To Kill a Mockingbird: Literary Analysis Essay
Harper lee is the author of the book To Kill a Mockingbird. The message that the author tries pass on to its readers deals with serious issues such as racial inequality. The plot of the book and the characters used are a mirror image of the author’s observation of her family members and neighbors and the setting of the story occurs in her hometown when she was a young girl. The author wrote this book during the tense period of racism at her home town in Alabama (Lee, 1988). The south side was still segregated that forced the blacks to use separate facilities different from those of the whites. During this era the Civil Rights Movement began to develop. Racial injustices and the destruction of innocence seemed to the catalyst of the story.
The climax of the story occurs when Atticus who is a renowned lawyer and is capable of impassioned defense looses a case and Tom Robinson was found guilty. This verdict forces Jem and Scout to confront the morals that they were taught by Atticus as they cannot always be reconciled with the reality of the world and the wrongdoings of human nature. The two cases of that deal with Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are related to the title to kill the mocking bird as both face a falling action. Tom Robinson is shot when he tries to escape prison. After Bob Ewell make numerous threats against Atticus that are connected to the trial, Ewell assaults Scout and Jem as they walk home one night, but Boo Radley saves the two children and stabs Ewell. The detective, knowing Boo, like Tom Robinson, that he would be misunderstood and likely convicted in a trial, protects Boo by saying the Ewell fell on a knife (Lee, 1988). Both characters may be referred to as mocking birds as they are good people that may be injured by evil of the wrong doing of others.
The characters that represent justice include Atticus Finch who is Jem and Scout’s father. He is a lawyer who defends Tom Robinson who has been accused of rape. He is a God-like father who teaches his children to be honest and respectful. He is also a courageous and a kind man making a well respected man in the Maycomb community. Scout is the protagonist of the book and has adopted the good attributes of her father. From the book, we get to note that she believes in the goodness of people and is ready to protect the innocent. She reacts to terrible events but never loses hope in humanity. Jem is Scouts older brother and is her primary source of knowledge. He takes the responsibility of taking care of her younger sister. He is always ready to protect the harmless and fragile. Dill is a friend to Scout. He is a confident boy who has an active power of imagination and tries to remove Boo Radley from the house to play with him. Heck Tate is an honest and upstanding man (Lee, 1988). He depicts innocence throughout the novel. The characters that depict evil or prejudice include, Bob Ewell who is a drunk and encourages his daughter to claim that Tom Robinson has raped her. Mayella Ewell is falsely accuses Tom of raping her. The character who ambiguity in the novel include Mrs. Dubose who fight a morphine addiction and Reverend Sykes who is a black reverend but asks Scout and Jem to visit him.
The phrase “it is a sin to kill the mocking birds” Is metaphorical. The idea of “mocking birds” shows how good or innocent people suffer or are destroyed by evil. Boo Radley is a good person but the pureness of his heart has been damaged by his abusive father. After he stabs his father, he is forced to remain in the house and his neighbors find him a weird character. Other “mocking birds” in the book are Scout and Jem who lose their innocence as they grow up and start to see things the way they are as opposed the perception their father gave them. Tom Robinson is a mocking bird as he is falsely accused rape and when he attempts to escape prison he is shot. Atticus is also a mocking bird as he offers all the evidence to show that Tom Robinson is innocent but, because if the racist nature of the white society during that time, the man is convicted. The gothic elements in the book are the mad dog and the fire. There is tension that is created in the book by Tom Robison’s trail and his tragic death (Lee, 1988). Boo Radley good heartedness and Bob Ewells threat to Atticus children.
The life lessons that Scout gets is evident as she grows. She began to see things as they really were. She loses her innocence when she starts to find out things. She notices how cruel the world can be to someone who is a little bit different. She gains the knowledge of how a man can hat another based on the racial aspects. Her relationship with the father starts out normally. Atticus teaches her how to respect other and believes that all the people that she lives around are good people. Her innocence is lost when she is confronted by the evil of other people. Atticus plays a center role in her life as he has experience in the evil and prejudice by other people and does not lose his faith in humanity. She teaches Scout that it is possible to live with conscience and not to lose hope. As the novel advances, Scout shows her gradual development towards comprehending the lesson taught by Atticus (Lee, 1988).
This book offers much inspiration regarding how we treat our neighbors. Human beings are creatures of good and evil. The most important thing is to appreciate the good qualities and understand the bad things by trying to treat them with empathy. This book gave me proper insight regarding “mocking birds” and that we should be ready to suffer for the greater good. The mirror image shows the coexistence of good and evil and the significance and moral education and social class. The issue of racism and social injustices is an issue that the book is trying to address and it an issue that is currently taking place in today’s world.
Lee, H. (1988). To Kill a Mockingbird. New York : Grand Central Publishing.