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

To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay. In the book, To kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee highlights the meaning of the narrative using novel standpoint, structure and irony. Harper Lee investigates the absurd attitudes of adults towards race and status

Extracts from this document...


EN3UO Mr. Miller June 16, 2009 To Kill a Mockingbird An innocent child is unaware of the realities of the world until they witness through experiences and teachings, ethics and morals. A book, in the same way, consists of characters, whose experiences, feelings and thoughts convey a subtle theme or message that is usually ethically accurate. The theme represents the controlling idea of the book and the central purpose for which the author decided to write the novel. The theme of the book is usually what the author wants the reader to take away from the book. As a crucial element of a novel, the way in which the author generates the meaning of the book is significant. The author can express the theme effectively not only through the characters present in the novel but also through specific writing styles, the focus being form and text. In the book, "To kill a Mockingbird", Harper Lee highlights the meaning of the narrative using novel standpoint, structure and irony. Harper Lee investigates the absurd attitudes of adults towards race and status in the Deep South in the 1930s through the eyes of Scout Finch. ...read more.


One of the character focus in part one is Boo Radley. The children, Scout, Jem and Dill, are exceptionally afraid of Boo because of his bad reputation in town, due to the rumours spreading around town about Boo. "According to neighborhood legend, when the younger Radley boy was in his teens he became acquainted with some of the Cunninghams...and they formed the nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb. They did little, but enough to be discussed by the town" (Lee 12). It can be observed that the town is very judgemental towards different families and misconceptions are present based on rumours. It turns out toward the end of the story that Boo Radley is not as frightening as the town had made him out to be. Harper Lee, in part one of the book, using introduction of the characters show that judgements shouldn't be made based on a person's past because each person deserves a second chance and everyone has a potential to change. The second part of the book is solely surrounding the fact that Atticus, Scout's father, is asked to defend a black man in court for r****g a white girl. ...read more.


"'That's the difference between America and Germany. We are democracy and Germany is a dictatorship'" (Lee 329). It is ironic that the teacher would emphasize the idea that their country is democratic. However in reality, Maycomb County gives no importance to equality, since they discriminate against black people just like Hitler discriminated against the Jews. It is not just the town, even Miss Gates, the teacher herself, later on in the chapter is overheard to be in favour of persecuting Tom Robinson, just like Hitler persecuted the Jews. Harper Lee once again uses irony to stress the absurdity of discrimination. The theme of a novel is essential in that the book serves as a purpose for the reader, who is reading the book and the author, who is writing the book. Each element, including the form and text of the book acts as a building block that work together to communicate the theme to the reader. The purpose of the form and text used in the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird", is used to generate meaning through, narrative standpoint, structure and irony. An author can use many techniques to express the theme. However, it is often unnoticed that the form and text of a novel also has a purpose, to reveal the theme of a book. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is a very strong essay; on the whole it is very well written and demonstrates a high level of analytical skill. At times further links between different points in the text could be made to illustrate an in depth knowledge of the whole narrative.

5 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 18/07/2013

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 AS and A Level Harper Lee essays

  1. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' has multiple meanings. Do you agree? Use the novel to ...

    One of the people in the Maycomb who is a mockingbird is Mr Arthur Radley, also commonly known as Boo Radley. Mr Arthur is a thin and bony man. His eyes are colourless; his hair 'dead and thin' (p.298); and his skin is very pale.

  2. Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    Overall Mrs. Dubose was not a nice person but with her quality of courage, she was still a "good" individual in the end. Tom Robinson was courageous to help poor Mayella Ewell. He showed great bravery when he tried to help her with her work, although the danger of doing so was imminent and he received nothing in return.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Theme Analysis

    He is meandering around at night and is always "scratching on the back screen" of peoples doors (Lee 13). His diet consists of "raw squirrels and any cats" which leaves him with horrifying "blood stained hands" (Lee 13). Other descriptions of him include: "a long jagged scar that ran across

  2. Critical Essay on "To kill a Mocking Bird".

    Without the setting the racial tension the theme would not be nearly as heated as it is in the novel. This small "tired-old town" creates a hierarchical social status where anyone against the majority suffers. A great amount of prejudice is seen in the form of Mrs Duboose, she is

  1. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper ...

    These unconventional acts tell the reader the organization of Atticus's devotion to his value system. In an era where discrimination is not only common, but also encouraged, Atticus chooses to go against the societal norms and hold strong to his belief in a fair justice system for every man.

  2. "Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird

    But even though he has never tried to harm the children, even though he is causing no harm to anyone, he is not allowed to communicate with them in his own childlike fashion; the knothole in which he would leave the little presents is blocked up by his elder brother, Nathan Radley.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Injustice

    The first two quotes are based on gossip and the only one who actually knew him said he was always nice. This shows how unfair/ unjust Boo has been treated by the people who live in Maycomb. Maycomb have both social and racial divisions.

  2. Scout, through involvements with three men, Arthur (Boo) Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, ...

    Radley more mysterious. But as the story progresses, it gradually reveals that Arthur is actually not a crazy person. In fact, he is nice and warm-hearted, willing to connect with children and help them out of danger. "Boo Radley...he put the blanket around you," (page 78).

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