Many who have read Harper Lee’s work To Kill a Mocking Bird consider it as classic. I totally agree, who wouldn’t, anyway? One should pay attention to the moral values this work tries to inflict in the reader. Discrimination is considered bad, according to Harper Lee. This is good because the termination of discrimination is the beginning of a peaceful society. One’s color or background should not be used against him or her. This is the same idea Harper Lee was trying to communicate in this book (Madden 2009).
I find the novel very hilarious, even though there are some solemn scenes in it. Harper Lee’s arrangement of work is just but amazing. Different hilarious scenes that help in relieving tension are present in the novel; before realizing it, you encounter the terrifying scenes again. Writing style used by Harper Lee is quite captivating, a fact that makes her work very popular (Shields 2007).
There are different, controversial questions evident in this work, for instance, the issue of how women should behave in the society. These questions promote mind stimulation and motivate individuals to read even more. In addition to that, many scenes are full of tension and suspense, making the reader wonder and urge to get to know what will happen next. Suspense present in this book is what makes Harper Lee's work unique and much different (in a good way) from other works I have read before. Considering the fact that this is a political novel, I think, Harper Lee needs to be congratulated on ensuring that her work is not as flat as other political novels (Lee & Milton 2000).
You can agree with me that most scenes are captivating but, again, most escapades presented in this novel are rather scattered and pointless. For instance, most children’s escapades are pointless, to my point of view. According to Harper Lee, this was the only way she could introduce her readers to townspeople. Robinson’s verdict is tragic because of these escapades. Lack of these escapades would make readers have different views about townspeople, contrary to what Harper Lee wanted us to know. Harper Lee wanted to inform us that not all townspeople are bigots and discriminative in nature (Petry 2007).
If to talk about the trial scenes, they were more than amazing to me, maybe, because I find courtroom dramas fascinating. I love Atticus’s confidence that is evident from the trial scenes. He was not afraid to point out that Bob Ewell was responsible for his daughter’s abuse. The presence of uncooperative and hostile witnesses did not scare him either. It was easy to notice that the prosecutor was very evil, but Lee avoided inflicting this in the readers (Lee & McRoberts 2000).
There was so much laughing present in this novel, for instance, towards the trials’ end, and the attack of children by Ewell. I think that Lee would have avoided sacrificing the whole story by arriving at the climax faster than she did. Boo, Radley’s appearance came as a surprise even though it was a bit predictable. Raddley played two different roles in the novel; the first one was that of contrasting townspeople, and the second one was helping Scout have some confidence towards her neighbors (Bloom 2007).
Relationships between siblings can be very interesting. Am one lover of children and the relationship that exists between Scout and Jem is astounding. No one can ever imagine that brothers can hate each other so much, but this forms part of growing up of children. I enjoyed reading how Jem continuously avoided Scout, especially in public. Portraying this, Harper Lee was just and simply great. Lastly, I can commend Lee for a well done job. This novel is much different than any other I have read in the recent past. The riveting trial, humor, and endearing characters made the novel worth my time (Lee & McRoberts 2000).
People who have read this novel will agree that To Kill a Mocking Bird has different memorable scenes that make this book worth our time. I have identified three scenes which, to my point of view, are extremely memorable. The first scene I find memorable is when Atticus tries to defend Robinson. It is fascinating how Scout and Jem decided to defend their father before a crowd tried to disrupt Atticus from protecting Robinson. It is interesting how Atticus decided to protect Robinson even though most people were not willing to. Atticus believes that his noble duty is to protect people against discrimination. He does not care about what other people might about him protecting a black man. All he wants is to ensure that justice prevails in the society. Scout and Jem’s actions show how much love children can have towards their parents, a reason that makes this scene even more memorable to me (Smucker 2000).
