Talk:To Kill a Mockingbird

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Semi-protected edit request on 10 October 2017[edit]

Template:Edit semi -protected The last line in the section "CLASS" reads: "The children internalize Atticus' admonition not to judge someone until they have walked around in that person's skin, gaining a greater understanding of people's motives and behavior.[59]"

I suggest the following, or condensed similar, be added after that last sentence: "The final two pages of the book describe the source of Harper Lee's principle as mentioned above. The author thought it important enough to end her story with these words that help explain the principle:

''[1] , Atticus was in Jem's room, sitting by his bed. He was reading a book. "Is Jem awake yet?" "Sleeping peacefully. He won't be awake until morning." "Oh. Are you sittin' up with him?" "Just for an hour or so. Go to bed, Scout. You've had a long day." "Well, I think I'll stay with you for a while." "Suit yourself," said Atticus. It must have been after midnight, and I was puzzled by his amiable acquiescence. He was shrewder than I, however: the moment I "Whatcha readin'?" I asked. Atticus turned the book over. "Something of Jem's. Called The Gray Ghost." I was suddenly awake. "Why'd you get that one?" "Honey, I don't know. Just picked it up. One of the few things I haven't read," he said pointedly. "Read it out loud, please, Atticus. It's real scary." "No," he said. "You've had enough scaring for a while. This is too-" "Atticus, I wasn't scared." He raised his eyebrows, and I protested: "Leastways not till I started telling Mr. Tate about it. Jem wasn't scared. Asked him and he said he wasn't. Besides, nothin's real scary except in books." Atticus opened his mouth to say something, but shut it again. He took his thumb from the middle of the book and turned back to the first page. I moved over and leaned my head against his knee. "H'rm," he said. "The Gray Ghost, by Seckatary Hawkins. Chapter One..." I willed myself to stay awake, but the rain was so soft and the room was so warm and his voice was so deep and his knee was so snug that I slept. Seconds later, it seemed, his shoe was gently nudging my ribs. He lifted me to my feet and walked me to my room. "Heard every word you said," I muttered. "...wasn't sleep at all, 's about a ship an' Three-Fingered Fred 'n' Stoner's Boy...." He unhooked my overalls, leaned me against him, and pulled them off. He held me up with one hand and reached for my pajamas with the other. "Yeah, an' they all thought it was Stoner's Boy messin' up their clubhouse an' throwin' ink all over it an'..." He guided me to the bed and sat me down. He lifted my legs and put me under the cover. "An' they chased him 'n' never could catch him 'cause they didn't know what he looked like, an' Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things... Atticus, he was real nice...." His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me. "Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them." He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning. THE END


(FYI - the following is not to be included in the edit proposal above: I corresponded with Harper Lee for eleven years because my grandfather authored the Seckatary Hawkins books which Harper described as her "favorites". More info at [2]). Seckatary (talk) 17:52, 10 October 2017 (UTC) Seckatary (talk) 17:52, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

Also source for FYI statement is [3] Seckatary (talk) 18:36, 10 October 2017 (UTC)

To Kill A Mockingbird suggested addition[edit source][edit]

To Kill A Mockingbird suggested addition[edit source] I have had some kind help recently by an experienced Wikipedia user/editor who has shown me how I may have confused things by putting way too much text in the previous page edit idea. I do not mean to include all the text reproduction of the actual pages of the TKAM book - that is supposed to be for the convenience of anyone reading it who might not have a To Kill A Mockingbird book handy to read and verify what is written about Seckatary Hawkins, etc. The below two lines is all I suggest be added to the current Wikipedia page:

Harper Lee uses principles of one of her favorite childhood authors, Robert F. Schulkers, and the Seckatary Hawkins children’s books ″Stoners Boy″ and ″The Gray Ghost″ to illustrate the moral lesson of the story. ([1])Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). book, first ed 1960: ″To Kill A Mockingbird″, pages 294, 295, 296

I am quite uneducated in Wikipedia ways, and need detailed help to make sure this is formatted correctly. My idea is to add the above 2 lines to the Wikipedia story line page using the actual text of To Kill A Mockingbird pages 294, 295, 296 as reference or source.

