Scout and her brother Jem are raised by their father and by Calpurnia, an African-American housekeeper who works for the family. Scout and Jem meet and befriend seven-year-old Dill Harris, a boy who has arrived in Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer. Lee has stated that the character of Dill is based on young Truman Capote, a well-known Southern writer and childhood friend. Local myth holds that Boo eats live squirrels and prowls the streets at night, and the children's perception of him is colored by such tales.
In the fall, Dill returns to his family in the North and Scout enters the first grade. Scout and Jem begin to discover mysterious objects, designed to intrigue children, hidden in a tree on the Radley property. Mayella and her shiftless father, Bob Ewell, live in abject poverty on the outskirts of town. The family is known as trouble and disliked by townspeople. Despite this, Atticus's defense of Tom is unpopular in the white community, and Scout and Jem find themselves taunted at school due to their father's defense of a black man.
Atticus consistently strives to instill moral values in his children, and hopes to counteract the influence of racial prejudice. The children view their father as frustratingly staid and bookish, until he is asked by the sheriff to shoot a rabid dog that is roaming the street. After Atticus kills the dog, Scout and Jem learn that their father is renowned as a deadly marksman in Maycomb County, but that he chooses not to use this skill, unless absolutely necessary.
Scout's aunt, Alexandra, unexpectedly arrives to reside with the Finch family, announcing it is time someone reined in the children. She makes it her mission to counteract Atticus's liberal influence on the children and to instill ladylike virtues in the tomboyish Scout. The night before the trial of Tom Robinson is to begin, a group of local men threaten a lynching, but Scout inadvertently disrupts their plan when she recognizes the father of a schoolmate in the crowd of would-be lynchers.
When the trial begins, Atticus tries to protect his children from the anger and prejudice they would hear; however, Scout, Jem, and Dill sneak into the courtroom and sit in the balcony with the black community. Mayella and her father testify that Tom raped Mayella after he was asked onto their property to break up an old chifforobe into firewood. Atticus, however, proves Tom's innocence by demonstrating that while Mayella's face was beaten and bruised on her right side, Tom's left arm had been rendered completely useless by an earlier injury.
Therefore, Atticus concludes, Tom could not possibly be the left-handed assailant who struck Mayella on the right side of her face.
Atticus further suggests that it was Bob, Mayella's father, who beat her, and that, in fact, no rape occurred. Before the jury departs to deliberate, Atticus appeals to their sense of justice, imploring them not to allow racial prejudice to interfere with their deliberations. However, after two hours, the jury returns with a guilty verdict, sentencing Tom to be executed for rape. Later, Tom is shot to death during an attempt to escape from jail.
The following fall, Bob Ewell, incensed by Atticus's treatment of him during the trial, attacks Scout and Jem with a knife as they are walking home from a school Halloween pageant. Boo Radley, secretly observing the scene, intervenes in the scuffle, and Bob Ewell is stabbed and killed in the process. Called to the scene, the Sheriff and Atticus agree to not report Boo's involvement to the police, because a trial against him would likely be prejudiced.
Intimately aware of issues of prejudice due to the Tom Robinson case, Atticus and the children agree to report that Ewell fell on his knife in the scuffle, sparing Boo the consequences of a legal trial. Scout realizes in retrospect that Boo has never been the threatening figure the children had imagined, and that he was responsible for leaving the mysterious gifts for them to find on his property.
After walking Boo home, Scout stands on the porch of his house looking out, finally seeing the world through a wider perspective. The central thematic concern of To Kill a Mockingbird addresses racial prejudice and social justice.
Atticus Finch represents a strongly principled, liberal perspective that runs contrary to the ignorance and prejudice of the white, Southern, small-town community in which he lives.
Atticus is convinced that he must instill values of equality in his children, counteracting the racist influence. Lee makes use of several images and allegories throughout the novel to symbolize racial conflict. The children's attitudes about Boo, for example, represent in small scale the foundation of racial prejudice in fear and superstition. The rabid dog that threatens the town has been interpreted as symbolizing the menace of racism.
Atticus's shooting of the rabid dog has been considered by many critics as a representation of his skills as an attorney in targeting the racial prejudices of the town. The central symbol of the novel, the mockingbird, further develops the theme of racial prejudice.
The unjust trial of Tom Robinson, in which the jury's racial prejudice condemns an innocent man, is symbolically characterized as the shooting of an innocent mockingbird. Toward the end of the novel, Scout realizes that submitting Boo to a trial would be akin to shooting a mockingbird—just as the prejudice against African Americans influences the trial of Tom Robinson, the town's prejudices against the white but mentally disabled Boo would likely impact a jury's view. The concept of justice is presented in To Kill a Mockingbird as an antidote to racial prejudice.
