Today in class I want us to talk a little bit about some history that relates to the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
Without any of these social problems, the main crisis in To Kill a Mockingbird could never happen.
Now I want us to look at two poems today that have to do with how African Americans were still being treated in the 1930’s. It is horrible. These poems were written by Jamaican born Claude McKay. He was a famous American Poet during the Harlem Renaissance and later.
His spirit is smoke ascended to high heaven.His father, by the cruelest way of pain,Had bidden him to his bosom once again;The awful sin remained still unforgiven.All night a bright and solitary star(Perchance the one that ever guided him,Yet gave him up at last to Fate’s wild whim)Hung pitifully o’er the swinging char.Day dawned, and soon the mixed crowds came to viewThe ghastly body swaying in the sun:The women thronged to look, but never a oneShowed sorrow in her eyes of steely blue;And little lads, lynchers that were to be,Danced round the dreadful thing in fiendish glee.
If We Must Die
If we must die, let it not be like hogsHunted and penned in an inglorious spot,While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,Making their mock at our accursèd lot.If we must die, O let us nobly die,So that our precious blood may not be shedIn vain; then even the monsters we defyShall be constrained to honor us though dead!O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!What though before us lies the open grave?Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
As you continue in your reading in the novel this week, please keep these poems in mind. Also, take notice of how poverty (Stock Market Crash), the stock market crash, racism, affect the path of the plot. Please also be mindful that the lessons that Atticus is teaching Scout, he is also speaking to every one of us. Please write down what he says about courage.
But it isn’t just his words that teach us; he backs up his words with his actions.
He is a hero, who can’t throw the football, doesn’t play cards and drink, and whose kids think is too old.
He is a hero.
Please this week, give a couple examples of things that Atticus does to demonstrate his heroic qualities.
We will revisit this in the end of the book, once you see what happens.