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To Kill a Mocking Bird


The story book “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a fictional novelwritten by Harper Lee in the year 1960. Immediately, afterpublication the book become a hit and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961and went on to become a classic in the American literature. Evidenceshows that since 1961 this book has never run out of print and almostevery American has read it. One of the attractions that led me toread this book is its title “To Kill a Mockingbird.” My firstreaction to the book before reading it was what did the mocking birddo deserve death. However, after reading my response was totallydifferent the book introduces the reader to a period of racialsegregation and explore on civil rights.

“” means the loss of innocence. In thebook, this statement was first mentioned By Atticus father to Jem andFinch when warning his children to not kill the mockingbird. This isbecause the mocking bird is joyful bird that sings all day withoutbringing anyone harming. I came to learn later in the book that themocking bird symbolized Tom Robinson who killed for no reason.

Brief summary of the plot

The main characters in this story are Atticus Finch father Scoutfinch and Jem Finch. Scout Finch is the narrator of this story. TomRobinson the black man who was killed while attempting to escape fromprison after being found guilty of rape is another main character.Other characters include Boo Radley, Bob Ewell and Charles BakerHarris also known as Dill.

As the story unfolds we learn that the narrator Scout lives with herolder brother and father a prominent well-off lawyer. Dill theneighbor’s nephew is on a visit to his aunt and after evaluation byJem, Scout brother he is accepted in the group. The children planmischief and try to get Boo Radley to come out from his house. Heshoots at them, but later the reader comes to learn that he was agood man. Mycombs was a small town where everyone was almost relatedto each other by blood. However, this community is full of racistmembers who kill an innocent man accusing him of rape. Tom Robinsonwas a black man who stood try for rape Atticus Finch defended him incourt.

The decision to defend a black man in a racist white community causeshis children to be discriminated and to face danger when they areattacked by Bob Ewell after the trial. Bob Ewell and his daughterMayella Ewell had accused Tom Robinson of attempted rape. Later asthe case unfolds we learn that Mayella was the one who had tried toforce herself on Tom and the bruises on her face were as result ofher father’s beating. Despite the valid evidence presented in courtthe trial is ruled in favor of the Ewells tom is found guilty andlater shot when attempting to escape. This ruling raises doubt on thejustice system. Additionally, Bob Ewell is out to revenge theembracement he got in caught, but is killed in the process by BooRadley while trying to harass Atticus children on their way home. Jimis carried home by Radley after his arm is broken in theconfrontation.

The local area sheriff arrives at the crime scene to find Bob Ewelldead, after speaking with Atticus on the Ethics of charging Jem withthe murder and the two of them opt to come up with a story that Bobcommitted suicide.

Did the author achieve her goal?

From my point of view, I believe author Lee Harper achieved her goalthat was to bring out the story of discrimination and racialism. Shetells us that Tom Robinson a black man in her town was wrongfullyaccused and later killed with allegations of raping a white woman.Thus, the writer through character Tom Robinson shows us how far thetown people were willing to go in order to kill a man just because hewas black.

Another incidence of discrimination is brought out through thecharacter Boo Randley whom we learn is to be discriminated justbecause he likes to keep to himself (Lee, 1968). Thus, the townchildren make fun of him because they all think he is afraid to getout of his house.

Another goal I think the writer achieved through this book isinforming and teaching people about being kind and nice to others,standing up for what is right and tolerance to each other. Inaddition the writer managed to bring out issues such as inequity,racism, power and poverty.

The book is effective enough because it can drive in the of the mainpoint which is tell about racialism and discrimination against somemembers of the society. In addition, the book can keep the readerglued and interested in the plot as it develops.

Strength of the book includes a tactile brilliance of storytellingwhereby she is able to create to narrate the story in such a mannerthat the reader can visualize her as a child and imagine the eventsas they unfold. Another strength of the book is the use of humor inthe story of tragic like the fact that the drill is beaten up by thewriter after failing to keep up to his promise of marrying her.Additionally, the methods of entertainment used in driving the plotis another strength of the book, when Scout is saved by theembarrassment at the Halloween after she sleeps off and walks intothe stage causing everyone to laugh at her.

Lee is qualified to write a fictional book because she is welleducated holds a law degree. Additionally, her experience as a writerin her school magazine gives a good basis for writing fictionalstories. I agree with her that to know a person you have to placeyourself in their shoes in order to understand them the case BooRandley she understood him only after knowing few facts about him. Iagree with the author argument on discrimination and racism that itis rampant in the society.

I found the book moving and very interesting, it`s sad that a manshould die just because of his skin color. I also found itinteresting especially on the part where the children decide to visitboo place only for Jem to lose his pant.

I would recommend this book to all my friends and everyone else whowould like to know about how life in the sixties. Lastly, reading thebook changed the way I perceive life in general I learned that theracism is unethical, unfair to the victims. I also learned that itwrong to judge others without first knowing the facts.


Lee, H. (1968). To kill a mockingbird. Harmondsworth [u.a.:Penguin Books.