• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To Kill a Mockingbird Critical Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To Kill a Mockingbird Critical Essay A book which I have studied recently in class is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. In this essay I am going to write about how Harper Lee explores the main themes of the novel and which characters illustrate which theme. I will also write about the novels central message. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story of Scout Finch and her brother Jem, in 1930's Alabama. The summer when Scout was six and Jem was ten, they met Dill. Dill and Jem become obsessed with the idea of making Boo Radley, the neighbourhood recluse, come out of his home. Scout and Jem's father, Atticus, is a respected lawyer in Maycomb County. When he takes on a case of a young black innocent man, Tom Robinson against two dishonest white people, Atticus knows that he will lose, but he has to defend the man because he feels he is obliged to. The case is the biggest thing to hit Maycomb County in years and it turns the whole town against Atticus. ...read more.

Middle

Scout is the narrator of the novel, and the impressions of all the other characters are filtered through her point of view. All the activities and opinions are therefore expressed through the mind of an innocent child who does not always understand the significance of the event she in narrating. "Hey, Mr Cunningham. How's your entailment getting' along?' Mr walter Cunningham's legal affairs were well known to me; Atticus had once described them at length. The big man blinked and hooked his thumbs in his overall straps. He seemed uncomfortable; he cleared his throat and looked away. My friendly overture had fallen flat." In this quotation we can see that Scout does not understand the position that her father is in. Her father is confronted by a mob who are intending to harm him, but she is unaware of that fact. She managed to disarm them with her youth and innocence in that way that she talked to Mr Cunningham as a friend. The way she tried to strike up a friendly conversation with him reminded him that they were neighbours and friends. ...read more.

Conclusion

They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" In this quotation Atticus is telling the children why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. This is the outlining theme throughout the rest of the novel. It unifies the two plot elements of Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Both characters are the 'mockingbirds' of the novel. Both are harmless members of society and both are innocent people, yet in some way, both are persecuted by society. I think this quotation is important because it helps Scout understand near the end of the book why Boo Radley is like a mockingbird. She realises that he harms nobody and is an innocent member of society. In conclusion I feel Harper Lee has been very successful in portraying the main themes of the novel through different characters and their actions. I think that the central message of the novel is that everyone in society should be treated with equal justice and that it is wrong to persecute someone on the basis of their colour of skin or background. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

    4 star(s)

    out for herself what she was going to do by giving her a clue. Furthermore, another factor of Atticus' character that is linked to the previous one is his sense of justice. Calpurnia is the family cook and she is treated like an equal by Atticus even though she is black.

  2. How influential is the setting of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' to the novel's plot ...

    This means that poverty would not be such a problem for the community. The poverty levels of the characters would vary according to their occupations. The Finches would be fairly wealthy because in the year 2001 lawyers are paid very well.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    to inform her about what is going on in the world outside Maycomb, this is important so that she has a wider view of the important things happening in the world so life doesn't end in Maycomb. This costs time and as a busy lawyer, time is very precious to

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

    Because of the people of Maycomb making accusations about Boo Radley, he remains an evil and threatening image in the minds of the children, Jem, Scout, and Dill. As the novel progresses, the children see him as a source of love and goodness; however, there is still an air of creepiness to Boo.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    As soon as it's gone, the three children run as fast as they can back home, but Jem loses his pants in the gate. As they run, they hear a shotgun sound somewhere behind them. When they return, Mr. Radley is standing inside his gate, and Atticus is there with various neighbors.

  2. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    Maudie's house to a yard across the street." This shows how the men, no matter what they were doing they went into the house which was on fire, regardless of whether they catch fire and die or not retrieve Miss Maudie's furniture.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    These remarks and comments especially hurt Jem for he looked up to Atticus and set him as his model gentleman. Throughout the story, we realize that Jem is much more fragile and vulnerable than Scout. Jem was at an age where he felt the need of proving that he was a man and no longer a boy.

  2. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    * Claims that her maid Sophy is ?Complaining?. She calls her ?Sulky Darky?. * ?God created everyone equal? Racial discrimination in Maycomb contradicts this. Christian teaching that there is no social status and hierarchy. White population is using the Black community to do dirty jobs, and treats them as lower class citizens.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work