by, 08-23-2007 at 12:02 AM (1100 Views)
The novel opens with the injury Jem suffers to his arm. The incident does not occur till the end of the novel (Chap 28 , P 289).
This gives the whole story a circular feeling, and establishes the novel as one dealing with memory, in particular , childhood memories.The mention of Jem s injury prefigures other "injuries" and handicaps in the novel:
Atticus is blind in one eye
Calpurnia is short sighted
Tom Robinson has one arm shorter than the other*1
We are told Jem was thirteen when he got his injury, and it is important to note the use of time in the novel. The children's ages are established early in the novel, as it is age difference that concerns Lee.
The subject of the novel is "the events leading to his accident" (P 3) Lee plants a few of the more important characters in our minds very early on-Dill, the Ewells and Boo Radley, all mentioned on the first page.
We are even introduced to Finch's Landing, which becomes central to the whole of Chapter 9.