History Literature / ToKillAMockingbird

4th Aug '17 9:58:50 AM JoeMerl
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** The Ewell property is a dump, except for a row of pretty, carefully arranged flowers that people are surprised to learn Mayella maintains.



* KnifeNut: Invoked by Boo Radley, who is rumoured to have stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors for no known reason (apart from being imprisoned in his house for life after going out joyriding with local louts one night). [[spoiler:At the climax of the tale he takes his kitchen knife and kills Bob Ewell during Ewell's attempt to murder Jem and Scout with a switchblade.]]

to:

* KnifeNut: Invoked by Boo Radley, who is rumoured rumored to have stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors for no known reason (apart from being imprisoned in his house for life after going out joyriding with local louts one night). [[spoiler:At the climax of the tale he takes his kitchen knife and kills Bob Ewell during Ewell's attempt to murder Jem and Scout with a switchblade.]]



* LittleGirlsKickShins: Subverted. Scout tries to do this. In the book she's surprised to see her victim fall back in real pain — "I had meant to kick his shin, but aimed too high."

to:

* LittleGirlsKickShins: Subverted. Scout tries to do this. In the book she's surprised to see her victim fall back in real pain — "I had meant to kick his shin, [[GroinAttack but aimed too high.high]]."



* MenaceDecay: Scout Finch is a tomboy, but by modern standards she's quite feminine.

to:

* MenaceDecay: Scout Finch is a tomboy, but by modern standards [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak she's quite feminine.feminine]].
15th Jul '17 3:28:53 PM nombretomado
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* TheGreatDepression: Followed by WorldWarII.

to:

* TheGreatDepression: Followed by WorldWarII.UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
8th Apr '17 1:23:52 PM Malady
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* WeatherReportNarration: A few paragraphs in you have, "Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square."

to:

* WeatherReportNarration: WeatherReportOpening: A few paragraphs in you have, "Somehow, have
--> Somehow,
it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square."
2nd Mar '17 2:32:34 AM Zadia
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* ParentalIncest: Heavily implied when Mayella is explaining what really happened with Tom Robinson, she says she'd never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa did to her "don't count". That line was cut from the film for obvious reasons, but Mayella's actress Colin Wilcox-Paxton said she communicated the incestuous relationship through her body language and facial expressions. She revealed in the documentary that comes with the deluxe DVD set, that she was acutely aware that Mayella's experience was real. "I saw these girls on the streets of violence, these very underprivileged girls. These girls from awful, awful backgrounds. I mean, most of them took it for granted they'd be molested by the time they were... certainly 12, by a father, an uncle, a brother — or someone down the road."
* ParentalSubstitute: Calpurnia, who acts like a mother to Scout and Jem. Aunt Alexandra may also have tried to be this to the children.


Added DiffLines:

* ParentalIncest: Heavily implied when Mayella is explaining what really happened with Tom Robinson, she says she'd never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa did to her "don't count". That line was cut from the film for obvious reasons, but Mayella's actress Colin Wilcox-Paxton said she communicated the incestuous relationship through her body language and facial expressions. She revealed in the documentary that comes with the deluxe DVD set, that she was acutely aware that Mayella's experience was real. "I saw these girls on the streets of violence, these very underprivileged girls. These girls from awful, awful backgrounds. I mean, most of them took it for granted they'd be molested by the time they were... certainly 12, by a father, an uncle, a brother — or someone down the road."
* ParentalSubstitute: Calpurnia, who acts like a mother to Scout and Jem. Aunt Alexandra may also have tried to be this to the children.
* ParentsAsPeople: Dill's. They tell him they love him and get him whatever he wants, but fail to actually spend any time with him, instead constantly telling him to go play with the toys they brought him. Eventually he has enough and runs back to Maycomb.
16th Feb '17 5:02:45 AM EmmaWhite
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* AmbiguouslyGay: Dill, who was based on Harper Lee's childhood friend, the openly gay Creator/TrumanCapote. Dill makes a ChildhoodMarriagePromise with Scout and kisses her when he thinks her brother isn't looking, but as he grows up, he is much more interested in spending time with her brother and at one point, explains why Jem doesn't have his pants by lying that he'd won them off him]] in a game of StripPoker.
12th Feb '17 2:01:59 PM CumbersomeTercel
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Added DiffLines:

