To Kill a Mockingbird - Character Analysis

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Jessica Stimson

Year 11 English

Individual Spoken

To Kill a Mockingbird

Good morning/afternoon everyone. I am Mrs Henry Lafayette Dubose. Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the author has created me as an old, ill, widowed woman who suffered an addiction to morphine which brought on my abusive behaviour. I have been portrayed by Lee as a character analogous to the 1930s in the state of Alabama. To an extent I held certain attitudes, ideas and lived a life, typical to the society of what the Deep South of America was then, although Lee has also expressed some values of mine that were not common to the values of society through my actions in the text.

In chapter 11, Lee has shown that I hold a stubborn prejudice against Atticus Finch and his family through my quarrelling with Jeremy Finch and his sister. On page 113 I shrieked to Jeremy, “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!” Through this, it is evident that I held racist beliefs against black people and therefore a prejudice against Atticus Finch as he was Tom Robinson’s defendant. As Mrs Dubose, I have been portrayed as an elderly woman who has been around the town of Maycomb for many years and has grown up with these racist and prejudice beliefs throughout my life, as Atticus described me saying, “She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine…” and so these values were deep-rooted into my character. Because I followed the values that society held in these examples, it is evident that I have been created appropriately to an extent according to the context of the novel.

Although I have been exploited as an elderly woman racist towards black people, Lee has portrayed the relationship between me and Jessie, my employed nigger, as quite an equal and formal bond. This is evident as throughout my presence in the novel I always refer to black people as niggers but I always address Jessie by her name. My...
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