To kill a Mockingbird is a novel written by Harper Lee. The book was published in 1960 and was successful right away. It was Harper Lee’s first novel which sold more than 30 million copies all over the world and was also given the Pulitzer Prize. This novel is a classic among and outside of the bibliophiles for some very valid reasons. Let’s explore them
The story is set in a fictional town of Maycomb in Alabama and narrated by a 6 year old girl, Jean Louise Finch, the daughter of a righteous and virtuous lawyer Atticus Finch.
The story begins with Jean Louise and her brother Jeremy Finch talking about their esoteric neighbour Boo Radley who never went out of his house and that fascinates the Finch siblings yet they are scared of him too much. It revolves around the adventures of the Finch siblings in the beginning.
These adventures are followed by some worries that rain down on the finch household by virtue of a case their father is working on, the case of Tom Robison, an African-American fellow who is accused of rape of a young white girl Mayella Ewell. Atticus Finch is fighting in favor of Robinson. This story is set up in the 1930s, when discrimination against African Americans was prevailing, a good evidence of that is provided in the book when different churches are mentioned for the white and African American people. Because Atticus was fighting for Robinson, he was looked down upon by the people of Maycomb, especially some of the more powerful figures of the town. Atticus Finch and his children are threatened all this while but he didn’t deter, he refused to step down until Robinson was given a chance, but he didn’t stand a chance.
The trial takes place and Tom Robinson is convicted of raping the girl even though all odds favor him. He is pronounced guilty because of the color of his skin. Nevertheless, an African American man being given the chance to explain himself was a huge leap for that town, all because of Atticus’s determination and skill. This case affects the finch siblings as well.
A deeper look
At first glance, the story seems about the escapades of Jean Louise and her brother Jeremy Finch but after a close look one will discover that this novel explores more profound issues in Maycomb which parallels the issues that 20th century and to some extent even 21st century America faces. First and foremost it addresses racism, in not the best of ways but you can’t blame the author considering the times it was written in. it doesn’t deal with racism nor does it offer any solution to deal with it. It simply mentions the bizarre laws that existed or rather lack of any laws. Understanding is a thing that Atticus does very well, he possesses the ability to understand even his enemies even When a mob is about to attack him. “A mob’s always made up of people, no matter what” is what he says to his children when talking about the same incident. His empathy is something that keeps the readers wondering.
It touches on the subject of gender roles and how Jean Louise who was a tomboy was told by her aunt to act ladylike. And it talks about subjects that can only be realized when you read and think about it yourself