* LudicrousPrecision: When asked by the judge during Tom Robinson's trial, Mayella Ewell gives her age as "nineteen-and-a-half." The fact that a nineteen-year-old still thinks of her age in halves serves to show that she doesn't get out as much as she should.
9th Feb '17 5:52:24 PM SoapheadChurch
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* AmbiguouslyGay: Dill, who was based on Harper Lee's childhood friend, the openly gay Creator/TrumanCapote. Dill makes a ChildhoodMarriagePromise with Scout and kisses her when he thinks her brother isn't looking, but as he grows up, he is much more interested in spending time with her brother and at one point, explains why Jem doesn't have his pants by [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments lying that he'd won them off him]] in a game of StripPoker.

to:

* AmbiguouslyGay: Dill, who was based on Harper Lee's childhood friend, the openly gay Creator/TrumanCapote. Dill makes a ChildhoodMarriagePromise with Scout and kisses her when he thinks her brother isn't looking, but as he grows up, he is much more interested in spending time with her brother and at one point, explains why Jem doesn't have his pants by [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments lying that he'd won them off him]] in a game of StripPoker.



** Whilst not quite as [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome]] as the above example, Scout and Jem's neighbour Mr. Avery manages to get one when he tries to help when Miss Maudie's house catches fire.

to:

** Whilst not quite as [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome]] awesome as the above example, Scout and Jem's neighbour Mr. Avery manages to get one when he tries to help when Miss Maudie's house catches fire.



* ShamingTheMob: Scout's SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, where she got a lynch mob to disperse by speaking calmly to them, [[InnocentInaccurate apparently oblivious to the seriousness of the situation]].

to:

* ShamingTheMob: Scout's SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome, shining moment, where she got a lynch mob to disperse by speaking calmly to them, [[InnocentInaccurate apparently oblivious to the seriousness of the situation]].
9th Feb '17 2:11:20 PM MarsJenkar
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* KangarooCourt: It's obvious that Tom Robinson's guilt was determined far in advance of the trial. His jury even includes members of the lynch mob that tried to kill him in prison.

to:

* KangarooCourt: It's obvious that Tom Robinson's guilt was determined far in advance of the trial. His jury even includes members of the lynch mob that tried to kill him in prison. Oddly enough, this is ''entirely'' because of the jury; Judge Taylor and the prosecutor actually try to make the trial as fair as possible (Judge Taylor actively points out contradictions in the case, and the prosecutor seems to be holding back). Even with the jury bias, the deliberations take longer than expected due to a rogue juror.
1st Feb '17 7:19:31 PM SoapheadChurch
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* UsefulNotes/AcademyAward: The film was nominated for 8 Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director), and took home 3 of them, including Best Actor for Creator/GregoryPeck, and Best Adapted Screenplay.



* ArchEnemy: Bob Ewell to Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson.



* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:Boo Radley saving the siblings!]]

to:

* BigDamnHeroes: BigDamnHeroes:
**
[[spoiler:Boo Radley saving the siblings!]]



* ChekhovsGun: Chekhov spends roughly ten chapters boasting about the gun he keeps on his mantle.



