Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
To Kill a Mockingbird was published by Harper Lee as a Southern Gothic and Bildungsroman genre novel that came out on July 11, 1960. It became a classic modern American literature to win a Pulitzer Prize. That the following next year was made into an Academy Award-winning film. However, the novel was widely used in education literature towards high schools and middle schools. That was renowned for it’s warmth and humor despite the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. Which demonstrated to praise it’s the sensitive treatment of a child’s awakening to racism and prejudice in the American South.
To novel by Harper Lee is about growing up under extraordinary circumstances in the 1930s in the southern United States. It’s about a young girl named Scout Finch that lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus Finch in a town called Maycomb, Alabama. Their father Atticus is a prominent lawyer who was defending an African American man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a white girl named Mayella. Their father is a widower that raises his two children by himself. Having the help of kind neighbors and a housekeeper named Calpurnia. He has managed to be reasonably wealthy despite the effects of the Great Depression during their time. Meanwhile, Jem and Scout have their interest in their neighbors especially the Radley’s that he particularly goes by Boo Radley that has been a mystery to them.
Harper Lee, the author goes on to highlight that the story To Kill a Mockingbird does contain a protagonist to appear in the form of not just people, but the ideas and beliefs. However, the protagonist of the story would be Atticus Finch because he turns out to be intelligent and a good-hearted lawyer who fights for racial justice and equality to prove his point. That during his trial with Robinson Atticus does everything to defend and keep Robinson from being charged guilty for the rape incident. Just before the final decisions were made Atticus says, “One more thing, gentlemen before I quit, Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal.” Wanting to prove a point that all men were created equal in all sense that they have equal rights. He wanted his children to grow up without prejudice in the town they lived in that was full of racism. Even though he knew that taking on a case like that he was going to lose in all hopes of trying to set a great example to his children. Mr. Finch was an idealistic, determined, and wise father at the beginning of the novel and the end as Scout and Jem see the aspects of their father that they didn’t know much about.
Atticus Finch was a character who experienced and understood evil without losing faith in society of goodness. He understands that being creatures of good or creatures of evil everyone tends to have both good and bad qualities. The importance is to appreciate the good qualities and to see the bad qualities who treat them with sympathy and see life from their perspective. That he wants to teach his children to treat everyone with equal rights despite the racism that goes into their town. Also, defending an innocent African American man that suffers due to racial bias of the jury which could maybe make a change but he knows it won’t happen. Atticus’s interaction with the people of Maycomb is to show the people the true equality and help with racism. To learn that To Kill a Mockingbird needs courage and hard work to beat racism and breaking down barriers of society that causes struggles and challenges on one person. Meanwhile, Scout and Jem just instinctively understand the complicated and appliance of their neighborhood and town. Except for their only mysterious neighbor who surprises them by the name Boo Radley who never comes out. That their father teaches them the importance of looking at things from other people’s point of view. Also, Scout has the lesson to truly be able to incorporate into her worldview to the necessity of walking in someone else’s shoes. Scout gets to learn a lifetime of lessons to understand the impact of various events that she goes through in her life. The novel wants to progress that faith is tested by hatred and prejudice that emerge during Tom Robinson. Lastly, the story has symbolized the goodness and innocence of some characters that were bruised and crushed.
The central conflict of the story is the racism being apparent in Maycomb, Alabama. Atticus comes with the decision to defend Tom Robinson knowing that many of the town people will not approve of the decision that was gonna bring problems for himself and his family. It was Atticus and Tom Roberson against Maycomb because Finch was the only one in the small town willing to admit that an African American man had no actual blame in the situation. Also, worrying the way he raises his children hoping to make the right decisions for them and that the outcome of them to go with him if they need advice. That has him show new characteristics and emotions throughout the story that puts him under pressure of Maycomb that we see his personality. Which has him face sociological problems throughout the narrative of Harper Lee that has to do with the neighborhood, family, and the townspeople. For example, he has Mrs. Dubose that tends to hurl insults about him towards his children. Being understood that she is addicted to morphine because of excruciating pain that has him remain optimistic whenever she confronts him by being a gentleman. Secondly being questioned by his brother about why he did not refuse to take Robinson’s case and Aunt Alexandra being worried as well that he should’ve avoided the continuous damage of the trial. Lastly, the brave Atticus faces all his social conflicts with calmness and conviction in the principles he believes in the trial of Robinson. Being confronted by Bob Ewell’s insults just before the court trial just like the mob that came into the jailhouse.
Throughout the whole problem in this story the resolution in the final chapters that Harper Lee, the author ties together are the two primary plots of the mysterious Boo Radley and Trial of Tom Robinson. That the true accuser of the crime was the girl’s father Bob Ewell who beat his daughter Mayella for kissing an African American man. That had Ewell to accuse Tom Robinson that he raped his daughter. That had Tom be sent to prison for being guilty and was eventually killed trying to escape, but Bob still had a grudge towards Atticus and his family which he threatens. However, decides to attack Atticus children on Halloween night when Boo makes his first appearance to defend the children and kills Bob in the process. Meanwhile, Sheriff Heck Tate decided that Bob’s death was self-defense to protect the shy and reclusive Radley. Lastly, having Atticus daughter Scout finally sees her fantasy in meeting Boo Radley and sends him back to safety to his house just like he did for her and Jem.
Furthermore, the novel To Kill a Mockingbird’s main theme is defined as central or dominating ideas that tackle the theme of prejudice and racism. Therefore, the main message that Harper Lee points out to us readers is that we shouldn’t treat others on who or what they are but rather towards their behaviors. Which she successfully achieved by doing in this story by using many techniques such as using Scout as the first person to open the eyes of many readers. To show how children could think and act in a mature way when it comes to hard situations in their lives. After all the overall message is that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity. For example, the story has its portrayal of transition from innocence to experience that involves prejudice and ignorance to innocent people like Tom Robinson and Boo Radley who are presented as evil. Proving that Atticus Finch was virtually unique in the novel to his experience and understand the evil without losing faith for goodness. While Scout sees Boo Radley as a human being towards the end to view the world from his perspective to ensure that she will not become dull as she loses her innocence.
In conclusion, I chose this novel because I found it to become interesting towards the message it had to us readers that we shouldn’t judge others by their race but to think positive that we are all equal as one. I believe that To Kill a Mockingbird doesn’t relate to my life but it does affect others in the outcome that racism has been an ongoing thing to this day. That everyone should realize that we all have equal rights and we shouldn’t have a bad reputation towards one another. Overall, the time will tell that no matter what we go through it all depends on us humans if we want a change or not in this society.