A Hero's Journey in To Kill a Mockingbird

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill a Mockingbird Hero's Journey

Example



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Activity Overview



Related to both plot diagram and types of literary conflict, the ”Hero’s Journey” is a recurring pattern of stages many heroes undergo over the course of their stories. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, articulated this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from a variety of time periods and regions of the world. He found that they all share fundamental principles. This spawned the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth. The most basic version has 12 steps, while more detailed versions can have up to 17.



As students read To Kill a Mockingbird, they'll be able to see each step in the Monomyth unfold for certain characters, like Atticus or Scout. It can be helpful to introduce students to the steps prior to reading so they can log them as they make their way through the story. When students have finished, they can complete a storyboard detailing the Hero's Journey of a selected character.


Example: My Interpretation of the Finches' Heroic Journey

STAGE SUMMARY
Ordinary World Sleepy Maycomb Alabama, 1930s
Call to Adventure Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape.
Refusal He realizes the attention that this case will bring, and that it will expose his family to the cruelty of society. The psychological journey of Atticus and his family begins as they battle morals vs. prejudice in the South.
Mentor / Helper Calpurnia is often Atticus’ helper. She is his black cook and disciplinarian for the children. She acts as the passage for the Finches into the black community. The Mentor of the novel is Miss Maudie, who, like Atticus, believes in Justice and becomes friends with the children.
Crossing the Threshold As the trial begins, hostility towards the Finches grows. Although Atticus knows what the verdict will be, he promises to do everything he can for Tom.
Test / Allies / Enemies Many of the townspeople become enemies during the trial. They allow their racism to cloud their judgment and morality:
  • Bob Ewell
  • Walter Cunningham Sr.
  • Walter Cunningham Jr.
  • The white community
Approach The trial ends with a guilty verdict, but Scout's journey has not ended. She still faces hardships brought on by her father’s involvement in the trial.
Ordeal Sometime after the trial, Scout and Jem are walking home. Bob Ewell attacks them. Boo Radley, who is agoraphobic, leaves his home to save the children and kills Ewell in a fight.
Reward Scout and Jem’s lives are spared.
Road Back Scout gains a moral education, their lives are saved, and her faith in the goodness of humanity is somewhat restored by Boo, who risked his life for them.
Atonement The Sheriff rules Ewell’s death accidental, saying that he fell on his own knife. “Let the dead bury the dead.”
Return The Sheriff’s decision not to convict Boo restores Scout and Jem’s faith in justice and humanity. While Atticus does not think this is right at first, Scout explains to him that sending Boo to jail would be like killing a mockingbird. These words prove Scout has learned a valuable lesson, and has come full circle in her journey.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Use the story of To Kill a Mockingbird and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Depict and describe how the chosen character's story fits (or does not fit ) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.
  3. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.
  4. Save and submit storyboard to assignment.

TEMPLATE - HERO'S JOURNEY

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