* ChildrenAreInnocent: Scout and Jem's relatively innocent personalities and their father's liberal influence means that they don't fully comprehend the systemic racism in their town. Jem's naïve confidence that Tom will be acquitted is the biggest example.
** It's the reason for the books NonPOVProtagonist. We can see Tom's trial through the eyes of Scout, who lacks the cynicism and casual racism of the adults and see how tragic and incomprehensible it really is.
* ClearTheirName: The main plot and an iconic example in [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates American]] literature. It's all the more tragic because [[spoiler:Atticus proves Tom innocent so conclusively that pretty much EVERYONE knows the truth -- but he's convicted, sentenced and ultimately killed while trying to escape ''just because he's black'']]. The circumstances of his death are different in the movie: [[spoiler:Tom doesn't even make it to the sentencing, dying after getting struck by what was supposed to be just a warning shot as he escaped the vehicle that was taking him back to the prison to await sentencing, since he didn't believe that the sheriff would be able to keep him safe]].

to:

* ChildrenAreInnocent: Scout and Jem's relatively innocent personalities and their father's liberal influence means that they don't fully comprehend the systemic racism in their town. Jem's naïve confidence that Tom will be acquitted is the biggest example.
**
example. It's the reason for the books NonPOVProtagonist. We can see Tom's trial through the eyes of Scout, who lacks the cynicism and casual racism of the adults and see how tragic and incomprehensible it really is.
* ClearTheirName: The main plot and an iconic example in [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates American]] American literature. It's all the more tragic because [[spoiler:Atticus Atticus proves Tom innocent so conclusively that pretty much EVERYONE knows the truth -- but he's convicted, sentenced and ultimately killed while trying to escape ''just because he's black'']]. black''. The circumstances of his death are different in the movie: [[spoiler:Tom [[spoiler: Tom doesn't even make it to the sentencing, dying after getting struck by what was supposed to be just a warning shot as he escaped the vehicle that was taking him back to the prison to await sentencing, since he didn't believe that the sheriff would be able to keep him safe]].



* CoolOldGuy: Atticus Finch. He's obviously also a MagnificentBastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
* CoolOldLady: Mrs. Dubose. At least, Atticus tries to get the children to see her as one. Scout and Jem prefer the good-natured Miss Maudie, who is admittedly pretty cool. Scout eventually comes to see Aunt Alexandra as one, when Alexandra stands up for Atticus at the ladies' meeting.

to:

* CoolOldGuy: Atticus Finch. He's obviously also a MagnificentBastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
* CoolOldLady: Mrs. Dubose. At least, Atticus tries to get the children to see her as one. Scout and Jem prefer the good-natured Miss Maudie, who is admittedly pretty cool. Scout eventually comes to see Aunt Alexandra as one, when Alexandra stands up for Atticus at the ladies' meeting.
wants.



* HoldingTheFloor: Atticus has to give a filibuster in court...because, well, he's a lawyer. An incredibly awesome speech it is, too.



* HumansAreFlawed: One of the book's many points is to show that while ''some'' people are ''huge'' bastards, there are also plenty who are kindhearted and altruistic, such as Atticus Finch. It also shows that [[HeelFaceTurn people are capable of change]], such as [[spoiler:Mr. Cunningham, who was implied to be the only member of the jury to originally vote "innocent" before being swayed to the guilty side after several hours]], and that some humans get a reputation of being bastards when they really are some of the noblest, such as [[spoiler: Boo Radley]].

to:

* HumansAreFlawed: One of the book's many points is to show that while ''some'' some people are ''huge'' bastards, there are also plenty who are kindhearted and altruistic, such as Atticus Finch. It also shows that [[HeelFaceTurn people are capable of change]], such as [[spoiler:Mr. Cunningham, who was implied to be the only member of the jury to originally vote "innocent" before being swayed to the guilty side after several hours]], and that some humans get a reputation of being bastards when they really are some of the noblest, such as [[spoiler: Boo Radley]].



* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Jem is worried about a gang coming after his father, and Atticus assures him that there have never been any gangs in Maycomb. Jem says the Ku Klux Klan "got after some Catholics one time." Atticus says, "Never heard of any Catholics in Maycomb either."



* LudicrousPrecision: When asked by the judge during Tom Robinson's trial, Mayella Ewell gives her age as "nineteen-and-a-half." The fact that a nineteen-year-old still thinks of her age in halves serves to show that she doesn't get out as much as she should.



