To Kill a Mockingbird "Point of View" Assignment by Joey Merkel

Entry 1: Mayella's Testimony

Perspective: Mayella Ewell

I ain't ever asked for none of this. All I ever wanted was a man to treat me right, and I'm sick of my Pa. He'd come out here, drag me into this fancy room with these fancy men with their fancy words. I've about had enough of it. I guess I shouldn't have done what I did, but believe me- I ain't done nothin' wrong. Of course the folks is gonna all believe me and put Tom away. And I know Pa told me I'm gonna have to stand my ground if he wants me an' my family to be okay. But this ain't right, and I wish it was Pa on the stand right now, and not Tom. He never did nothin' but kiss me and he's gettin' death for it? I wish they all knew what Pa does. An' if they do, I wish they gave one lick 'bout it.

Entry 2: Tom's Testimony

Perspective: Tom Robinson

I swear all I ever did was do what that white girl ever asked me to do. Here I am now sittin' up here getting asked by Mr. Finch all these questions. I know he a smart man and he can try to get me out from death as much as he wants to.But we both know what this town does to any filth like me. I don't even have a left hand and they gonna tell me I raped and beat a strong girl. In their eyes, I'm just another meal for them to chew up and spit out. I know I'm just part of a routine-- us black folk are seen as nothin' more than obstacles to further the safety of white people. An' I've said it before an' I'll say it again-- I ain't done nothin' wrong, and if even a man as Mr. Finch can't tell 'em that, maybe I don't even want to live in this place anymore.

Entry 3: Tom's Death

Perspective: Atticus Finch

Well it certainly is a wretched day indeed. After all the work I put into making this society a better place, it has come to a very succinct halt with the death of Tom Robinson. While I did attempt to instill a fragment of hope inside of him, it was inevitable that his human nature would kick in-- he would become afraid, apprehensive to continue on this path. And while I cannon necessarily blame him for that, it does make this process ever so complicated. How do I proceed in teaching Jem and Scout to try to make the world a better place when it is so cruel to the ones who do so? Tom Robinson was savagely shot seventeen times after being unanimously put in prison for a crime he so clearly did not commit. How do I teach children to persevere in the face of this? I fear they will grow up only in spite of the world without a helping hand if I do not guide them through this situation. I will fail as a father if these event make me any less hopeful for humanity in the endless years to come.

Entry 4: Scout and Boo's Friendship

Perspective: Boo Radley

So I guess this is what it is like to feel for another person. Never engaging in society leaves for an awful lot of missing out, but I can't believe I would ever have missed something so special. I really do feel close to Scout Finch, oddly enough. I just remember being outside and seeing that drunk bastard Ewell attempting something on those kids, and needed to act for her sake. I can't believe he would have the guts to do such a thing to someone so young. Well, I guess he doesn't have guts anymore, really. I'm glad I'm here now, on my porch, with my little girl, and she is finally starting to see things for herself. I hope she understands why I choose the life I live. I hope she understands that this physical friendship cannot last, but I also hope she understands I will never stop caring about her.

Reflection

From this assignment, I learned how to really get into a fictional character's mind with just a little bit of context and some dialogue. It forced me to be inside of characters' minds that weren't explored in the novel, and it gave me even a better understanding of the novel itself. I believe Mr. Crooke's purpose with this assignment was to demonstrate the importance of perspective, as Atticus taught his children. I think I got out of this assignment exactly what I was supposed to because I see the events in a different light, now having thought about it from another character's mind. It was a little challenging to master how a character would think, converting quotes into full-fleshed soliloquies, but it was interesting to experiment with different styles across a variety of differing personalities. Boo Radley was probably the hardest to make a thought out of because of his reclusive and dialogue-free nature, but I feel as though I captured his feelings well.

Created By
Joey Merkel
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