In 1960, Harper Lee published her critically acclaimed book To Kill a
Mockingbird. Only a year after being published the American classic
novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction as well as the
Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Gregory Peck stared as Atticus in the successfully adapted 1962 motion
picture of To Kill a Mockingbird that won an Academy Award. This book
is based on many childhood experiences that Lee herself encountered
growing up in Southern Alabama. This book is based on three children
that learn about goodness and courage throughout their adolescence. In
the course of their growing up the children do a great deal of learning,
but little of that learning takes place in school... is life itself, their
experience(Schuster 507-508). The apparent message of To Kill a
Mockingbird is a plea for racial tolerance and understanding.
Atticus Finch is a small-town lawyer who is considered an extremely
morally upright man. He must defend an innocent black man in court
who has been convicted of raping a white woman. This widower was left
with two children when his wife died when the younger of the two, Jean
Louise (Scout) Finch was just two years old. When the story initially
begins Scout is six years old. The events of this story are told from the
view point of this tomboy of a female whose older brother, Jeremy
Atticus (Jem) Finch, was just nearing his teens. Jem Finch is
approximately four years older than his sister. He is direly protective of
Scout and obviously quieter and more reserved than Scout.
With the locale of To Kill a Mockingbird being in a small-town in
southern Alabama by the name of Maycom...
... middle of paper ...
...er. This change in Jem takes place when the Finch children begin
school. Tom Robinson's trial and the attack from Mr. Ewell cause him to
be exposed to injustice and cruelty of human nature. This forces Jem to
act almost grown up by the end of the story.
Harper Lee's reputation as an author rests on her only novel, To Kill a
Mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel of strong contemporary national
significance. And it deserves serious consideration. But first of all it is a story
so admirably done that it must be called honorable and engrossing (Sullivan
1).This novel has been admired by many since it was first written, and it is a
story that deals with racism in the 1930s. To Kill a Mockingbird contains a
number of complex themes but the one that remains is that Lee utilized this
novel to project a better understanding of racism and its impartiality.
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