* {{Mammy}}: Possibly Calpurnia.
* ManInWhite: Atticus Finch is a good guy in a white suit. Of course, he's a Southerner, although neither fat nor sweaty.
* MartialPacifist: Atticus. His children's hot tempers and constant scrapping are an aggravation to him, and he has no interest in having his honour defended. He believes in the law, and his courtroom manner is polite and gracious even to opposing witnesses who are clearly hostile towards him. Also, he can kill a charging rabid dog with one shot right between the eyes (maybe a little to the right) because the sheriff doesn't think he can make the shot at that distance. Note that this means that with a mad dog charging towards him ''and his children'', his hands don't shake in the slightest.



* MostWritersAreAdults: The book has been accused of using the "cute precocious kid" device to get away with having six-/seven-/eight-year-old Scout know and think things she really probably wouldn't, no matter how smart she was and how much Atticus told her about practicing law. And then there's Dill's philosophizing; you could argue that he's not really supposed to understand the full reach of some of the things he says, but a lot of the time he just sounds a little too knowing. On the other hand, Scout is supposed to be recalling the plot rather than describing it as it happens, so some at least of the precociousness can be explained by her either "tidying up" what was said or thought through the lens of a rational adult, or simply wrongly attributing stuff in hindsight.



* ParentalIncest: Heavily implied when Mayella is explaining what really happened with Tom Robinson, she says she'd never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa did to her "don't count".
** That line was cut from the film for obvious reasons, but Mayella's actress Colin Wilcox-Paxton said she communicated the incestuous relationship through her body language and facial expressions. She revealed in the documentary that comes with the deluxe DVD set, that she was acutely aware that Mayella's experience was real. "I saw these girls on the streets of violence, these very underprivileged girls. These girls from awful, awful backgrounds. I mean, most of them took it for granted they'd be molested by the time they were... certainly 12, by a father, an uncle, a brother — or someone down the road."

to:

* ParentalIncest: Heavily implied when Mayella is explaining what really happened with Tom Robinson, she says she'd never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa did to her "don't count".
**
count". That line was cut from the film for obvious reasons, but Mayella's actress Colin Wilcox-Paxton said she communicated the incestuous relationship through her body language and facial expressions. She revealed in the documentary that comes with the deluxe DVD set, that she was acutely aware that Mayella's experience was real. "I saw these girls on the streets of violence, these very underprivileged girls. These girls from awful, awful backgrounds. I mean, most of them took it for granted they'd be molested by the time they were... certainly 12, by a father, an uncle, a brother — or someone down the road."



* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Atticus asks Scout not to say "nigger" because "it's common," meaning this.



* RealLifeWritesThePlot: [[spoiler:Believe it or not, ''Go Set a Watchman'', the first full-length novel written by Harper Lee (which wasn't published until 2015), portrayed Atticus as a bigot. His retroactive change between then and this novel can be attributed to the evolving views of Lee's own father, Amasa.]]

to:

* RealLifeWritesThePlot: [[spoiler:Believe Believe it or not, ''Go Set a Watchman'', the first full-length novel written by Harper Lee (which wasn't published until 2015), portrayed Atticus as a bigot. His retroactive change between then and this novel can be attributed to the evolving views of Lee's own father, Amasa.]]



* SesquipedalianSmith: Atticus Finch.



** That's more of him being an ActualPacifist until it is necessary to [[ShootTheDog put down a rabid dog]]. His real display of courage comes when he defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in a DeepSouth town in the 1930s. Doing this leaves him alienated from many of his peers, and he later has to face down a lynch mob (who included some of his friends,) to protect his client and gets publicly spat on by his opponent (who he then refuses to fight). He knew all of this would happen, and he took the job anyway. There is a reason why this pacifistic, soft-spoken lawyer beat Franchise/IndianaJones to first place on the American Film Institute's list of heroes.



