To Kill A MockingBird: Short Review

Posted: June 28, 2014 in Literary Stuff, My Philosophical Musings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever read a story that ultimately changed the way in which you
thought about the world? So often we form our opinions and lifestyles from our families and what
we observe around us. Could it be possible that a novel might change the
way in people’s thinking? After reading Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird,
I realized for the first time how complex racism was, and the necessity for
societal change.

I have always been aware of cultural and racial differences in others. I was raised to accept people for their differences and judge people solely on their character. However, I wasn’t aware of the problems encountered by black people in the Deep South during the 1940s. In her novel, Lee makes it apparent that the color of skin was a determinant of social stature, no matter your character.

I felt that having a first person narrator, told from the perspective of a young girl in the South was a brilliant way to tell this story. Scout is at the age where she is only beginning to understand how society handles diversity and cultural differences. A black man, Tom Robinson, is accused of raping a white woman, even though none of the evidence points to him. For example, the narrator is a young girl named Scout. Her father Atticus Finch, is a well-respected, highly moral lawyer who is defending Tom. Even though Atticus finds evidence contrary to the accusations, he has no hope of winning this trial. Scout fights a boy in her class who tells her that her father is defending a “(racial slur)”. Scout now begins to come to terms with her assumptions about people.

An interesting point is made in this novel. While the white people of this small town in Alabama discuss the horrors of Hitler persecuting Jewish people, Scout wonders how the same people could not understand that the
white people of her town were doing the same to the blacks. This sends a
powerful message to the reader through such a vivid analogy.

This novel elicits the reader to think about race relations and social bigotry. There are decent, moral black characters in this novel that are doomed
because of their skin color. However, Lee portrays low class white families,
such as Bob’s, undeserving of respect, but able to live on a much higher
social stature than the blacks. When Tom Robinson is killed escaping from
prison, the town barely takes notice.

Through Lee’s novel, society is faced with the vulgarities of race and
social class, along with the racism of this Southern town. Her message that
neither race nor class, but actions, define someone’s character leave the
reader with important social issues to be re-examined.


  1. roberthorvat says:

    One of my favourite books. The film is awesome too with Gregory Peck !


  2. I have to say that it was the first novel that was required reading (I believe 10th grade) that after I started, I could not put it down. The film to me also does the novel justice as so often they do not. I enjoyed your post.


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