To Kill A Mockingbird 4 Essay, Research Paper
To Kill A Mockingbird
The book To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee. It
was published in 1960 then it went on to win the Pulitzer prize in
1961 and was later made into an Academy Award winning film. Harper Lee
always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is
regarded as a masterpiece of American Literature. There are so many
characters in this book that I can’t name all of them. Here are most
of the characters.
The Finch family contains of Atticus (The head of the
household), Aunt Alexandra (Atticus’s sister), (Jem) Jeremy (The
oldest of Atticus’s two children), (Scout) Jean Louise (The youngest
of the two . She also trys to be a boy by doing boy things). And you
can’t forget their black maid. Her name is Calpurnia.
Miss Rachael is Dill’s aunt that lives in Maycomb. Dill is a
friends with Jem and Scout. According to Scout they are married. (Boo)
Arthur Radley is the person that takes Jem back to his house after Jem
gets hurt by Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson is a black man that was accused
of raping Mayella Ewell. Bob Ewell is Mayella’s father. He is out for
revenge on Atticus for what he did to him and his daughter. Mayella is
Bob’s daughter who supposedly got raped by Tom Robinson. Judge Taylor
is the Judge of Maycomb County. Heck Tate is the county law official.
I think the protagonist in the story is Atticus Finch because
he has the main part and he has the biggest decision to make. The
decision being whether to defend or not to defend Tom Robinson.
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb County, an imaginary
district in Southern Alabama. The time is the early 1930s, the years
of the Great Depression when poverty and unemployment were widespread
in the United States.
The story begins during the summer when Scout and Jem meet a
new playmate named Dill who has come from Mississippi to spend the
summer with his Aunt Rachael. Dill is fascinated by the neighborhood
gossip about “Boo” Radley. Egged on by Dill, Jem and Scout try to
think up ways to lure him out of his house.
Soon it is Summer again , and Dill returns for another visit.
The children’s plans for making contact with Boo Radley grew bolder
this year, and on Dill’s last night they decide to sneak up onto the
Radley porch and spy on Boo. Jem goes first, but just as he reaches
the window, Nathan Radley catches site of them and scares them off
with a blast from a shot gun.
Jem realizes that Boo is not a monster after all, but has been
playing along with them. Scout does not figure this out until the
winter, on the night that the house of their neighbor burns to the
ground. While Scout is standing outside in the cold, someone sneaks up
behind her and places a blanket around her. Later, Scout and Jem
realize that there was only one person in town who has not already at
work fighting the fire and that was Boo.
Now that Jem and Scout realize that Boo is basically a kind
person, their interest in the Radley family begins to fade. In the
meantime, they learn that their father has become the defense lawyer
for Tom Robinson, who is charged with raping Mayella Ewell.
As the trial of Tom Robinson grows nearer, the children become
more aware of the strong feeling it has aroused in everyone in
Maycomb. One day their housekeeper takes Jem and Scout to visit her
church, and the children realize for the first time that the black
parishioners are supporting Tom Robinson’s wife.
Two nights before the trial is to start, a group of men come
to the Finch house to tell Atticus about threats against Tom
Robinson’s life. Atticus spends the next night camped out at the jail
to defend Tom from the mob. Jem, Scout and Dill go downtown to check
on Atticus and arrive at the same time as a group of men, who have
come to kill Tom. Scout recognizes one of the men in the group as
Walter Cunningham. Her friendliness embarrasses the man so much that
he and the mob leave.
The next day, at the trial, Atticus” questions make it clear
that Mayella and her father are lying about the rape. Neverless the
jury convict him because their prejudices prevent them from taking a
black man’s word against two whites. Atticus is now a hero in the
black community of Maycomb, but Bob Ewell, vows to “get” Atticus for
showing him up as a liar in front of the whole town.
Tom Robinson has give n up hope and trys to flee the prison,
but while doing it he gets caught and shot.
By the time Halloween comes around, the Finch family has begun
to put Tom’s death behind them. There is a pageant planned and Scout
much to her dismay has been cast as a ham. After the pageant Scout
decides to walk home still dressed in her bulky costume, with Jem
leading the way. The cowardly Bob Ewell. seeing an opportunity to get
revenge on Atticus through his children. He follows the children down
a dark street and tries to kill them. In the side. It is none other
than Boo Radley, who had seen the attack from his window. Boo stabs
Bob Ewell to death, and carries the wounded Jem home.
The sheriff decides to file a report that Bob fell on his own
knife and died, thus sparing Boo the publicity that would be sure to
Scout never sees Boo again after that night, but she has
learned that he was a good man all along. She has learned a lesson
about understanding and tolerance. And through the sheriff’s action
she sees that sometimes there can be justice and compassion in the
The title of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a key to some
themes in the novel. The title is first explained in Chapter 10 at the
time that Jem and Scout have just received air rifles for Christmas.
Atticus tells his children that it is a sin to shoot a mockingbird.
Later Miss Maudie explains that Atticus meant that Mockingbirds are
harmless creatures who do nothing but sing for enjoyment.
It is easy to see that the “mockingbird” in this story is Tom
Robinson a harmless man who becomes a victim of racial prejudice. Like
the mockingbird, Tom has never done wrong to anyone. Even the jurors
who sentence him to death have nothing personal against him. They find
him guilty mostly because they feel that to take the word of a black
man over two whites would threaten the system they live under, the
system of segregation. Tom himself is guilty of nothing but being in
the wrong place at the wrong time.