20 Nov 2012
Critical Analysis of the film To Kill A Mockingbird
The film To Kill A Mockingbird holds many different criteria for which it can be judged. Some of the most striking aspects of the film concern the point of view of the narrator, and the symbolism as well.
Our first-person narrator is Scout Finch, who is five when the story begins and eight when it ends. From the first chapter, though, it’s clear that Scout is remembering and narrating these events much later – after all, the second paragraph of the novel begins, "When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to [Jem’s] accident" (1.2).
For the most part, Scout recounts the events from her childhood perspective, as she understood them at the time, rather than imposing an adult commentary. This makes the narrative perspective a naïve one: often we get descriptions of events just as she experiences them, without commentary on what they mean, or a commentary that is humorously innocent. But having the adult perspective be there in the background, even if it isn’t in play for most of the narration, means it can pop out when it’s needed to point out important things that the narrator realizes only later, to make sure that the reader sees them too. "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird...." "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. 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 mocking bird." Those lines from Harper Lee's novel reveal a theme that speaks of innocence and innocence lost in this astounding work. In one line she exposes the nature of destruction that lies in certain characters and the eternal...