is when they was a rabid dog with rabies walking towards them and calpurnia would not let them leave the house until it was gone and locked the door just incase they tried to go outside and once the dog was taken care of she still wouldn’t let them go outside until it was all clear and safe which shows how Calpurnia cares so much for children that aren’t hers and are different race.Jem also enjoys having Cal their Jem takes her as one of the family member s and respects her and the things she does for the Finch family and the Finch family accept her into the family as one of their own. We see here how Calpurnia has an effect on Jem and the Finch family and has love and care for Jem and Scout.

Jem has had to grow up in a society that is racially discriminative and prejudice so Calpurnia has been there for him to teach him how to not follow in Maycomb’s footsteps and to try hide him away from it as much as she can but once she realises he starts to find out Maycomb’s truth she teaches him and tells him what to do but he really didn’t understand it properly until she took him and Scout to the “First Purchase Church” which is a African american church separated from the non coloured people as they are not alowed in their church due to racial discrimination but Calpurnia had to take Jem and Scout their due to Atticus being busy with work and church happening at the same time and Cal didnt want them to not go to church.But when Jem and Scout got their they learn that discrimination and prejudice can happen anywhere, and they feel its sting they also learn about generosity and gratitude and what its like on the other side of the table or “Until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb in his skin and walk around in it” Jem then see’s how coloured people are affected by racial discrimination and that its not fair and how generous the coloured people are and how gratitude they are to each other which Jem then see’s it as something he can do he also goes up to the top floor where the coloured people are only meant to be to watch the tom robinson trial because of how generous and thankful the coloured people are that Jems father is fighting for Toms case.Jem takes everything Calpurnia has helped him learn and applies that to himself and how he treats others and sees everyone as equal people Calpurnia also tries to help Jem understand that people will be mean and rude and not change as much as you try make them. We see how Calpurnia teaches Jem about racial discriminitory and purgatory and how Maycomb is poisoned by it.

In conclusion how Calpurnia has become a second mother for Jem we see how Cal teaches him manners and how to act instead of being immature and naive, we also got to see how much Calpurnia care’s and loves for Jem and scout even tho their not actually her kids and last of all we get to see how she teaches them about Maycomb’s racist purgatory society and to not follow in their footsteps and that everyone is equal.

Kia ora - welcome to Studyit.

You have chosen a question that clearly suits the text and have made a good discussion of how the minor character influences the main character (which becomes especially clear in the third paragraph).

What this essay would benefit strongly from is more explicit evidence from the text, rather than you summarizing it. For instance in your first two paragraphs, you have evidenced with mostly just your own summary of the plot - EG when talking bout the rabid dog, include and unpack a quote - and then unpack HOW that quote shows the family-like bond and how that impacted the development of Jem. Any egs you are talking about, you should try to include specific evidence from the text.

You are doing a good job of ensuring you come back to the question at the end of each paragraph - this would also be a good place to dig into WHY Lee might have been exploring this - eg at the end of the third para where you say that Calpurnia teaches Jem about racial discrimination - you might dig into why this was a lesson that needed teaching at the time (so think about the historical context of the book) or perhaps about the context of when the author was writing and what she might have been trying to get the reader to think about.

You would be benefited overall by talking more about the author throughout - to show you are aware that the author is crafting this text for a purpose - EG “Lee suggests here that…” "Lee writes “…” which highlights the connection between… “Later in the text, the author develops this by…” -Having understanding of the author’s craft is in the marking schedule so it is important you are really explicit about this so the marker can see that you understand.

Hope that helps :slight_smile: