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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Published: 1960

Country: United States

Publisher: J.B. Lippincott

Harper Lee’s only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, has been an established classic ever since it was first published in 1960. Set in the 1930s in the southern U.S. state of Alabama, it tells the story of the Finch family and their father, Atticus, who braves the prejudices of the townspeople of Maycomb, to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman.

This lyrical study of childhood and the power of innocence also deals with racial hatred and prejudice. Through the Finch children’s gradual discovery of the truth about the reclusive Boo Radley, we see the significance of the novel’s enigmatic title, standing as it does for the threatened and the vulnerable. The novel’s emotional impact stems from the author’s close examination of human ignorance and cruelty, but it is equally a novel of great charm and humour.

For more than half a century, this book has moved its readers, deriving its power from “the value of standing up for what is right.” Those are the words President Barack Obama used when awarding Harper Lee the National Medal of Arts in 2011.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Have a read of some of these great example essays to help generate ideas for your own work!

Marked by a teacher

What Does 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Reveal About the 1930s American Society?

4 star(s)

What Does 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Reveal About the 1930s American Society? To Kill a Mockingbird reveals much about the American society in the 1930s which are the main themes that are brought up in the book. The book was written in

Critical Essay on To Kill a Mockingbird

4 star(s)

The sheer mystery of his character greatly increases the children's desire to see and talk to him. The children are told many stories about boo, many fabricated by the higher end of the social spectrum...

To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

4 star(s)

Jem's character had many different sides. Around Dill, Jem felt the need of acting superior and older; thus, he accepted any challenges Dill threw at him such as touching the Radley's front door...

To kill a Mocking Bird - Revision Questions

4 star(s)

To kill a Mocking Bird - Revision Questions Question 1 - Say what you know about the Cunninghams: The Cunningham family does not play a major role...

Peer reviewed

To what extent does Harper Lee's Symbolism contribute to the overall effectiveness of To Kill a Mocking Bird?

4 star(s)

Symbolism is an important aspect in this novel. Harper Lee was writing in the 1950s, a time when racial tension in America was an important social issue...