Robinson being accused falsely just because he is black is uncouth. This scene tries to display and explain all the challenges that African-Americans experienced in the Diaspora. Atticus’s actions indicate that all people in the whole universe are equal regardless of their skin color, gender, or physical ability. Every individual is unique in his or her own way. We should stop focusing on the physical appearance of an individual and try to appreciate everyone’s uniqueness. Another reason that makes me find this book memorable is that Atticus tries to show that people should always stand for what they deem right and avoid being influenced by the mob. Just like him, he did not care about what people thought of Robinson. This makes the whole novel memorable and worth considering as one of my favorite books (Lee & McRoberts 2000).
Another fascinating scene is when Atticus is forced to inform Mrs. Robinson that Robinson was shot. Mrs. Robinson's crying is quite moving, it makes one realize that whites who lived in Maycomb were ignorant of what is wrong and right. They did not care about other people’s feelings but were rather interested in fulfilling their selfish motives. The most important point to note from this scene is that all people under the sun have feelings, thus, they ought to be respected. For instance, being black does not mean one is not emotionally active (Conrad 2006).
When reading this book, I thought Boo Radley’s character stands out from the rest of the characters. There so many questions one would ask about him. This character was used to a secluded lifestyle. He was allowed to be seen out by his father, especially during the day. This is the reason why Boo was only seen at night spying and eating cats. It is his character that attracted Scout’s and Jem’s attention. They did not understand what kept him in doors; they, therefore, strived hard to ensure that Boo came out from his hiding. The kind of lifestyle Boo had was a sign of how did Boo’s family live. They lived in a lapidated building that was not conducive for human survival, however, they managed to survive anyway. One would say they were used to that sort of life. Myths had it that the reason why Boo’s parents had locked him up was because of the troubles he had caused in high school (Conrad 2006).
Another reason why Boo lived as a recluse was stabbing his father. When he carried out this act, Boo decided to disappear for a period of fifteen years. The love Boo's father had for his son made him not accept the judge's idea of locking Boo in an asylum. His father defended him by saying that it was pointless for the judge to lock up the poor boy because he was neither crazy nor a criminal (Lee & McRoberts 2000).
Scout, Dill, and Jem, had an interest of Boo getting out of exile without success. From the story, however, it is clear that Boo had great affection towards these children. This is because of the gifts he left behind in a tree. When Boo’s father discovered this, he decided to stop it by filling the hole that was used by Boo for stashing different gifts. The novel tries to bring out Boo as a malicious character, but again, look at how affectionate he was when he tries to cover Scout at the period when the house of Miss Mudie was in ashes (Smucker 2000).
Lee fails to talk about Boo until that time when Bob tried to kill Scout and Jem. Boo’s caring nature is also evident when he tries to save the lives of Scout and Jem from the hands of Bob. It is through this scene that we get to understand Boo’s physical appearance. He has thinning hair, colorless eyes, and is rather skinny. Boo’s character is very intriguing. There are many myths behind his secluded life. Some of the questions I kept asking myself while reading this book were: is it true that his father made him stay indoors all those years and if so, why? What is the main reason why Boo was not ready to be seen by the public? Is it true that Boo is a monster? Towards the end of the novel, Boo’s character is quite opposite to what we believe. He is a Human because he was able to save Jem’s and Scout’s lives (Smucker 2000).
Boo’s character is used to contrast what the town is made up of. Initially, we can see the town as a perfect place to be while Boo is shown as the most malicious person on Earth. This changes totally at the end, where Boo becomes a completely different man. The town is now seen as evil for hating a man just because of his black race. From Boo’s character, I can conclude that Lee was interested in showing her readers that things do change and that we should not be hasty in jumping into conclusions about certain people or situations. It is at the end of this novel when I realize that Tom Robinson and Boo Radley have the same characteristics. Radley was accused of being a monster while Robinson is accused of being a rapist (Conrad 2006).
There are different literary elements evident in this novel. The first literary element is the plot. This novel has two plots that converge appropriately. Scout’s and Jem’s adventure are the first plot. The most captivating adventure is the relationship that exists between them and Boo Radley. Other important episodes are those that involve the interaction of these kids and other family members together with neighbors. I strongly believe that these interactions were used purposely by Lee for her readers to be able to understand other characters. The second plot involves Robinson’s trial. Through understanding the kid’s neighbors, a reader is able to learn their malicious acts of convicting an innocent black man (Merrick 2001).
