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To Kill a Mockingbird Hero's Journey
Updated: 7/9/2018
To Kill a Mockingbird Hero's Journey
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The Hero’s Journey

By Rebecca Ray

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 Hero's Journey steps.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

The classic story of To Kill a Mockingbird has touched generations since it was written in the late 1950s. Set during the great depression, in Maycomb, Alabama, the story centers around the Finch family. Atticus, the father, a prominent lawyer, takes a case defending an innocent black man. Although Atticus clearly proves his client is innocent, the all-white jury still convicts the defendant.




To Kill a Mockingbird

Storyboard Description

To Kill a Mockingbird Hero's Journey - Atticus Finch Heroic Journey

Storyboard Text

  • ORDINARY WORLD
  • CALL TO ADVENTURE
  • REFUSAL
  • MENTOR / HELPER
  • Sleepy Maycomb Alabama, 1930s
  • CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
  • Atticus is asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape.
  • TESTS / ALLIES / ENEMIES
  • Whites ONLY
  • 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.
  • APPROACH
  • 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.
  • ORDEAL
  • 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.
  • Many of the townspeople become enemies during the trial. They allow their racism to cloud their judgment and morality.
  • The trial ends with a guilty verdict, but Scouts journey has not ended. She still faces hardships brought on by her father’s involvement in the trial.
  • 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
  • ROAD BACK
  • ATONEMENT
  • RETURN
  • Scout and Jem’s lives are spared.
  • 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.
  • The Sheriff rules Ewell’s death accidental, saying that he fell on his own knife. “Let the dead bury the dead.”
  • 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 it 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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