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English - Creative Portfolio ! To Kill A Mockingbird

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Clara Natajaya Na 

ENGLISH - CLARA

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Passage 1

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Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then; a black dog suffered on summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft tea-cakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.

! People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of the stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. (5-6) 


ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Passage 1

In passage 1, Harper Lee has created a negative dominant impression of the Maycomb town and the town’s people. This passage is written based on Scout’s view when she “first knew” Maycomb. This means that it is Scout’s recollection of her childhood when she grew up into an adult; wiser and more understanding of the events that happened. The descriptive detail creates an image of the Maycomb town in the readers mind and lets the reader relate and connect with Scout’s feelings about Maycomb. Harper Lee has emphasised on the slow pace and the heat, creating an image of a sleepy and “tired” town; as when the weather is hot in real life, people also get tired easily. The streets are also unpaved as it turns into a “red slop” when it rains, which also creates an image of a run-down town not really taken care of. This sets the mood of the passage as a quiet and dull town. There are also outdated elements in this passage like the dirt roads and the mule-driven Hoover carts, which might have referred to the poverty of the town, implying that the time period is during the Great Depression.

ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rewrite of Passage 1

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a peaceful old town. People moved slowly everywhere, they ambled across the square and took their sweet time about everything. There was no rush as everything was always available in town and there was nothing outside the boundaries of Maycomb County to see. A day felt There’s a high quality of life and life is so easeful here as people could relax at anytime in a calm and peaceful environment.

! In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the court-house in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars were still stiff at nine in the morning. Ladies bathed early in the morning, and only by nightfall were they like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum. The day felt longer than twentyfour hours, enabling us to do more things in just one day.

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ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Rewrite of Passage 1

In my rewrite of passage 1, I changed the dominant impression so that it is positive instead of negative. I did this by changing the tone of the passage. Instead of making the Maycomb town seem like a tired and sleepy town, I made it seem more of a town with good quality life as people can take their time in everything meaning more “peaceful”.

! I still kept the setting of the passage the same. Such as the mule driven Hover carts to still allow the reader’s to know what time this story took place and allows them to relate to the Great Depression.

! However, I changed how people lived their lives to change the dominant impression. Instead of saying that people taking their time was a bad thing, I said it was a good thing as it allows people to “relax” and have a “calm and peaceful environment”. This allows the readers to view things at different point of views.


ENGLISH - CLARA

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Passage 2

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He was still leaning against the wall. He had been leaning against the wall when I came into the room, his arms folded across his chest. As I pointed he brought his arms down and pressed the palms of his hands against the wall. They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem’s room. I looked from his hands to his sand-stained khaki pants; my eyes traveled up his thin frame to his torn denim shirt. His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his grey eyes were so colourless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin, almost feathery on top of his head.

When I pointed to him his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat

streaks on the wall, and he hooked his thumbs in his belt. A strange small spasm shook him, as if he heard fingernails scrape slate, but as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face. His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbour’s image blurred with my sudden tears. (297-298)


ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Passage 2

This passage is the real description of Boo Radley after saving Jem and Scout from Mr Ewell. Boo Radley in this passage is described as a sickly figure. This is because of his extremely pale, white skin which stands out when compared with the dull cream wall. When Harper Lee described Boo Radley’s white skin and his “grey eyes were so colourless”, it shows him and creates an image of him to be some sort of ghost. Harper Lee may have wanted to compare him with a ghost as no one pays attention to him in the society and he can’t share his opinions about events, just like how ghosts are invisible to us. Boo Radley is also described that his “cheeks were thin to hollowness”. This could mean that he has been abused by the father by creating an image of his poor physical appearance. For example, too skinny could mean he is poorly fed.

! Harper Lee also shows that Boo Radley doesn’t really know how to react to the people. This was when Scout pointed at him and “his palms slipped slightly, leaving greasy sweat streaks on the wall, and he hooked his thumbs in his belt”. This helps the readers connect to Boo Radley’s feelings as when we get nervous in real life we do similar things to him and this shows that Boo might have been nervous and slightly scared.

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ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rewrite of Passage 2

He was still leaning against the wall. He had been leaning against the wall when I came into the room. As I pointed he brought his arms down and his lips parted into a timid smiled. The smile was like sunshine bringing warmth to my heart and our neighbour’s image blurring with my sudden tears of joy. He finally came out and saved our lives. He’s our angel.

! I looked from his hands to his sand-stained khaki pants and up to his torn denim shirt. His skin was so white, it was as fair as snow. They were so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem’s room. His face was mildly chubby; his mouth was wide with big dimples on his cheeks when he smiles. His hair looked as soft as feather and laid so obediently on top of his head.

! He left greasy sweat stains on the wall, but it’s understandable. For all the things he has done for Jem and I, he was our saviour. He is our guardian angel.

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ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Rewrite of Passage 2

In my rewrite of passage 2, I wanted to change the dominant impression of Boo Radley’s sickly figure to more of an angelic figure. This is because I want to emphasise on the fact that he saved the children’s life making him an angel rather than Boo described as an abused child, unable to interact within the society.

