How Did Jem Break His Arm – Jeff O’Neill CEO and Founder Jeff O’Neill is the Executive Editor of Book Riot and Panels. He is also the host of the Book Riot podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal. View all posts by Jeff O’Neill
This post is part of our Harper Lee Reading Day: one of the most amazing literary events of our lifetime, the release of her new book,
How Did Jem Break His Arm
This is followed by a lengthy discussion and analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird. This is one of the most famous first lines in American literature, not only because of To Kill a Mockingbird, but because the sentence embodies the deceptive simplicity of the novel. For my part, I think that close reading is a function of opening doors to thinking, not something that is meant to arrive at any precise reading. This is my favorite part. Anyway, let’s see.
The Mcu Dilemma
My usual tactic when reading revelations carefully is to know nothing else about the book. To kill a mockingbird is more complicated than usual, mostly unnecessary and counterproductive given the sentence itself.
But it is not helpful to look at the sentence as if you did not know the rest of the book; this is only part of the story. But this is only the first part of the story. Great opening lines do three things to direct the reader: provide information, set the tone, and show perspective. Here, Lee makes all three almost unheard of. With only 16 words we learn a little and feel a little more.
Broken arms are not a common injury for children, but we can understand that this is more than just a fall from a bicycle or an injury from a game of putty. This is the passive voice: “his arm was broken.” We know that, as if we didn’t know, a normal casual break construction would be something like “Uncle Jim broke his arm very badly.” Even in accidents, we place the agency of the injury on the injured party, perhaps because it was a combination of gravity and a solid object that broke it, but the injured party’s carelessness caused it. Not so here.
No, we know someone broke Jem’s arm. And hiding the identity of the hand switch makes the injury worse.
To Kill A Mockingbird Crossword
Here we learn three more pieces of information: Jem’s name, his age, and that he is the narrator’s brother. Let’s put them in order. First of all, Lee is no good with names. Atticus, Bo, Boy Scout, Jam. Surprising, memorable, but not so much special as to be completely alien. Second, what about “almost thirteen”? Why not just twelve? Perhaps the scout, who we know nothing about at this point, has a granular view of the boy, almost as young as he is.
But we’re going through a narrative past here and I think we only know about a dozen words because it’s a story of memory. Age makes sense to me. Thirteen. Prime number. Sexuality is not only about maturity, but is itself a limited number between the numbers one through twelve and the standardized name of thirteen. So “almost thirteen” is a transition into a transition. Jem wants to be on the couch. “Almost Thirteen” is the break between childhood and adolescence, and Jem’s age is stronger than most. After breaking his arm, his thirteenth birthday marks his recovery on his thirteenth birthday, and Jem’s thirteenth birthday serves as a dividing line between the events of To Kill a Mockingbird and the Finches’ later life.
It even acts as a transition within the sentence itself, from the independent clause “When Uncle Jem and I were thirteen” to “Uncle Jem broke his arm very badly.” Thirteen to Kill a Mockingbird is so deep that I think Thirteen to Kill a Mockingbird is the best period novel to read. . )
Here I will switch for a moment to an analytical perspective that knows the rest of the story, and thus the breaking of Jem’s arm is the climax of the novel. Although the courtroom scene is perhaps the most famous moment, it is not the central event for the Finch family. This is repeated. To Kill a Mockingbird is not a Tom Robinson story: it is a Finches story, in which Robinson’s trial and conviction is the haunting event, and Bob Ewell’s attack and subsequent death is the interlude. The importance of how the story ends is shown here at the beginning. It is the Finch family’s trauma, not racism or social consciousness, that makes the story. It can be hard to see through the fog of Lee’s legacy, the book’s placement in English classrooms, Gregory Peck’s white suit, and the industry of Mockingbird to Congratulations. But it is from the first word.
Harper Lee Quote: “when He Was Nearly Thirteen, My Brother Jem Got His Arm Badly Broken
In fact, we don’t even know, and Lee makes unusual choices without telling us that anything he tells us is important. The second sentence even suggests that the break does not last long for Jem, and the task of recalling the events of the novel falls solely on Scout, and her position as a witness and reporter, a “scout”, seems to be set. with the first word, one of the six key words of journalism: “when”.
1. Two adjectives here: almost and bad. Maybe it could go wrong, but as I argued above, it’s almost impossible. Keep this in mind the next time you read writing tips that separate adverbs from style convention.
2. I always forget about Jem when I think about To Kill a Mockingbird. Why is this? Or to put it another way, why does Lee choose to break Jem’s arm instead of Scout? Why didn’t Jem die? For Bo Radley to be recognized as something other than a ghost? All of this is beyond the scope of a detailed reading of these lines, but one of my favorite effects of close reading is that they make me think about elements of the work that I hadn’t considered before.
3. Would it be too interesting to think that even choosing an elbow makes sense? A broken ankle is worse, though not as bad as a broken leg or knee, right? Maybe, contrary to Tom’s or the mobile violence viewer’s belief, a broken elbow feels pretty good. While this may seem innocent, Lee is here to introduce us to the story, slowly and surely, of how he was conned. We are dealing with a story of violence, but it comes so little that we walk in without noticing it. Like all good storytellers, Lee knows he has to take his time. Perhaps what surprised me the most was the thought of his style here. It’s amazing. Unlike most people with interesting stories, Lee is, in his own right, very happy. To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 – Maycomb. Summary In this chapter, the narrator, Jean Louise Finch (Scout), remembers the summer that broke Jem’s brother.
Chapter 1 Highlights Scout Begins The Chapter Discussing Jem’s Broken Arm And The Events Leading Up To It. Dill Comes To Maycomb And After Playing Together.
Presentation on theme: “To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 – Maycomb. Synopsis In this chapter, narrator Jean Louise Finch (Scout) remembers her brother Jem’s summer. – Transcript of the presentation:
2 Contents In this chapter, the narrator, Jean Louise Finch (Scout), recalls the summer when Uncle Jem broke his arm and the events leading up to that time. He remembers the story of Simon Finch, a fur coat apothecary of the Finch family. It depicts the town of Maycomb, Alabama and the lifestyle of its residents. Scout takes us back to Summer, when she meets Deal, the nephew of Finch’s neighbor Rachel Haverford. After hearing about the legend of Bo Radley, Dill becomes fascinated with this mysterious man and spends his time around the Radley place. Dill dares Jem to touch Radley’s house and Jem reluctantly complies. Jem claps, puts his palm on the house and goes home. Look at the house and see a slight movement in the window blinds.
3 Summary In this chapter, the narrator Jean Louise Finch (Scout) remembers the summer when her brother Jem broke his arm and the events leading up to that time. He is
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