To Kill A Mockingbird, An Episodic Novel Essay, Research Paper
An Episodic Novel
Harper Lee?s, To Kill A Mockingbird is clearly a bildungs roman. Bildungs roman is defined as, the development of the protagonist?s mind and character, as the character passes through childhood into adulthood. Harper Lee enriches and builds her novel by using an episodic format. She teaches Scout and Jem lessons by giving them out in little sub stories. In chapter ten, the lesson of Tim Johnson, Scout and Jem see that some people have unspoken talents. The lessons are contained within these little sub stories. The episodes are enclosed within one or two chapters. In To Kill A Mockingbird, these episodes could be lifted out of the novel and stand alone as a short story.
In the beginning of chapter ten, the lesson of Tim Johnson Scout and Jem are ashamed of their father Atticus.
?Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty. When Jem and I ask him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, ?My father-? . . .
Our father didn’t do anything. He worked in an office, not in a drugstore. Atticus didn?t drive a dump-truck for the county, he was not the sheriff, he did not farm, work in a garage, or do anything that could possibly arouse the admiration of anyone” (89).
Scout and Jem are ashamed of Atticus because he is older than the other parents. They wish that they could have a normal dad, who could play football for the Methodists, or drive truck. Scout and Jem fail to see that Atticus is a well-respected individual among his peers. Another example of Atticus not fulfilling the norm is; ?He did not do any of the things our schoolmates? fathers did: He never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke. He sat in the living room and read ? (89). Scout and Jem have a fixed image of what a father should be. They think that Atticus is useless. Scout and Jem are disappointed that their father is not an average father who could do these things.
In the middle of this episode Scout and Jem find out that Atticus can do more than they thought. They learn a lesson in humility because of it.
? ? Take him, Mr. Finch ? Mr. Tate handed the rifle to Atticus; Jem and I nearly fainted.
? Don?t waste time, Heck,? said Atticus. ?Go on.?
?Mr. Finch this is a one shot job.?
Atticus shook his head vehemently: ? Don?t just stand their, Heck he won?t wait there all day for you-?
? For gods sake, Mr. Finch, look where he is! Miss and you?ll go straight into the Radley house! I can?t shoot that well and you know that.
? I haven?t shot a gun in thirty years-? . . .
In front of the Radley gate, Tim Johnson hade made up what was left of his mind. He made two steps forward, stoped, raised his head. We saw his body go rigged. The rifle cracked, Tim Johnson leaped and crumpled on the sidewalk . . ..
? Forgot to tell you the other day that besides playing the Jew?s harp, Atticus was the deadest shot in Macomb county in his time ? (96-98).
Scout and Jem learn that People have hidden talents that they don?t want people to know about. Atticus thinks that if you have a god given talent you should not brag about it. Scout and Jem were under the impression that Atticus could not do anything, but in fact Atticus just didn?t brag about it. ?If your father is anything, he?s civilized in his heart. Marksmanship is a gift from god, a talent-oh, you have too practice to make it perfect, but shootin’s is different than playing the piano or the like I think maby he put his gun down when he realized he had an unfair advantage over most living things ? (98).
Scout and Jem are amazed that Atticus would not tell them that he was the deadest shot in Macomb County. They didn?t understand that when you have a talent like that you should not brag about it. Atticus is not proud about his talent.
Harper Lee?s, To Kill A Mockingbird is clearly a novel that uses an episodic format. . In To Kill A Mockingbird, these episodes could be lifted out of the novel and stand alone as a short story. She teaches Scout and Jem lessons by giving them out in little sub stories. The lessons are contained within these little sub stories. In To Kill A Mockingbird, these episodes could be lifted out of the novel and stand alone as a short story