* SuddenlyVoiced: Boo Radley spoke only one, barely audible line at the conclusion of the novel: "Will you take me home?" (This is due to years of social isolation and crippling shyness rather than inability to talk.) In the film version, however, Robert Duvall plays the character as completely silent.



* TallPoppySyndrome: Atticus complains that "All men are equal" has led to schoolteachers who promote all students instead of holding back underachievers.



* TurnTheOtherCheek: Atticus ''tries'' this on Bob Ewell. Since Bob is a blatant monster, [[spoiler:[[RevengeByProxy it backfires.]]]]

to:

* TurnTheOtherCheek: Atticus ''tries'' this on Bob Ewell. Since Bob is a blatant monster, [[spoiler:[[RevengeByProxy it backfires.]]]]



* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Gosh, whenever Scout or Jem say anything at or near the end of a chapter, it's one of these. Often, it's really hard-hitting too.
1st Feb '17 2:44:47 PM CumbersomeTercel
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* ArchEnemy: Bob Ewell to Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson.



* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:In the film, Tom Robinson is shot and killed by police on the night of his conviction. In the novel, he dies while trying to escape from prison several months later]].



* DisproportionateRetribution: [[spoiler:When Atticus Finch embarrasses Bob Ewell at the trial, Bob Ewell takes revenge by trying to murder Atticus's children]].



* LowerClassLout: The Ewells.

to:

* LittleGirlsKickShins: Subverted. Scout tries to do this. In the book she's surprised to see her victim fall back in real pain — "I had meant to kick his shin, but aimed too high."
* LonersAreFreaks: Boo Radley is seen as this by the rest of the town. He is a kind and caring, if not shy person who just happens to have been a recluse.
* LowerClassLout: The Ewells. Filthy in both hygiene and morals, they live in an extension of the town dump, put only the barest amount of effort in, and treat everybody like garbage.
* LudicrousPrecision: When asked by the judge during Tom Robinson's trial, Mayella Ewell gives her age as "nineteen-and-a-half." The fact that a nineteen-year-old still thinks of her age in halves serves to show that she doesn't get out as much as she should.



* {{Mammy}}: Possibly Calpurnia.



* MartialPacifist: Atticus. His children's hot tempers and constant scrapping are an aggravation to him, and he has no interest in having his honour defended. He believes in the law, and his courtroom manner is polite and gracious even to opposing witnesses who are clearly hostile towards him. Also, he can kill a charging rabid dog with one shot right between the eyes (maybe a little to the right) because the sheriff doesn't think he can make the shot at that distance. Note that this means that with a mad dog charging towards him ''and his children'', his hands don't shake in the slightest.



* MisplacedKindergartenTeacher: Miss Caroline manages to be this even though she is teaching very young kids. The problem is that most of them are the children of farmers and have done manual labor pretty much since they could walk, so they're not really interested in the story of Mrs. Cat and her kittens. She gets a nasty shock when she meets one of the Ewells, a family who traditionally show up for the first day of school to satisfy the truant officer and hardly set foot in town the rest of the year. She tries to apply basic school rules to the kid and ends up getting "slut" screamed at her.



* MostWritersAreAdults: The book has been accused of using the "cute precocious kid" device to get away with having six-/seven-/eight-year-old Scout know and think things she really probably wouldn't, no matter how smart she was and how much Atticus told her about practicing law. And then there's Dill's philosophizing; you could argue that he's not really supposed to understand the full reach of some of the things he says, but a lot of the time he just sounds a little too knowing. On the other hand, Scout is supposed to be recalling the plot rather than describing it as it happens, so some at least of the precociousness can be explained by her either "tidying up" what was said or thought through the lens of a rational adult, or simply wrongly attributing stuff in hindsight.
* MrExposition: Scout takes on this role. Even her brother Jem is more a part of the plot than she is.



* MysteriousMiddleInitial: Bob Ewell is named after the famous Southern general Robert E. Lee. Whilst Lee's middle name was Edward, Ewell's full name is actually "Robert E. Lee Ewell".
* NaiveNewcomer: Dill is a way to introduce to the reader the secrets and history of a self-contained and private community and family.