I also have a letter from the author, Harper Lee, which states Seckatary Hawkins books - The Gray Ghost and Stoner's Boy were her childhood favorite books, but I do not know how to use that as another source for this edit suggestion. You can view the two pages of the card/letter here http://tinyimg.io/i/vCUsJku.jpg and here http://tinyimg.io/i/0uUi4mn.jpg

Also, a scan of the first edition To Kill A Mockingbird book signed can be viewed here http://tinyimg.io/i/h8rcGuD.jpg

And a scan of the last pages of To Kill A Mockingbird book can be viewed here http://tinyimg.io/i/4NDqEuk.jpg

Please comment if you have any answers or ideas for me. Ideally, a professional editor might kindly reformat what I wrote so that it is workable for Wikipedia. If any text should be added or deleted, please advise me. Thanks to anyone who can help me put this edit suggestion in the correct format. Seckatary (talk) 14:15, 30 October 2017 (UTC)Seckatary (talk) 13:30, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

First, thank you for being upfront about your conflict of interest. Many people don't bother to do that.
You're citing the first edition of the book itself to support the sentence you want to add, but I'm not clear exactly how that works. Scout mentions the Hawkins books, but that doesn't equate with Lee's using "principles of one of her favorite childhood authors". You appear to be making a leap of logic there. It may well be that you're right, but it's an unwarranted leap nonetheless, as far as Wikipedia is concerned. One of our most basic policies forbids what we call original research.
The handwritten notes from Lee are primary sources. In most contexts, Wikipedia prefers secondary sources. To oversimplify it somewhat, think of it this way: a good Wikipedia article is written not about a topic but rather about what others have written about that topic. If a reliable source has it that the claim you're making about Lee and the Hawkins books is so, then that's something else again. But the claim shouldn't appear first in Wikipedia. RivertorchFIREWATER 17:01, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
{{ping}Rivertorch}
Thanks for your thoughts and guidance. I hope I clicked the right thing and this ping gets to you properly. I am not yet sure what happens with various functions.
First, let me explain that my purpose in suggesting this addition is to explain to everyone interested what Seckatary Hawkins is doing stuck in the ending of Harper’s novel. The text appears exactly the same in all editions BTW – estimated by many to be 30 million or more books by now. Since 1960, most readers do not understand anything about that funny name Seckatary, and perhaps think Seckatary Hawkins stories were invented by Harper Lee for this story.
The exact wording that Wikipedia accepts is not all that important, but some explanation is something readers deserve to understand. There have been many newspaper and magazine articles written about these stories and the connection Harper Lee had, even modern day editorials, some of which may serve in the way you describe; however, I am not sure they would satisfy that exact requirement.
The club website, www.seckatary.com has a lot of info too. Click on Harper Lee. Other things Harper has written which may offer some examples of what might be included in an edit of the article – but I need help to determine what that might be. Another book, this one a Seckatary Hawkins The Gray Ghost book signature sentiment may suggest something to consider using in Wikipedia? See it here http://tinyimg.io/i/AbrvA1Z.jpg
I have many letters from Harper from approximately 11 years of being pen pals. I referred 3 “tinyimages/io” in this edit writing, showing one letter where Harper writes the "Seckatary books were her favorites". Also a scan of the TKAM book with signed sentiment Harper sent to my grandpa – the author of Seckatary stories - to illustrate the way she felt about the stories.
In other parts of the Wikipedia article, Chas Shields “Mockingbird” biography of Harper Lee is cited by someone – well, Shields includes statements about Harper and Seckatary Hawkins on pages 46 and 51 which might serve as the needed secondary source? see those pages here http://tinyimg.io/i/vKPXAkz.jpg Thanks for the help. Seckatary (talk) 18:35, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
I added the link to a scan of Chas Shields book pages referred to. http://tinyimg.io/i/vKPXAkz.jpg Seckatary (talk) 19:09, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
@Rivertorch: (for procedural sake, as Seckatary's was incorrectly typed). If anyone is interested in reading the discussion leading up to this post, please see here. Anarchyte (work | talk) 05:53, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, Anarchyte. @Seckatary: I'm not sure what else to tell you. The observations you've made about Harper Lee and your grandfather are interesting and probably deserving of publication, but I don't think Wikipedia is the place for them. Let me expand just a little on what I said above. Our articles' content is based on what independent, secondary sources say. Primary sources may be cited as sources only for certain basic facts, and original research is never permissible. Quoting from the policy, original research "includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources".
What I would do, if I were you, is get in touch with one or more people who have written published articles about Lee or To Kill a Mockingbird. These could be academics, magazine writers or whatever, as long as the articles weren't self-published but rather are accessible through a reputable source. There must be a lot of such people, especially with the renewed interest sparked by the novel's sequel. If you can get one of them interested in what you're saying, perhaps they might write something that gets published in a source that we can use here. That's all very speculative and indirect, I realize, but these are the rules the Wikipedia community has set forth to ensure that what we say in articles is verifiable, neutral in tone, and free of undue weight, personal biases, and so on.
That's my take on it, anyway. Perhaps someone else will weigh in. RivertorchFIREWATER 16:56, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

