December 17th 2011
Final Project: Literary excursion
To kill a Mockingbird is a novel that explores human morality and the boundaries that it transcends. What makes this novel unique is how the author uses the perspective of Scout, a feisty, naïve tomboy to interpret intricate issues that the novel addresses. Scout carries us on an odyssey through the fires of prejudice and injustice. The moral voice of this book is embodied by Atticus Finch, father of Jem and Scout and an extremely virtuous citizen of a quiet, little, sleepy town of Maycomb. He has closely encountered and understood evil without losing his faith in good will and humanity. Throughout the book, Jem and Scout make a remarkable transition from innocence to maturity. They are confronted with alarming circumstances and are forced to incorporate these new experiences into their understanding of life. Peopled with a cast of eccentrics, the children find their town to be the venue of the trial for Tom Robinson, a young African American man falsely accused of raping a clumsy, white woman. Jem and Scout spend an ample amount of time trying to understand what defines and creates social strata. It is also during this trial when the children discover how the blacks were still highly subjugated members of the society. Atticus Finch, their father, is appointed to defend Tom for whom a guilty verdict from an all-white jury is a foregone conclusion. He still takes up this case because he knows that no one would defend a black man and feels that he owes an apology to their race for decades of unjust treatment and inequality. Atticus also wants his children to learn from this trial of how important racial equality is. He has always instilled in his children a sense of morality and justice and they have embraced his advice to practice sympathy and learnt that their experiences with prejudice should not sully their faith in human goodness. This novel addresses some grave issues, like the evils...
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