* NoMedicationForMe: Beautifully inverted. When Mrs. Dubose, an elderly neighbor, calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," Jem destroys some of her flowers as a result, and as punishment, Atticus makes the boy read aloud to her every day for a month. After the punishment ends and Mrs. Dubose passes away, Atticus reveals that not only was Mrs. Dubose dying of a terminal illness, but she had become addicted to morphine to relieve the pain. She was so determined to die as herself that she stopped taking the medicine; the horrible withdrawal symptoms were only eased by Jem reading to and distracting her. Atticus says that to deny the morphine and die painfully, but clear of mind, is the bravest thing he has ever known.



* NosyNeighbour: As far as Stephanie Crawford is concerned, she absolutely must know everything.



* NotQuiteTheRightThing: Directly invoked. [[spoiler:After Boo Radley kills a drunken, murderous Bob Ewell in defense of Atticus's children, Atticus is all set to get the authorities involved and begin processing the matter by-the-book. The local sheriff, however, warns him that it's an open-and-shut case of self defense, Bob Ewell is widely known and hated, and Boo Radley's extreme social phobias would make the resulting trial absolute hell for him, however pure and innocent Atticus's intentions might be. The sheriff therefore 'officially concludes' that Bob Ewell got drunk, slipped, and fell on his own knife]].



* ObjectTrackingShot: The camera pans around the childrens' box of gifts from Boo Radley in the opening credits.



* OneLetterName: X Billups. Most people didn't believe that was his full name until he was asked to spell it during a court case.
* OneOfTheBoys: Scout's real name is Jean Louise but she prefers the nickname "Scout", she plays with boys, hates dresses and considers "you act like a girl" an insult.



* OutOfGenreExperience:
** The genre of the novel is probably best described as "coming of age". In the middle of it is a courtroom drama. There are some other crime elements scattered throughout, but it would be misleading to describe it as a crime or law novel.
** The film has a higher focus on the courtroom scene and won the award "Best Courtroom Drama" from the American Film Institute. And [[ShownTheirWork the American Bar Association]].
* OverprotectiveDad: The description of Finch's Landing mentions that its original owner designed the upstairs so that the son's bedroom would be accessible by one staircase, and the daughters' bedrooms only by another... which took you directly through the parents' room.
* ParentalIncest: Heavily implied when Mayella is explaining what really happened with Tom Robinson, she says she'd never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa did to her "don't count".
** That line was cut from the film for obvious reasons, but Mayella's actress Colin Wilcox-Paxton said she communicated the incestuous relationship through her body language and facial expressions. She revealed in the documentary that comes with the deluxe DVD set, that she was acutely aware that Mayella's experience was real. "I saw these girls on the streets of violence, these very underprivileged girls. These girls from awful, awful backgrounds. I mean, most of them took it for granted they'd be molested by the time they were... certainly 12, by a father, an uncle, a brother — or someone down the road."



* PickOnSomeoneYourOwnSize:
** Mrs. Dubose.
** [[spoiler:Bob Ewell attacking Scout]].
* ThePigPen: Burris Ewell.



* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad: Atticus asks Scout not to say "nigger" because "it's common," meaning this.



* ProtectedByAChild: When an angry lynch mob shows up to kill Tom Robinson in the middle of night, Atticus is waiting for them so he can try to argue some sense, but he fails and they threaten to go through him if he won't step aside. Fortunately, Scout snuck out and followed him that night. Her sudden appearance and apparent innocent lack of understanding of the situation (greeting the men warmly and asking about how their kids are doing since school ended for the summer) takes all the steam out of them and they are too ashamed to carry out their violent intentions. As Atticus puts it later, she reminded them they were (good) men and not a mob.
* PullTheThread: Atticus successfully pulls many threads in the Ewells' story of how Tom raped Mayella, particularly in the disparity of Mayella's bruise and Tom's handicap [[spoiler: but the all-white jury ends up finding him guilty anyway.]]



