To Kill A Mockingbird

This essay has a total of 1592 words and 6 pages.

To Kill A Mockingbird

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the story unfolds through the eyes of a
six-year-old girl named Scout. The story takes place in the small southern town of
Maycomb, Alabama during the early 1900s where prejudice was at its peak. Miss Harper Lee
has chosen Scout as the narrator in this story. This narrative technique has many
strengths and some weakness. Scout is a bright, sensitive and intelligent little girl. For
all her intelligence, she is still a child and not always fully understands the
implications of the events she reports. This is sometimes amusing, like the time she
thinks Miss Maudie's loud voice scares Miss Stephanie. Scout does her best to inform us of
the happenings at the Tom Robinson trial. Yet, she is not certain what rape is, or aware
of the prejudice surrounding her. Ultimately she represents the innocence within society.
This story has a variety of themes and lessons including maturity (the story shows Jem and
Scout going through many life lessons and how they've grown from it), prejudice (like in
the Tom Robinson case in this small community), and courage (it takes courage for anyone
to stand up to the events that go on in this book.


Throughout the story the reader see how Scout and Jem are afraid of Arthur "Boo" Radley
because they think he is a monster and try to tease him. They try to play tricks on Boo.
Later in the novel they are no longer afraid of him and are no longer interested in
teasing him. Jem and Scout had believed that their father was not like any other fathers
in school. They see him as an old man who cannot do anything. However, when a dog appears
on the street, Atticus, their father, kills that dog with one shot. They are surprised to
learn that he is the best shot in the town. They're attitude towards their father changes.
This is a sign of maturity. " The rifle cracked. Tin Johnson leaped, flopped over and
crumpled on the sidewalk in a brown-and-white heap. He didn't know what hit him."(96) Jem
became vaguely articulate, "you see him, Scout? You see him just stand there? All of a
sudden he just relaxed all over. It looked like that gun was a part of him… and he did
it so quick, like… I hafta aim from ten minutes fore I can hit something…'"(97)


An incident which shows Scout's maturing is when she overhears her teacher saying that it
is a good thing Tom Robinson was convicted because the black were getting too " high and
mighty." This disturbs Scout very much because the teacher is always telling them about
democracy and the persecution of the Jews, yet it is okay to persecute the blacks. As
little as Scout is she began to realize what was going on around her. Scout wonders how
her teacher could be so contradictory. Another example of their maturity is how they view
people. When Scout and Jem see how Tom Robinson is treated just because he is black, they
begin to understand the meaning of prejudice. No one comes to help Tom Robinson except
their father who defends him when Tom is accused of raping a white woman. Scout watches
the trial and believes that he will be found innocent. Instead, Tom Robinson is found
guilty. Her disappointment in the verdict makes Scout question the idea of justice.


The last incident that brings Scout to adulthood is when she and Jem are brought safely
home from their attacker by Boo. She finally has the courage to stand on the Radley porch,
and the kids are no longer afraid of Boo Radley. They now understand him. Jem and Scout
mature during the duration of the novel by watching the events happen around them. They
learn to examine the situations around them more closely and to accept people as they are.


Prejudice has caused the pain and suffering of people for many centuries. Some examples of
this include the Holocaust and slavery in the United States. In To Kill a Mockingbird,
racism was the cause of much agony to the blacks of the segregated South. Along with the
blacks, other people are judged unfairly because of their differences. The prejudice and
bigotry of society causes the victimization of people with differences. [Some who are
discriminated against those who are born differently than the majority.] One person that
is treated unfairly is Calpurnia, as you can see when Aunt Alexandra tries to get Atticus
to fire Calpurnia, because in her eyes, Calpurnia isn't a good female role model. This is
a prejudiced action, because Calpurnia is a good as role model as Aunt Alexandra, if not
better. Aunt Alexandra is a bigot and does not see the character of Calpurnia, just the
color of her skin. Another person who is treated like an inferior is Scout by her teacher,
because she knew how to read. "She discovered that I was literate and looked at me with no
more than a faint distaste."(17) Scout is treated like it is her fault that she knows more
then the average child did. She learned earlier then others so she gets punished unjustly.
Tom Robinson is also one who is discriminated by the biased community. The jury finds Tom
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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