To Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel which consists of a number of positive and negative themes. Lee has utilised the way of life and the attitude towards ‘Negros' in the 1930's to create a intriguing novel which has enlightened the wider community on the matters of racism and prejudice in America in the 1930's. Even though the novel has a dark plot line there are a number of positive themes presented to the reader throughout the story, e.g. education, bravery and growing up.

The theme of bravery is amplified by the characters of Atticus and Jem. Atticus is the moral voice of the novel and his decision to defend Tom Robinson even though he knows there would be controversy and attacks on his character and family establishes his bravery. Early in the novel Jem learns that Atticus' disapproval of guns and Atticus's opinion that guns don't make men brave. This is distinguished when Atticus refuses to carry a gun to protect Tom and himself from the angry farmers is another sign of his bravery. Jem also exhibits his bravery during the scene where the mob came to ‘lynch' Tom Robinson. He refuses to leave his father's side even after being ordered to by his father. Jem shows the utmost bravery to remain at with his father and face the angry mob of farmers. Another character who is brave is Mrs Dubose who is trying to wean herself of drugs before he dies. In the novel Scout makes a direct reference to Mrs Dubose and bravery, e.g. "I wanted to see what real courage is . . . she was the bravest person I ever knew" says Scout. These characters in the novel have been developed and in a number of scenes they have shown the reader their bravery.

In this novel Lee has helped the reader understand the positive theme of growing up in a segregated country. Even though Jem and Scout are surrounded by the dark events of Maycomb they are still able to enjoy themselves, e.g. by re-enacting the Boo Radley case. Lee has written the story in first-person and form the...
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