* PuppyLove: Scout and Dill—although it's rather ambiguous if they acutely have crushes on each other, or are just claiming they do as part of acting grown up.



* RetiredBadass: Again, Atticus.

to:

* RetiredBadass: Again, Atticus. His children were unaware of his badass marksmanship, until a dangerous mad dog wanders into town and someone needs to be able to safely put it down.
* RetiredGunfighter: Atticus was an excellent shot, but hating killing things and wouldn't even touch a gun. He does have to use one to kill a rabid dog, however.



* RomanAClef: The story is based on Harper Lee's childhood as well as the Scottsboro Trials.



* ScareDare: The Radley house is an iconic example.
* ScaryBlackMan: Tom Robinson is accused of this. Of course, it's wrong.
* ScaryMinoritySuspect: Tom Robinson. Although he is a very nice man who isn't scary in the least, and of course, is completely innocent. However, most of Maycomb assume he is a scary minority suspect who did rape Mayella because of the prevailing racist attitudes of the time.
* SchoolIsForLosers: Scout thinks school is utterly useless, and spends a while trying to convince her father to let her stay home, since he never went to a day of formal school as a kid and managed to become a lawyer anyway. In all fairness to her, her town's school system is pretty ridiculous — her first-grade teacher is annoyed that she already knows how to read and write, and tells her she needs to stop doing both until she reaches the appropriate grade level. Needless to say, she's not pleased, and tries a number of things to get out of going to school, including briefly becoming LadySwearsALot in the hope that her father won't make her go anymore once he finds out she learned it from other kids. (It doesn't work; if anything, he seems to find it slightly amusing.)
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior: Mrs. Dubose casts aspersions on the entire neighborhood, but Atticus tells his children to leave the poor, sick, old woman alone. Then again, that probably has more to do with his general decency than anything else. Well that and the fact that he had some admiration for her since [[spoiler: she was addicted to morphine and trying to quit before she died of the disease she had. Dying slowly and very painfully instead of easily without pain if she had just stayed on it. That takes guts]].
* SesquipedalianSmith: Atticus Finch.



* ShootTheDog : A literal example with Atticus Finch and Tim Johnson

to:

* ShootTheDog : ShearMenace: Boo Radley is said to have nonchalantly stabbed his father in the leg with scissors while clipping articles from a newspaper, followed by wiping the blood off on his pants, and continuing to clip the newspaper.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Subverted. When Mayella arrives at the trial, her poverty does not allow her to dress up nicely, but it's clear she's taken care to wash and groom herself the best she can. This is in contrast to her father, who looks like someone took a scrub brush to him. In the film version, she wears a shabby dress and bow in her hair, and the effect is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44TG_H_oY2E quite sad]]. During an interview on the DVD extras, the actress states that wardrobe wanted her wear high heels. She said she would, if she could wear socks. When wardrobe told her no one wears socks with high heels, she told them "They do where I come from."
* ShootTheDog:
A literal example with Atticus Finch and Tim Johnson



* SkinnyDipping: Implied. Jem won't take Scout to a pond with him and Dill, because they prefer to skinny-dip.



