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To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries (Twayne's Masterwork Studies Series) (No 139) Hardcover – April 13, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries (Twayne's Masterwork Studies Series) (No 139)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell, Atticus and Scout Finch - these are the unforgettable characters that populate To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Harper Lee's haunting account of a mysterious recluse, a black man accused of raping a white woman, the courageous attorney who defends him, the attorney's son who is traumatized by the trial, and his six-year-old daughter, who narrates the story. An extraordinary indictment of racism in the American South during the 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird has sold some 15 million copies, been translated into 10 languages, won a Pulitzer Prize in literature along with dozens of other honors, and been adapted into an Oscar-winning film and a timelessly popular stage play. And yet, for all the novel's distinctions - and, more important, relevance for contemporary readers - until now no book-length critical study has been devoted to it. Enter Claudia Durst Johnson's To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries, offering not only a corrective but a winningly lucid and enlightening analysis of this great American classic. Drawing on extensive research, Johnson furnishes readers with key insights into the novel's historical and biographical contexts, its place in American literature, and its critical reception. She then presents a five-part reading of Mockingbird, underscoring the novel's form and elucidating its pertinence for American society today. Special attention is paid to linking the novel's 1930s setting with the concomitant Scottsboro incident and connecting Mockingbird's writing in the 1950s with the concurrent events of the civil rights movement. An in-depth examination that pays tribute as it informs, To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries holdsstrong appeal for students, scholars, and general readers. Included in the volume are a Chronology, Notes, Selected Bibliography, and Index.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Twayne Publishers (April 13, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805780688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805780680
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on May 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
A very scholarly review of one of my favorite books. Ms. Johnson points out similarities between events surrounding the trial of Tom Robinson in the book TKM and real life events surrounding the infamous trial of the "Scottsboro Incident", where several black youths were wrongfully accused, tried and convicted of raping a white woman in the South. Thus, pointing out how Lee's environment influenced her writing. It includes a chronology of key events in Lee's life and details about her relationship with Truman Capote. Ms. Johnson also gives a very indepth explanation of Gothicism in literature and how she comes to claim that TKM is a Gothic book, wherein the issues of boundaries are discussed. She points out a number of very interesting behaviors of the characters in TKM and also some similarities between the characters. Interestingly she points out how Atticus is Christlike. Overall a very insightful and scholarly review that will add to your enjoyment of the book TKM.
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Format: Hardcover
Claudia Durst Johnson points out that despite the popularity of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," it has not really been the subject of serious academic study. In fact, you are more likely to find it being analyzed in law journals rather than literary magazines. Johnson is out to rectify this problem in this look at the novel in terms of "Threatening Boundaries."
The first part of this book looks at the literary and historical context of the novel in three chapters: (1) Racial Climate in the Deep South focuses on both racial tension during the Depression, which is both the setting of the novel and the time of the trials of the Scottsboro case as well as in the mid-century, when Lee was writing the novel and the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum; (2) The Importance of "To Kill a Mockingbird" talks about not only the way the novel has resonated with readers but the attempts to censor it in school libraries and the controversy in the legal community over Atticus Finch's defense of Tom Robinson; and (3) The Critical and Popular Reception of "To Kill a Mockingbird" looks at both the newspaper and magazine reviews as well as the published legal criticism. These entire section provides an excellent background to Lee's novel, not only for better understanding its social origins but its place in American culture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must-have for serious students of the book. Offers insights, as well as connecting themes. I treasure my copy.
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By D. George on September 18, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A literary review that provides a different perspective on a classic book.
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Format: Hardcover
its a really well written book exploring the diversity, and aspects of human nature-- racism plays an important role, also, the ways of court systems "back in the days", dealing with rape charges against a coloured man. Fear takes over the children, they're not afraid of Radley's place, but have a fear of fear within. very well written! i recommend this book to anyone who's looking for something different!
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To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries (Twayne's Masterwork Studies Series) (No 139)
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