! I did this by saying by describing his physical appearance as beautiful and handsome instead. I described his face as “mildly chubby” instead of “cheeks were thin to hollowness” as it creates a more angelic face. I also said that he has “dimples” as people often refer to it as adorable so I thought Boo Radley will be viewed as a nice person if his looks were more attractive. I described his hair as laying “obediently” which means that it is neat. This whole physical appearance makes him look more like an angel because of his handsomeness.

! However, I didn’t change the setting of this place and kept some words the same so that the time and place it happened is still the same, only how people view Boo Radley would have changed in my rewrite of passage 2.

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ENGLISH - CLARA

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Passage 3

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Jem said, “He goes out, all right, when it’s pitch dark. Miss Stephanie Crawford said she woke up in the middle of the night one time and saw him looking straight through the window at her… said his head was like a skull lookin’ at her. Ain’t you ever waked up at night and heard him, Dill? He walks like this -” Jem slid his feet through the gravel. “Why do you think Miss Rachel locks up so tight at night? I’ve seen his tracks in our back yard many a mornin’, and one night I heard him scratching on the back screen, but he was done time Atticus got there.”

“Wonder what he looks like?” said Dill.

Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time. (14)


ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Passage 3

This passage is when Jem gives the reader’s a reasonable description of Boo Radley (Arthur Radley). In this description, Boo is portrayed as an evil character who is very mysterious and dangerous. In the first paragraph of the passage, Harper Lee describes Boo Radley’s actions. He is described as a criminal that works at night as Jem said that he does come out when it’s “pitch black”. This means that its late at night and everyone must have been sleeping so they won’t know what happened, creating a mysterious feeling. Jem also described the way Boo walks as “slid his feet through the gravel”. This creates an image in the reader’s mind of a zombie creature as they can’t really walk and drags their feet.

! In the third paragraph of this passage, Harper Lee further describes Boo’s physical appearance. The phrase which said the “teeth he had were yellow and rotten… and he drooled most of the time” creates an image of Boo as an inhumane character, described more like an animal than a human being. This creates a sense of fear to the reader as the children are living near to this character who may strike at any time secretly, but are still messing about with Boo by trying to make him come out of the house. It also creates a sense of thrill when the children makes up stories of Boo to amuse themselves. Boo Radley in this passage was described as a murderer before his true character was shown later on in the novel, creating a twist in his character.

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ENGLISH - CLARA

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Passage 4

! Maycomb’s Ewells lived behind the town garbage dump in what was once a Negro cabin. The cabin’s plank walls were supplemented with sheets of corrugated iron, its roof shingled with tin cans hammered flat, so only its general shape suggested its original design: square, with four tiny rooms opening on to a shotgun hall, the cabin rested uneasily upon four irregular lumps of limestone. Its windows were merely open spaces in the walls, which in the summertime were covered with greasy strips of cheese cloth to keep to the varmints that feasted on Maycomb’s refuse.

! The varmints had a lean time of it, for the Ewells gave the dump a thorough gleaning every day, and the fruits of their industry (those that were not eaten) made the plot of ground around the cabin look like the playhouse of an insane child: what passed for a fence was bits of tree-limbs, broomsticks and tool shafts, all tipped with rusty hammer-heads, snuggle-toothed rake heads, shovels, axes, and grubbing hoes, held on with pieces of barbed wire. Enclosed by this barricade was a dirty yard containing the remains of a Model-T Ford (on blocks), a discarded dentists chair, an ancient icebox, plus lesser items: old shoes, worn-out table radios, picture frames, and fruit jars, under which scrawny orange chickens pecked hopefully. (187-188)


ENGLISH - CLARA

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Rationale for Passage 4

Harper lee describes the Ewells as people that are always in poverty by saying that “no economic fluctuations changed their status.” This means that even if the economy is good, the Ewells still won’t get out of poverty and this shows that they are extremely poor. The Ewells lives behind the town garbage dump which used to be a Negro cabin. The cabin is said to be square shaped with four tiny rooms. This makes the reader feel as if the cabin is small and uncomfortable to live in. Harper Lee also described the cabins roof as “shingles with tin cans hammered flat.” This gives the reader an impression that the cabin is very cheap and is made out of trash. It’s described as a place where poor people live in as they can’t afford a proper house. The windows were described as open spaces in the wall, which is covered with “greasy strips of cheesecloth” in the summertime to keep varmints away. This makes the readers feel as if the cabin is a filthy and disgusting place by using the words “greasy” and “varmints”. Varmints are pests which are attracted to dirty place, which further shows that the cabin is dirty. The author also uses a simile to describe the garden, such as, “... the plot of ground around the cabin look like the playhouse of an insane child…” This means that the garden is very messy because when a child plays with toys, it ends up in a mess, especially an insane child playing. From this passage, we assume that the Ewells took very little pride in their home and its appearance. This is because the household repairs the Ewells make are with things they find at the dump. The image Lee is trying to create of the Ewells is very obvious to the readers by her use of effective details.

ENGLISH - CLARA

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