In my 7th grade Language Arts class we just finished the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. We had a couple choices for two different projects, so I chose to pick a song that represents some of the characters and themes throughout the book and write a poem about the character Jem.
- Theme- Racism
A Change is Gonna Come~ Sam Cooke (click here for lyrics)
One big theme in this book is racism. The entire book revolved around the main plot, the trial, which was also about racism because it was against a black man, who in this case was innocent, and a white man. The white man ended up winning which was not fair because it was based on race. This song relates to this theme because it is about how the world is finally beginning to accept African American people. In the lyrics it says, “it’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will.” This is him saying that he hopes African American people will start to be accepted more and more as regular people.
- Theme- Innocence
Innocent~ Taylor Swift (click here for lyrics)
One of the major themes of this book is innocence. This song represents innocence for many reasons, not just because it is the name of the song. The first two paragraphs talks about how whoever the song is about doesn’t have much life experience outside of school. This is Taylor Swift’s way of backing up the fact that this person is innocent, because there is no way for somebody with little experience to be guilty for any reason. Through the song she lists things that happen and how this person is still innocent through it all.
- Character- Jem
Waiting on the World to Change- John Mayer (click here for lyrics)
I chose this song for Jem because during the trial and when he started being called, “Mr. Jem,” he began to form his opinion on all of the racism and acts that went on in Maycomb. In the song there is a part that says, “Now we see everything that’s going wrong, with the world and those who lead it. We just feel like we don’t have the means, to rise above and beat it.” This sounds like something Jem would say because he was a born leader and when he is older would try to do something about the world’s troubles. One way he will do this is pursuing his dream of following in his father’s footsteps and work in law.
- Character- Scout
The Little Things- Carlos Bertonatti (click here for lyrics)
I chose this song for Scout because even though she was so young while this book took place she still noticed all of the little things and details about every situation. An example of this was the trial. When she was sitting through the entire thing she noticed every little thing about what everybody said. This is just ONE example of what I mean by this.
- Character- Atticus
Hey Brother- Avicii (click here for lyrics)
I chose the song “Hey Brother” for Atticus because he really cares about his kids, Jem and Scout. He is constantly making sure that they are okay and that they are knowledgable. If you change out the “hey brother” for Jem and “hey sister” for Scout in the song you will really understand what I mean.
- Character- Boo
Heros- Alesso ft. Tove Lo (click here for lyrics)
The reason why I chose the song “Heroes” for Boo Radley is because he was a hero to Jem and Scout. He saved their lives. One quote from the lyrics of this song is, “We go hideaway in daylight. We go undercover, wait out the sun. Got a secret side in plain sight. Where the streets are empty, that’s where we run.” This reminds me of Boo Radley because he is a “hidden hero.” He went out of his house, which was forbidden by his brother, to put different items in the knot-hole of the tree for communication to Jem and Scout. This is an example of how he hides in daylight and in plain sight. In the end he is the biggest hero of all because of what he does on Halloween.
Jem, Scout’s brother
Has no mother
With more practice
Could grow to be like Atticus
Wants to work in law
Will try without a flaw
Scout and him best friends
He gets older, this bends
Ditches her for dill
That could only go downhill
Never declined a dare
Ends in a scare
Messing with Radley
That ends badly
Later Boo’s a hero
Underestimated for zero
Saves Jem’s life
From Bob Ewell’s knife
If only Jem knew