To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Critical Evaluation of Literature b

The book we have been reading is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper
Lee. It was written in the 1960s but is based on events in the 1930s.

I am going to discuss which character best deserves to be the hero in
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

A hero is a man/woman noted or admired for nobility, courage or
outstanding achievements.

The novel is about a small town in the deep south of America. The
story centres on the white people discriminating and being very racist
towards Negroes. The story is narrated by a young girl called Scout
(Jean Louise) Finch. She is growing up through-out the book and we see
a change in her behaviour, thoughts and actions. Scout lives with her
dad, Atticus, and her brother Jem. Atticus is a lawyer, and during the
story Atticus defends a black man called Tom Robinson, who is in court
because he was accused of raping the daughter of a white man. Atticus,
from the start is fighting a losing battle, as the jury decides Tom is
guilty. Tom Robinson was shot when he was in jail, as he tried to
climb a fence.

Another character in the book is Boo Radley, He is a man who stays in
a run down house at the end Scout’s street. He is a mystery to all the
children who live in that street, but he saves Scout and Jem from Mr
Ewell, the father of the woman Tom Robinson was said to rape.

The first character I will talk about is Scout, the nickname of Jean
Louise Finch. She is the main character of the book, but I do not
think she is the heroine of the book but she does have some heroic

“Hey, Mr Cunningham. How’s your entailment getting along...?” Here
Scout has just ran to Atticus, who was defending Tom Robinson. Atticus
had been surrounded by angry men who were trying to get Tom. They were
stopped by Scout, who has know idea of what is going on. I think her
being a child is her heroic value, as she stopped this fight without
knowing. The first character of the book I think is one of the main
heroes is Atticus. Atticus is father to Scout and Jem, he is a lawyer
and in the story he defends Tom at court. Atticus is noble and

“If spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella one extra
beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take…” Here, Atticus is noble
because he could of stood up to Bob Ewell, but does not because he

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would rather relieve some of Bob Ewells anger by letting him spit on
him, than let Mayella get beaten up. I think this is noble.

“Jem and I found our father satisfactory…” Atticus is a good father
but does not show it much emotion. Atticus is also very strong
mentally, but is much weaker physically.

“Everybody in town’s father was playing, it seemed, except Atticus.”
Here Jem does not want to go and see the football being played,
because Atticus was too old to play.

“A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as
the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will revise
without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision…” Here
Atticus is summing up his views of the case because before he is
saying that all people make mistakes and in this quote to make their
decision without their prejudices and that they will know that if they
sentence Tom to be hanged, it is because of their prejudices not
because of the evidence.

Tom is the next person I think is partly a hero. Tom Robinson is the
black man Atticus defends in court, as Tom had been accused of rape.
In the novel Tom is a symbolic figure to the way black people were
discriminated against by white people, in the 1930s, he shows how hard
American life was for a black person. When Tom was in court he was
brave, truthful and in a dignified way did not hesitate to stand up to
the whites.

“I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of
‘em.” Tom says this when questioned by the other lawyer, Mr Gilmer. He
always answers the questions truthfully and never tries to cover up
for what he has not done. In the end Tom is found guilty. Tom, I
think, is a hero because he acts as a representative of black men –
comes across very well.

The last person I think can be considered a hero is Boo Radley. Boo,
or Arthur, Radley was talked about at the start of the book by Scout
and Jem. To the children Boo is a scary man who only comes out at
night frighten them. Their childish rumours describe him as “six and a
half feet tall, judging by his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and
any cats he could catch…” This information is from the town gossip,
who turned out to be very unreliable. Boo actually was a very nice
person as we find out at the end of the story.

“I led him to the front porch, where his uneasy steps halted. He was
still holding my hand…” Here Scout is taking Boo home because they had
just been in at Scout’s house seeing Jem. Jem had been in a fight,
defending Scout and himself, against Mr Bob Ewell, in the middle of
the fight Boo jumped in and helped Jem. In the end, it was decided, Mr
Ewell tripped and fell on his knife he was using as a weapon and Boo
carried Jem home as he had been knocked out.

“The man was walking in staccato steps of someone carrying a load to
heavy for him…” Here, I think, Boo is a stereotypical hero, as is very

I will now discuss my conclusion to the question “Which character best
describes to be the hero in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee? I
think Atticus, Tom and Boo are all equally heroic but definitely not
in the same ways. Atticus is a person who is very strong mentally,
which is his heroic quality. I think Tom is a hero to all the black
people who have lived and respected the whites with no questions
asked. Whereas Boo is the physically person and that is why he is a

I think these three characters are all equally heroic, and I do not
think you could choose between them.
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