Another literary element present in this novel is a strong point of view. This is evident through Scout. It is amazing how this young girl can be able to relate different facts about every individual present in Maycomb town. It is beyond my understanding of how Scout, a very nice girl, can have so much knowledge about many people in Maycomb.
The setting of the novel was well done; this is because it was relevant to the story. It is true that a trial described in this novel can be held anywhere, however, Lee thought that Deep South was ideal for this story. This can be due to high levels of discrimination that were evident in Deep South before African Americans got independence courtesy of Martin Luther and other humanitarians (Shmoop 2011).
The style is also rather unique in this novel. The style used by Lee was light and conversational, which can be attributed to the age of the narrator. Most of the observations made by Scout were funny and witty. For instance, when describing her conversation with her cousin she says it can be compared to a feeling settling down on an ocean. Lastly, there is the presence of symbolism. Portraying Scout and Jem as children is used to symbolize innocence. In addition, Robinson is used to symbolize oppression while Atticus symbolizes goodness and decency (Meyer 2010).
Influence of the Book
The teachings of this novel are not only clear from what we read inside but also from its cover page. The cover page is used to show readers the importance of human dignity in uniting people. The back page is important because it helps readers in understanding human behavior. Apart from this, the novel serves every individual in society. This is because there is humor, romance, and dramatic trial in it.
This story is very important due to its smallest and largest elements. We learn that racism only shifts, evolves, or changes with time. It is very hard for this vice in the society to be done away with completely. This book enables readers to answer questions concerning the prevalence of injustice in the society today. Due to its publication, many changes have taken place in the society. Even though some individuals argue that this book should be done away with, I still believe that it is due to this book that differences in social class have changed. Unpredictable evolution has occurred all over the world. People have now learnt to look at different issues in the world with a fresh eye or rather critically. Issues like individual perception, social class, and racism have changed significantly; they are now represented by an open-minded world.
The main theme in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird is social differences. Problems brought about by racism have been fully explored in this novel. It is noted that racial experiences witnessed in 1930 are different from those that are being experienced now. Critiques argue that this novel is not appropriate to be used as a course book. This is because social differences demonstrated in this novel are not related to the current ones. The present world lacks visual racism; there is an equal treatment of trials unlike those that have been demonstrated in the novel. The major reason why students read novels in school is to enable them face different challenges in society. To Kill a Mocking Bird does not in any way address different issues that affect children in society, therefore making this novel rather irrelevant (Johnson 1994).
In addition to this, critiques argue that people view social differences and social class in a different, which was clearly explained in the novel. Not only do whites hate the blacks but blacks can also hate whites. What the novel has tried to demonstrate is that racism can only exist in situations where whites are discriminating against the blacks. The society allows freedom of worship; people are not forced to carry out certain religious practices as evident in this novel. Students should, therefore, be exposed to facts that talk about the present world rather than those that explore the past world (Gray 1996).
I totally disagree with the critiques of this novel; they fail to understand that it is through the work of Lee that individuals have learnt to appreciate differences exiting between us. It is true that students ought to understand the current world, but it is also true that in order to understand the current world one needs to understand the past. There is a definite reason why there is a change in social differences. With no doubt, this difference emanated from some important issues that affect us in a society. Reasons for dismissing Lee’s work and terming it as irrelevant do not really hold water as most critiques may put it (Wood 2010).
To Kill a Mocking Bird, a novel by Harper Lee, is quite classical. This is due to the unique style that Lee used in communicating her idea. This novel can be used to educate as well as to entertain people. The main theme evident in this novel is social differences. This book tries to explore the living conditions the blacks experienced in Diaspora in 1930s. Africans were discriminated against because of their skin color. A representative of the black race in this novel is Robinson, who was falsely accused of carrying out rape. Atticus's character was used to represent few noble individuals present in our society today. I am yet to encounter the work of another writer that has communicated his or her ideas in such a unique manner as Lee did.