Analysis of to Kill a Mockingbird

Topics: Black people, To Kill a Mockingbird, White people Pages: 6 (2373 words) Published: May 16, 2012
I’d like to analyze the extract from a book which is entitled “To kill a mockingbird”. The author is Harper Lee, an American author known for her 1960-Pulitzer-Prize-winning and who is considered now by many to be a literary icon. Harper Lee was born in 1926 in the state of Alabama. In 1945-1949 she studied law at the University of Alabama. Her novel ‘To kill a mockingbird’ which deals with the issues of racism that were observed by the author as a child in her hometown was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. The book became an international bestseller and was adapted into screen in 1962. The story of “To kill a mockingbird” takes place during a tumultuous time in the South. At that time black people were treated as people of lower level than white people and racial tensions were running high in the South as a whole, especially in Alabama. People all over the US followed events like the Scottsboro incident, 1955 bus boycott and also Martin Luther King’s rise to leadership. Harper Lee is said to have been influenced by these events very much. Though many details of To Kill a Mockingbird are apparently autobiographical she has insisted that the novel is a work of fiction. The text under analysis belongs to the group of fictional texts. The literary trend is realism. The book is brilliant and powerful and it is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama. In the novel the author paints a true and lively picture of that time. A Negro was falsely accused of raping a white woman. Rhe extract’s scene takes place in the Supreme Court in 1936. At the beginning the author pays readers attention to the main character of the story, Atticus, who is a defender. Then the author passes on the detailed description of Atticus’s speech to the jury from which we learn that he occuses a young girl who tempted a black man. The author depicts how Atticus defending Tom Robinson, tries to persuade the jury that it was she, Bob Ewell’s daughter, who broke the code because her desires were stronger and we see Atticus providing the court with some evidences protecting the black man. After that he refers to Thomas Jefferson’s speech emphasizing that in the court all people were equal, in spite of being black or white. He ends his speech by asking the jury to make a right decision. Further on we learn that the jury voted and discussed the case for a very long time and finally brought in a verdict Robinson’s guiltiness which should be followed by the death penalty. It is important to analyze the title of the book, which has very little connection to the plot, but it is a kind of a symbol of the whole situation. In this story, the “mockingbird” comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, ‘to kill a mockingbird’ is to destroy innocence. As we see this story is a real masterpiece of true-to-life description. Speaking about the structure of the story, it is represented quite vividly. There is the exposition, which is at the beginning, where the author writes how Atticus presents his speech to the jury. The exposition is followed by the risking – the speech of Atticus. And the climax is the moment, when the main character appeals to people’s feelings and values. The outcome is the verdict which is believed to be unfair. So, we can make a conclusion that this is the anticlimax of the extract. When Atticus finishes, he leaves the court – room, this is the story’s falling, but still being the extract of the novel, it has the open end. In spite of the fact, that the story has the sharp end, the author managed to reveal the main idea. The rigid social divisions and the problem of racial discrimination are vividly shown in the book. The author wants to show that all men are created equal and everyone has the same rights. Besides Lee depicts how cruel people can be especially when...
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