You are expected to write a final draft that addresses the following prompt:
Your assignment is to write a passage analysis of a key coming-of-age scene from To Kill a Mockingbird. After annotating the text to analyze Harper Lee’s use of literary elements in your selected passage, write an essay explaining how the literary elements in this passage help develop a theme of the novel.
To be clear, there are many things you must do to be successful on this assignment. Primarily, you must:
- Choose and focus on the significance of a single passage
- Demonstrate how this passage develops a coming-of-age related theme
- Show how literary elements contributed to this theme (lit. elements might include: internal/external conflict, irony, plot/subplot, point of view, voice, imagery, syntax, character/characterization, setting, motif, symbol, diction, tone, foreshadowing...)
- Use evidence from the text: summarize, paraphrase, and quote! (Remember our Quoting Packet!)
- Connect your evidence and analysis to your thesis.
Be sure to:
- Bring in a completed, typed draft
- Review the rubric on page 282
- Look over the How I Would Do It post for this essay on Lydonteaches.com if you have any questions.
A final thought about theme and this essay. Your goal is not to simply say that the character is coming of age, but to show how they are coming of age. That means the theme is not necessarily only about coming-of-age. If your character is starting to think about any important, universal theme, then they are coming of age. So you can argue that Jem’s recognition that “prejudice is destructive to justice” is a key element of his coming of age. If the character is becoming aware of a universal theme, then they are coming of age.
****WARNING**** You are not writing an essay about how events show coming of age; you are writing an essay about how LITERARY ELEMENTS (conflict, character, setting, allusion, motif, symbol, juxtaposition, etc.) help develop a theme related to coming of age! You MUST focus on literary elements!!!
Goals are to demonstrate an understanding of a passage’s role in developing significant aspects of a text by selecting a passage where significant literary elements contribute to a character’s coming of age and analyze how the use of literary elements in that passage support thematic ideas core to the larger text.
Exemplary Work will demonstrate a strong understanding of the material covered, of how an author develops character based on their statements, behavior, and the relationships they have with those around them, and of how to carefully compose a response demonstrating this understanding with limited grammatical and mechanical error.