* SnowedIn: The kids get the day off from school because of a light snowfall, a rarity in Alabama.
* TheSoCalledCoward: Atticus refuses to teach his children to shoot, leaving that to Uncle Jack. Turns out he's a pretty good shot himself.
** That's more of him being an ActualPacifist until it is necessary to [[ShootTheDog put down a rabid dog]]. His real display of courage comes when he defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in a DeepSouth town in the 1930s. Doing this leaves him alienated from many of his peers, and he later has to face down a lynch mob (who included some of his friends,) to protect his client and gets publicly spat on by his opponent (who he then refuses to fight). He knew all of this would happen, and he took the job anyway. There is a reason why this pacifistic, soft-spoken lawyer beat Franchise/IndianaJones to first place on the American Film Institute's list of heroes.
* SouthernFriedGenius / SouthernGentleman: Atticus Finch, though he certainly doesn't exhibit any real southern stereotypes, at least no negative stereotypes. He's sort of the genteel southern elite, an erudite, upper class Southern gentleman. Fortunately for his children and his client, he also displays an educated, liberal tolerance and gentility as well. He ''is'' a crack shot with a rifle, though he tries to keep that fact away from his children.
* SouthernGothic: The story has elements of this, as well as being set in the DeepSouth.
* SpitShake: The teacher Miss Caroline asks Scout to hold out her hand (intending to hit her with a ruler as punishment), and Scout wonders to herself "what bargain [they] had made" as she thought "she was going to spit in it, which was the only reason anybody in Maycomb held out his hand: it was a time-honored method of sealing oral contracts". Is referenced again in the following chapter during a scene with her father, Atticus.
* SpitefulSpit: Bob Ewell spits on Atticus when the lawyer decides that he will defend Tom Robinson in court.



* StripPoker: Referenced when Atticus demands to know why Jem isn't wearing pants (after he loses them while sneaking around the Radley property), Dill lies and says he won them off him in a game of strip poker and accidentally left them there.
* SuddenlyVoiced: Boo Radley spoke only one, barely audible line at the conclusion of the novel: "Will you take me home?" (This is due to years of social isolation and crippling shyness rather than inability to talk.) In the film version, however, Robert Duvall plays the character as completely silent.
* SupportingProtagonist: Scout. Most people agree that the true hero of the story is her father, Atticus.
* SweetHomeAlabama: The story takes a nuanced view. The central plot (and title) of the book centers precisely around racism and the less-savory aspects of Southern society, but many characters in the book are perfectly sympathetic, kindly folk.



* TallPoppySyndrome: Atticus complains that "All men are equal" has led to schoolteachers who promote all students instead of holding back underachievers.



* ThereIsNoHigherCourt: DoubleSubverted. Atticus Finch was going to appeal Tom's case, but [[spoiler:Tom was shot to death, [[TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch allegedly for trying to escape]].]]
* TheyreCalledPersonalIssuesForAReason: The sheriff makes the case for this on Boo Radley's behalf, arguing against making a heroic deed of his known to the rest of the town on the basis that he really does just want to be left alone and would not appreciate even exposure to public praise. Everyone else concedes the wisdom of this, and the exact nature of his DarkAndTroubledPast is never made clear, which suggests this is the author's opinion as well.



* TomboyishName: Scout, which is her nickname — her full name is Jean Louise Finch. Needless to say, you only find that out in scenes where her aunt is trying to put her in dresses or other "formal" settings are happening.



* TurnTheOtherCheek: Atticus ''tries'' this on Bob Ewell. Since Bob is a blatant monster, [[spoiler: [[RevengeByProxy it backfires.]] ]]

to:

* TurnTheOtherCheek: Atticus ''tries'' this on Bob Ewell. Since Bob is a blatant monster, [[spoiler: [[RevengeByProxy [[spoiler:[[RevengeByProxy it backfires.]] ]]]]]]



* UnwillinglyGirlyTomboy: Scout is more or less a tomboy, but has to wear a dress for her first day of school thanks to her Aunt Alexandra, and seems mildly embarrassed about it.
* UrineTrouble: One of the characters urinated off his front porch. This is not shown in the film adaptation (thankfully).



* WackyAmericansHaveWackyNames: Several examples, with the prize going to X Billups, who has no given name other than X.



* WeatherReportNarration: A few paragraphs in you have, "Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square."



* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Gosh, whenever Scout or Jem say anything at or near the end of a chapter, it's one of these. Often, it's really hard-hitting too.




to:

* WoundedGazelleGambit: Subverted. Mayella claims she was raped when, in fact, it was the opposite, in order to get rid of her guilt about kissing a black man.
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