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Preparing for your literature exam: How to study the characters’ in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

by mickey.geldenhuys

In your literature exam you will need to answer a contextual question. You will be given an extract from the novel and will need to answer questions based on that extract. Some answers will be found in the extract but other questions will test your understanding of other parts of the novel, for example, you may need to state the similarities or differences between two characters.
Therefore it is important to study the characters in the novel you are reading. Look how the author reveals characters’ personalities and describes their thoughts, feelings, expressions and actions. This is called characterisation.
As you read the novel, look for evidence that shows the characters’ personalities and emotions, and how they change during the story.
Create a table like the one below and as you read and study the novel, complete it by providing evidence that demonstrates the character of that person. Evidence could include either a quotation or a reference to an incident. Don’t forget to also make a note of the chapter in which these traits are revealed to you.
We have given you some characteristics of Atticus Finch, Jem and Scout’s father. We have also told you in which chapter you will find the evidence for that particular trait.
Why don’t you complete the evidence column with a quotation or incident that you feel portrays that characteristic? 

Character: Atticus Finch
Atticus is the father of Jem and Scout. His character is revealed through the eyes of his daughter, Scout.
Chapter Characteristics Evidence
5 Firm, strict  
6 Commands respect  
8 Wise parent  
10 A good man, modesty, integrity  
15 & 16 Faulty belief in the goodness of man  
18 Respects all people  
23 Calmness, restraint, misjudges human nature  
26 All people should be loved  
30 Considerate, displays a conscience  
31 Free of prejudice, understands people  

Find more help in this great X-kit Achieve Literature Study Guide: X-kit Achieve Literature Series: To Kill a Mockingbird

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