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To Kill A Mockingbir d. Plot and Conflict. Bildungsroman. A bildungsroman is a genre that deals with the protagonist growth from a child to maturity To be a bildungsroman the plot must follow this steps The protagonist actual or metaphorical development from childhood to adulthood.

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to kill a mockingbir d

ToKillA Mockingbird


  • A bildungsroman is a genre that deals with the protagonist growth from a child to maturity
  • To be a bildungsroman the plot must follow this steps
        • The protagonist actual or metaphorical development from childhood to adulthood.
        • The protagonist must have some form of loss or disconnection that effects them at an early age.
        • The maturity of the protagonist is very long and gradual. There are clashes between the protagonist wants or needs and society’s views and judgments.
        • At the end of the process, the protagonist is accustomed to society’s values therefore they fit into society. The protagonist then evaluates themselves and their place in society.

A bildungsroman aims to…

  • Tell limited, unexciting events where the protagonist reach their maturity.
  • To show a “normal form of subjectivity”; this is achieved by representing an “antiheroic and multilateral hero”.
  • To show the stress free nature of modern life; this is achieved by using everyday events.
  • To have a unpredictable historical change under control; this is achieved by the change of youth.

To Kill A Mockingbird is a flashback of the summers that lead to Jem breaking his arm. Through out the memory Jem and Scout mature.

One of the steps of being a bildungsroman is to have a loss or disconnection at an early age; Scout lost her mom at a young age (Scout was 2yrs old and Jem was 6yrs old. Pg7) so growing up with a mom effected her behavior as a child. Since she grew up as the only girl in the house, I think this is why she acts like a tom-boy.

Another step of being a bildungsroman is to have a gradual change to maturity where the protagonist’s wants and needs clash with society’s views and judgment. Ever since Atticus accepts Tom’s case the town disapproved Atticus’s decision. They would call Atticus names like “nigger-lover” (pg110) and would disrespect him like spitting in his face (pg. 290 291). Also Atticus tried to raise his kids to be unbiased, "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.”(pg. 39). I think the different views effect her a lot and help her mature because she tries to control her temper “if I fought Cecil I would let Atticus down” (pg.102) and try to ignore the comments that constantly goes against her wants and needs. Another way Scout’s wants and needs goes against society’s value is by the way she acts. Girls and women in the1940s were to wear dress and cook and clean not to run around in overalls. “She [Mrs.Dubose] pointed her arthritic finger at me- ‘what are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady! You’ll grow up waiting on tables if somebody doesn’t change your ways’” (pg. 135). So this sentence shows that Scout’s needs/ wants (doesn’t want to be a girl because they are annoying pg.54 and Jem doesn’t accept it) doesn’t “fit” with society’s image (because of mom being absent). This event also happens when Aunt Alexandra tries to change Scout.


Lastly, the book ended with evaluation. At the end of the book were Scout is walking with Boo Radley she thinks about her summer adventures trying to find Boo and how much Boo has given her. “We came to the streetlight on the corner, and I wondered how many times Dill had stood their hugging the fat pole, watching, waiting, hoping. I wondered how many times Jem and I had made this journey, but I entered the Radley front gate for the second time in my life…neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little thing in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and a chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it” (pg.373). This shows how Scout has matured, she doesn’t fantasize over Boo Radley and doesn’t think of the gifts as strange items. She has accepted society’s views on race, after the verdict is reached, none of her schoolmates bother her. Also after the death of Bob Ewell there is some peace (because he was the most prejudice) which helped her adjust to society.

man v society atticus v town
Man V. SocietyAtticus V. Town
  • Conflict is a struggle between two opposing characters or forces
  • Atticus faces challenges in society because he defends Tom Robinson in the trial. Most of the people in the town are very racist against blacks and do not support Atticus in defending Tom. This being the main conflict in the novel gives the lesson that unnecessary prosecution done in ignorance is wrong. Atticus\'s message shares a common idea that it is wrong to kill a mockingbird. (pg. 288, 269)

Scout V. Self

  • One conflict was an internal conflict within Scout, also known as man (in this case little girl) vs. self. An example of internal conflict within Scout is when the children at school and Mrs. Dubose, a couple of houses down, are making fun of Atticus and disrespecting him because he was defending Tom Robinson, a black man, in a court trial against a white family. Not wanting his children to grow up prejudice and racist Atticus told Scout, “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.”(page 39). Atticus, knowing that this would greatly impact Scout and Jem, told them not to get riled up or get into any fights at school. Instead he gave them the advice of “No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change… it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.” (page 101). This advice was given after Scout had gotten into a fight at school with Cecil Jacobs for saying that Atticus defended “n------” (page 99), and before Jem had torn up Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes after she had made the same comment (page 137). The purposes of these conflicts were to show how strongly Scout and Jem supported Atticus and how the entire Finch household (except for Aunt Alexander) greatly disapproved of discrimination of all types, but specifically in terms of race.
the end
The end
  • It has a indeterminate resolution, no resolution to the conflict
  • “He [Atticus] would there all night, and he would be there when Jem woke up in the morning.” Even though we don’t know what will happen mentally or physically with Jem we do know that Atticus will always be there for him just like he was when his kids were verbally abused before, during, and after Tom’s trail. There is still racism in Maycomb and Scout still isn’t sure of her role in society.