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. Atticus is clearly the hero of the novel, and functions as a role model for his children. Early in the story, the children regard their father as weak and ineffective because he does not conform to several conventional standards of Southern masculinity.
They eventually realize that Atticus possesses not only skill with a rifle, but also moral courage, intelligence, and humor, and they come to regard him as a hero in his own right.
Since its publication, To Kill a Mockingbird has been enormously popular with the reading public, has sold millions of copies, and has never gone out of print. The initial critical response to Lee's novel was mixed. Others, however, found fault with Lee's use of narrative voice, asserting that she fails to effectively integrate the voice of the adult Scout with the childish perspective of the young girl who narrates much of the novel.
Critical reception of the book has primarily centered around its messages concerning issues of race and justice. Atticus has been held up by law professors and others as an ideal role model of sound moral character and strong ethical principles.
For nearly four decades, the name of Atticus Finch has been invoked to defend and inspire lawyers, to rebut lawyer jokes, and to justify and fine-tune the adversary system. The novel has been criticized for promoting a white paternalistic attitude toward the African-American community.
Such critics hold that the novel's central image of the mockingbird as a symbol for African Americans ultimately represents the African-American community as a passive body in need of a heroic white male to rescue them from racial prejudice. They are robbed of their roles as subjects of history, reduced to mere objects who are passive hapless victims; mere spectators and bystanders in the struggle against their own oppression and exploitation. These critics have scrutinized Atticus from the perspective of legal ethics and moral philosophy, and analyzed his characters' underlying values in relation to race, class, and gender.
And that is not my idea of a role model for young lawyers. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Narrative Strategies in Film and Novel. Shackelford argues that, while the book's female narrator infuses the novel with a feminist perspective, the film's visual focus on the point of view of Scout's father undermines this feminist perspective.
Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I Lubet provides an analysis of the trial portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird from the perspective of today's legal defense methods and ethics, particularly in regard to rape trials.
No real-life lawyer has done more for the self-image or public perception of the legal profession than the hero of Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
In some cultures, killing mockingbirds is regarded as a sin. Comparing Tom Robinson who was sentenced to death to a mockingbird gives us a vivid metaphor which suits To Kill a Mockingbird racism essay perfectly. What is more, the events described in the book are presented from an unusual angle. A whole story is told from a six-year-old child's point of view.
Jean Louise Finch, despite her young age, manages to conclude that both characters considered guilty by the society, Tom Robinson and Arthur Radley, have done nothing wrong. This makes the narrative of the book even more dramatic. Harper Lee tries to show the adult world and all its cruelty through the eyes of a child. When you look through To Kill a Mockingbird chapter 1 summary, it becomes evident that all people that matter to the protagonist, Atticus Finch, are presented there.
Thus, we can observe his moral principles and ideas and all people related to him. This is an essential perspective through which we can observe all the events described in a book. It is also helpful when you start working on To Kill a Mockingbird character analysis. Arthur "Boo" Radley and Tom Robinson are the most tragic characters of the book who are in some way similar to each other.
One of them is a person rejected by society because of the skin color with which he was born. Tom is accused unfairly and sentenced to death. Arthur, another one, hides behind the walls of an old house trying to escape social cruelty. Both of these characters are compared to a Mockingbird, as they are mostly innocent.
In an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird, it is essential to note that Harper Lee describes such things as racism, hypocrisy, and other ugly traits of the society through the eyes of a child who sees them in an entirely different light. This book is a bildungsroman, or in other words, an educational novel.
Its goal is to show us that a child learns how to be a human being by observing all the hardships of surrounding reality.
Essay topics examples for an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird The amount of To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts online proves facts that this book hasn't lost its relevance even today. Such kind of books can be an exciting read at any age. It is about children, but not only written for them. When you come across this topic, think about why such relationships are possible, how the children perceive Radley, and what is his reason for having warm feelings towards them.
The book is notable for giving a clear image of an American family. Does it seem real or maybe there are some differences between the presentation in a book and real life? Has an American family changed since then? Discussing the book title is one of the most popular topics when it comes to writing To Kill a Mockingbird book summary or any other essay type about the novel.
It is hard to count opinions expressed on this topic over time. Nevertheless, think of those that seem more suitable to you. There are several characters and situations which you can relate to this topic. Take your time and choose the most suitable one. Maycomb citizens' attitude to Atticus Finch: Why is he respected so much? Another interesting topic that is usually given to students for a summary of To Kill a Mockingbird is the way how Maycomb citizens treat Atticus Finch.
Essays and criticism on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.
To Kill a Mockingbird essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
By contrast, Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, published in , written almost a century after Whitman’s poem, portrays the mockingbird as innocent but as a fragile creature with horrific memories – memories of . To Kill A Mockingbird Essay In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird a major theme is the loss of innocence. Whether from emotional abuse, racial prejudice or learning, Boo, Tom, and Scout all lose their innocence in one sense or another.
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. A+ Student Essay. What role does Boo Radley play in Scout and Jem’s lives and in their development? In To Kill a Mockingbird, children live in an inventive world where mysteries abound but little exists to actually cause them harm. Scout and Jem spend much of their time inventing stories about their reclusive neighbor Boo Radley, gleefully scaring .