As a strongly principled, liberal lawyer who defends a wrongly accused black man, Atticus represents a role model for moral and legal justice. Atticus explains to Scout that while he believes the American justice system to be without prejudice, the individuals who sit on the jury often harbor bias, which can taint the workings of the system. Throughout the majority of the novel, Atticus retains his faith in the system, but he ultimately loses in his legal defense of Tom.
As a result of this experience, Atticus expresses a certain disillusionment when, at the conclusion of the book, he agrees to conceal Boo's culpability in the killing of Ewell, recognizing that Boo would be stereotyped by his peers. Atticus decides to act based on his own principles of justice in the end, rather than rely on a legal system that may be fallible.
To Kill a Mockingbird also can be read as a coming-of-age story featuring a young girl growing up in the South and experiencing moral awakenings. Narrated from Scout's point-of-view, the novel demonstrates the now-adult narrator's hindsight perspective on the growth of her identity and outlook on life.
In developing a more mature sensibility, the tomboyish Scout challenges the forces attempting to socialize her into a prescribed gender role as a Southern lady.
Aunt Alexandra tries to subtly and not-so subtly push Scout into a traditional gender role—a role that often runs counter to her father's values and her own natural inclinations.
Lee has stated that the novel was essentially a long love letter to her father, whom she idolized as a man with deeply held moral convictions. Writing proper summary requires attentive and active reading. This involves taking notes about all the most meaningful bits of the text you summarize.
When we talk about fiction literature, such as a novel, you should — among other things — keep track of the character development. However, when you read it for school, you should be prepared that you will be asked to write To Kill a Mockingbird book summary.
So, in case you are only planning to read it, be prepared to read it actively, i. As such, you know what you should pay special attention to as you read and take your notes.
To Kill a Mockingbird was indeed controversial in its time. Today, however, public opinion about it and the issues it raises is quite fixed. As such, your teacher may want to make his or her job less tedious and assign each of the students to summarize a particular chapter of this great book. For example, you write To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 summary, someone else writes Chapter 2 summary, etc.
This way, your teacher also makes sense that no two students will hand in the same work. It may happen, however, that you will get the assignment to write something more sophisticated than a mere summary of To Kill a Mockingbird. For instance, this is bound to happen if you are taking an advanced English class.
In this case, you will also not be stranded to write down any and all thoughts you may have. Instead, you will simply have to answer To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts you get. The two most common directions in which it may go is either to describe the development of a particular character or to explore a particular theme. If you are should answer To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions that explore a particular theme, chances are that this theme will be racism because, as you most probably know, it is the central theme in this novel.
In other words, To Kill a Mockingbird racism essay is the most popular kind of theme essays that students have to write on this novel. Your To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts may also require that you point out character descriptions in the novel and trace the evolution of a particular character throughout all the events.
The novel covers the events of almost four years, so naturally, every character does indeed change. This is especially the case if you have to perform a To Kill a Mockingbird character analysis of Scout. Not only is she always there whenever something goes on, but she is also the narrator — so, we get a glimpse of her as an adult woman recollecting the events of the novel and reflecting upon them.
As such, no character should pose any problem to analyze. Still, if you are free to choose your own character for analysis, you should aim for someone you can possibly relate to — this way, your analysis will be more complex and, consequently, more exciting to read. Save time and nerves - order a paper from us! We can write a high-quality paper for you. Academic level Undergraduate Bachelor Professional.
Deadline 6 hours 3 hours 12 hours 24 hours 2 days 3 days 6 days 10 days 14 days. Types of essay on To Kill a Mockingbird When you write To Kill a Mockingbird essay, the first thing you need to understand is what precisely is expected of you. How To Kill a Mockingbird summary should look like?
To Kill a Mockingbird is a book written by Harper Lee. The To Kill a Mockingbird study guide contains a biography of Harper Lee, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a f.
To Kill A Mocking Bird themes essays In the novel To kill a Mockingbird there are a few main themes that run throughout it. The themes are; coming of age, racism and feminism. Each of theses has a special imporance in this book and I'm writing about all three in this essay.
To Kill a Mockingbird Theme Analysis/Essay Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, is a realistic story that deeply discusses issues involved with the ’s that still resonate today. The struggles of life are evident within the believable characters of Maycomb County which is a . And this is most definitely a book to read. Among the central themes, there are racism, feminism, innocence, compassion, etc., so you have plenty of choices for your essay topic. Themes to Reveal in a To Kill a Mockingbird Essay. This novel was written in Since then, To Kill a Mockingbird has become known and loved worldwide.
Read this English Essay and over 88, other research documents. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes. “To Kill a Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee is renowned as /5(1). With these quick literary analysis tips in mind, take a look at the following three important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird for a little writing inspiration. Theme #1: Morality. We all know that people can be judgmental, racist, and even lacking in any moral code. Read this sample essay for inspiration.