Tutor profile: Clay S.
Why is the first paragraph of an essay so important?
Reading attention spans are shorter than ever, so if you don't hook a reader in the first few sentences, you're likely to lose them. Your first paragraph is a chance to make your essay stand out from the others.
Why does Cordelia refuse to go along with her father's request to determine "who doth love us most" between the three sisters?
Cordelia is appalled that her father is giving a "love test" based on words, rather than actions and feeling. "I cannot heave my heart into my mouth," she says, and she sees through the phony flattery of her sisters' speeches. She is angry at her father for being so superficial and gullible, and also -- perhaps with the same stubbornness her father has -- refusing to put on a "dog and pony show" on demand because it's demeaning.
Why does Scout say at the end of "To Kill a Mockingbird" that if Boo Radley were to be charged for murdering Bob Ewell, "It'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"
Boo's affection for Scout and Jem leads him to kill Ewell to save their lives, but there is no real desire to harm in his action, only a desire to protect. Scout understands that Boo is innocent in the way that the mockingbird is -- he symbolizes a spirit that sings without questioning why it sings. So to take that spirit away for causing harm, when it never meant to cause any, would be unnecessarily cruel and make the world a less beautiful place. Boo's love for the children is his "song."
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