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Thanks, Anarchyte. {{ping}Rivertorch}

Thanks for explaining. Well, “Rules is rules” as they say, and I will abide by them. But is there any change in wording that might be acceptable and supported by the Shields biography book I cited? Did you get a chance to see the Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). Charles Shields Mockingbird biography pages I referred to you in my last post /edit? (http://tinyimg.io/i/vKPXAkz.jpg)? I was hoping the underlined text in those pages would give some secondary evidence such as you describe as necessary for Wikipedia. (I neglected to include the associated following page 47 of that bio which is here: http://tinyimg.io/i/kYrZcsM.jpg For your ease of reference, the underlined parts of those pages are as follows:

p46:  “…  The Rover Boys, written by Edward Stratemeyer, was a favorite series, despite the stories’ ridiculously stilted dialogue – ‘Hello, you fellows!’ shouted a voice behind the Rover boys.  ‘Plotting mischief?’  At least they featured a girlfriend-sidekick named Nellie. A better choice, in Nelle's opinion, was the Seckatary Hawkins books by Robert Schulkers.”  The series is centered on a boys’ club on the Kentucky River, the plots usually revolve around a suspicious new boy, slandered by rumor or blamed without evidence, who later comes out on top by dint of his character.  He seems to embody the club’s motto, ‘Fair and Square.’ ‘When we were too young to read, Brother, who was a voracious reader’, Nelle said, ‘would read many, many stories to us.  Then we’d dramatize the stories in our own ways, and Truman would always provide the necessary comic relief to break up the melodrama.  P47: “Later, when Nelle was old enough to read the Seckatary Hawkins series on her own, she wrote to the publisher requesting a club membership form.  In her childish handwriting, she signed the pledge: ‘I shall always be fair and square, possessed with strength of character, honest with God and my friends, and in later life, a good citizen.’48  Sometimes her ideals were tested:…”

P51: “…Most children probably would have begun by creating original fairy tales. But an invasion of fairies in down-and-out Monroeville seemed far-fetched. Anyway, the two friends’ favorite books, the Seckatary Hawkins series, were about the adventures of a boy’s club on the banks of the Kentucky River. That wasn’t much different from their home-town. Why couldn’t Monroeville – their neighborhood, in fact – do just as well for a setting? This would also dovetail with another of their favorite activities – people watching. They knew more about Doc Waters, the dentist, and his family across the street, for instance, than they ever would know about trolls and so on.”

Perhaps the following change in wording would work for Wikipedia?: For the ending of ″To Kill A Mockingbird″ - pages 294 through 296, Harper Lee uses direct quotes from her favorite childhood books, The Seckatary Hawkins series: ″Stoners Boy″ and ″The Gray Ghost″, by Robert Schulkers, to illustrate the principles of the pledge she made when she joined the Fair and Square Club as a child: “I shall always be fair and square, possessed with strength of character, honest with God and my friends, and in later life, a good citizen.”

