"To Kill A Mocking Bird"
Fear Of The Unknown

Theme being used in the story....

Background Information About Characters

Maycomb is a small town in Alabama. Maycomb is an old southern town. The courthouse is described as sagging in the square. Mules ride through hitched to carts. People amble through the town moving slowly. They have no where to go and no money to buy anything."Maycomb County has recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself."The description of the town, the slow moving people, and the remark about fear is all part of setting the mood of provincial life. Nothing much happens but there is an underlying fear. It is racism. It will surface later when Tom Robinson, a black man is accused of raping Miss Ewell. He is innocent, but the southern town is still in the prime of racism.

Miss stephanie crawford

Stephanie Crawford is the gossip of the neighborhood. She loves to tell everything she THINKS she knows. She is good about making up things to attract more attention. She thinks Boo Radley is a monster and that Atticus is asking for trouble by doing this trial.The kids only hear about Arthur through rumors that others in Maycomb mostly miss Stephanie Crawford tell them, they judge unfairly and don't have proof of what others are telling them they're drawing conclusions, thus being ignorant to the true nature they believe everything they hear and in their minds.


Atticus Finch is a static character. Atticus has two children, Scout and Jem, and he is a lawyer in Maycomb County, AL. He acts as a support for his two children because they have nobody else to go to, except maybe Calpurnia, their housekeeper. Atticus can be brave, omniscient, intelligent, protective, and even heroic in a sense he is trying to integrate his town.He isn’t afraid to speak honestly to his kids, and even explains what rape is to Scout when she asks. Atticus not only talks to his children about what he wants to teach them and why, he also tries to provide a good example to them in his own conduct. In practicing what he preaches,


Jem represents the idea of bravery in the novel, and the way that his definition changes over the course of the story is important. The shift that occurs probably has as much to do with age as experience, although the experiences provide a better framework for the reader. When the story begins, Jem's idea of bravery is simply touching the side of the Radley house and then only because "In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare." But as the story progresses, Jem learns about bravery from Atticus facing a mad dog, from Mrs. Dubose's fight with addiction, and from Scout's confrontation with the mob at the jail, among others. And along the way, he grows from a boy who drags his sister along as a co-conspirator to a young gentleman who protects his Scout and tries to help her understand the implications of the events around her.


learns other lessons of bravery throughout the novel. As Atticus signs on to represent Tom Robinson, Scout and Jem tolerate a barrage of racial slurs and insults by the townspeople. But Atticus teaches Scout that doing the right thing doesn't always mean going along with everyone else. Throughout the story, Atticus tries to teach Scout the importance of looking at things from the other person's point of view. And by the end of the story, Scout can put herself in Boo Radley's shoes, the person she's feared most throughout the story.

Boo Radley

Boo is portrayed as a demonised character that is very mysterious and dangerous. This creates a sense of fear, adrenaline and thrill to the reader as they read about the stories that the children come up with to amuse themselves. The children do not quite believe that Boo is a real person and are therefore encouraged to make up thrilling stories to bring the character of Boo alive. Boo becomes an obsession to the children and as the novel progresses and the children mature, they gather a better understanding about Boo's character and his actions.

Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside." (23.117)
This quote is quoted by Jem after the trial of Tom Robinson. After the trial Jem realizes the horrible ways of the Maycomb people he understands that Boo Radley may have chosen to stay inside in order to escape the mess of humanity and the unjust society.

At the conslusion of the novel Boo Radley does come out of his home in order to help Jem and Scout escape the cruel intentions of Mr Ewell. After a struggle to save the children, Boo finds himself carrying an unconscious Jem back to Atticus. This is a good example of when Boo transforms from an evil and demonised character into a guardian angel, and perhaps even a mockingbird. From that day on the children perspectives on Boo are changed and he remains a true hero to them.

main conflict

Maycomb is afraid that if Mayella's accusation is revealed as false, other African-American men will commit the crime of which Tom is falsely accused, For scount growing up means losing her fear of the unknown

BOO RADLEY. Boo Radley is probably the best example of a man being unfairly targeted because of Maycomb's fear of the unknown. Boo's problems with the law as a teenager have resulted in his self-imposed exile within the Radley House, and

"Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work.

Because Boo refuses to come out of his house during the daylight hours, the townspeople fear him, giving him a cruel nickname and spreading rumors that make him out to be an animal killer, a poisoner of pecans and a peeping tom.

TOM ROBINSON. The charges against Tom have resulted in the people of Maycomb fearing both him and other God-fearing, humble Negroes in the town. The white people believe that other black men will

"... go loose and rape up the countryside..."

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. There are many references to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal political programs, which are radical in concept in the eyes of the highly conservative Deep South. The WPA, the National Recovery Act and even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's civil rights initiatives are scorned because of the people's lack of understanding.

Themes of fear by characters

Chapter 1: Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything: "It's just that I can't think of a way to make him come out without him gettin' us." Besides, Jem had his little sister to think of.When he said that, I knew he was afraid. (1.72-75)For Jem, fear is something to be ashamed of. Maybe this is why kids are obsessed with Boo: acting like they're not scared of him is a way for them to show off to each other.

Chapter 4:As the summer progressed, so did our game. We polished and perfected it, added dialogue and plot until we had manufactured a small play upon which we rang changes every day. (4.95)

Play-acting Boo's life might be a way for the kids to deal with their fear; maybe making it a game makes it easier for them to forget about its basis in reality. (We're pretty sure that explains the popularity of zombie video games.)

Chapter 11: Jem said quietly, "My sister ain't dirty and I ain't scared of you," although I noticed his knees shaking. (11.78)

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can make you go medieval on a camellia bush and get detention for a month. Despite being a frail old lady in a wheelchair, Mrs. Dubose's tongue-lashings are enough to make even Jem shake in his boots.

Chapter 17: Gone was the terror in my mind of stale whiskey and barnyard smells, of sleepy-eyed sullen men, of a husky voice calling in the night, "Mr. Finch? They gone?" Our nightmare had gone with daylight, everything would come out all right. (17.56)

In the controlled, familiar environment of the courtroom, Scout isn't scared, but Tom is as much in danger of his life there as he was that night in jail.


Harper Lee uses rear of the unknown to show now people become narrow minded and ignorant to their surroundings, how people are afraid because they believe they know the outcome thus they make themselves become blind and oblivious to the truth. Furthermore it drives people to act in a manner that is foreign to the way they usually are and this causes them to act irrationally causing them to put away their morals.

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