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Phase 2 Individual Project
Deliverable Length: Part A: 700 words/Part B: 600 words

Weekly tasks or assignments (Individual or Group Projects) will be due by Monday and late submissions will be assigned a late penalty in accordance with the late penalty policy found in the syllabus. NOTE: All submission posting times are based on midnight Central Time.

Read chapters 12–21 in To Kill a Mockingbird.

This part of the book focuses on Tom Robinson’s courtroom trial. 

Part A: This week, your assignment is to write about the conflicts or struggles between the forces that animate the novel. There are external conflicts, where characters struggle with another person, nature, society, or fate. There are also internal struggles, where a person is wrestling internally with two opposing thoughts or desires. 

  1. Write about the conflicts portrayed in the book as the trial unfolds and intensifies.  
  2. The book is also a commentary on the American system of justice. Atticus’ summation states that “there is one institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal on an Einstein…That institution is…the court” (Lee, 1995, p. 173). Discuss the relevance of this statement today.
  3. Comment on the different points of view of characters in the courtroom, including the following:
    • Tom Robinson
    • Mayella
    • Bob Ewell
    • The judge
    • The prosecutor
    • The jury
    • The sheriff
    • The black citizens in the balcony
    • Scout
    • Jem
    • Dill
    • Atticus Finch
  4. Which of these do you identify with at the trial?
  5. One of the salient lessons Scout learns from her father is not to judge others until you’ve walked in their moccasins. How does inhabiting the various characters’ point of view provide depth to the experience of the novel? (Lee is skilled at presenting the complexities of people and situations seen from multiple points of view.)
  6. The courtroom drama is an archetypal theme portrayed in novels, films, and television in American literature. Note how this is presented in writing, in anticipation of comparing this to how the courtroom is portrayed in the movie version. Later, you will be asked to comment on which is more effective and why you think so.

Part B. By this point in your reading, you are also beginning to understand the main and supporting characters. In the second part of your assignment, pick 3 characters that interest you, and write a paragraph about each one. Discuss how the author builds the sense of character and what struggles or conflicts each one is experiencing. Who is your favorite character, and why?


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