In the above example, I tried to include only things stated in the Shields book excerpts. If I have erred in any part, please suggest how I might reword it to be acceptable to Wikipedia. Sorry to be such a bother, but as I explained to my other Wiki helper, Anarchite, I am 75 and the procedures and rules for making entries and statements is really going over my head. I am frustrated, but learning more and more as you and others help me and suggest things; but I am still far away from being capable at this. I will contact some of the writers who have contacted me for information in the past and see what they can do, but I feel I will need to give them exact wording of what to write, or the result might still not be what is needed here. So please give me some detailed suggestions if you can. I am not complaining, I truly appreciate all the time you have taken with me so far. Seckatary (talk) 20:12, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

I'm dubious about your latest proposed addition. Based on the wording in the letter, as I read it, the most that can accurately be said is that Lee said in a letter to you that these two books were her favorites among a group of books her brother had given her. That's not the same as saying they were her favorite childhood books. We can't use the letter anyway, so maybe it's a moot point. Similarly, you say that she used the direct quotes to illustrate the principles. Really? Can we be sure of that? I don't see it. In any event, the precise wording isn't at issue here; the lack of reliable secondary sources is. If such sources don't exist, then we can assume that at the present time there is no scholarly consensus that the topic is noteworthy. That doesn't mean it's uninteresting or that it seems irrelevant to fans of the novel, but it does mean that Wikipedia, as an encyclopedia, is selective about what aspects of a topic it covers.
Yes, Wikipedia has a learning curve. Please read Help:Talk pages, especially the part about indenting. Just for future reference, by the way, the "ping" function requires a pipe symbol, not an end-parenthesis, and two end-curly brackets, not one: {{ping|username}} not {{ping)username}. (You don't really need to ping me again for this, though. I'll keep an eye out, but I'm going to back off and let others weigh in, if they care to.) RivertorchFIREWATER 21:43, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

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I did remember that the rules preclude using Harper Lee’s letters as proof, so I did not do that. I was using the details of Shields' “Mockingbird” book for my response. As I stated in yesterday’s edit: “In the above example, I tried to include only things stated in the Shields' book text. If I have erred in any part, please suggest how I might reword it to be acceptable to Wikipedia.”

I retyped all the relevant text from Shields “Mockingbird” book for your convenience in comparing for yourself what I wrote in that regard. Shields' book, “Mockingbird" states Seckatary Hawkins books are Harper’s favorite books, RE: P51: “…Anyway, the two friends’ favorite books, the Seckatary Hawkins series, were about the adventures of a boy’s club on the banks of the Kentucky River.”

Also - my choice of “direct quotes” was not to infer that Harper used quotes of independent statements made by the author of Seckatary stories. Rather, it was an attempt to illustrate there are several "The Gray Ghost" story events summarized by Scout which have some association with principles expressed within TKAM. You may have been more understanding of my meaning had you read "The Gray Ghost" and "Stoner’s Boy" books . So perhaps a revision in wording might be:

For the ending of ″To Kill A Mockingbird″ - pages 294 through 296, Harper Lee uses summations of situations found in one of her favorite childhood books - The Seckatary Hawkins series, ″The Gray Ghost″, by Robert Schulkers - to illustrate the principles of the pledge she made when she joined the Fair and Square Club as a child: “I shall always be fair and square, possessed with strength of character, honest with God and my friends, and in later life, a good citizen.”

I am willing to make any changes necessary to render this acceptable. So if you or someone can help with the wording selection in the way it should read, please do help. I hope some others will make comments too.

ThanksSeckatary (talk) 00:18, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ To kill A Mockingbird First ed. Pages 294,295,296
  2. ^ www.seckatary.com
  3. ^ Charles Shields: "Mockingbird" first ed, 2006; pages 46, 51.