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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Great Depression, Harper Lee / Pages: 4 (771 words) / Published: Sep 27th, 2012
Bryant 9/25/12 To Kill a Mockingbird Essay To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was a pivotal novel in literature at the time of its release and is looked at as a modern day classic. It has been renowned as a masterpiece of modern day American literature. For its strong and colorful characters, realistic yet fitting setting, and serious yet eye-opening topics and themes are just a handful of reasons why this book is so strong. For these reasons along with others is why it should be taught in schools to today’s youth as it is today. This essay will go into greater detail about why this remains true for this book. Some people believe that it’s the character in To Kill a Mockingbird that makes it such a great novel. Truth is this is one of the main reasons because the characters are vivid, realistic and complex which draws the reader in and great for the class to analyze and discuss about. For example, Atticus Finch is the hero of the novel but was soft-spoken and allows his intelligence to prove his worth most notably when defending Tom Robinson in the court case and “turning the other cheek” when threatened and spat upon by Bob Ewell. Atticus is personification of the everyday hero whose acts go unnoticed by his community but seen by a select few people. Another noteworthy character to the story is Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, the child narrator of the novel. Scout is the untainted innocence of the novel which makes her in many ways the perfect character to narrate the story because there is underline theme in Harper Lee’s novel about “stolen innocence.” Indeed, the characters provide To Kill a Mockingbird with much of its great story. Characters would be nothing without a proper setting, and the setting in To Kill a Mockingbird is extremely noteworthy. The novel takes place in a “tired old town” known as Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, all the while The Great Depression was taking affect. Putting the events in this area/ time period was a genius idea because it forces readers to think of a time and place in America’s history where things weren’t at their finest culturally and economically. The setting also condones some of the acts and feeling of characters in the book such as the rather open racism displayed by the townspeople namely by Mrs.Dubose when she refers to Atticus as an “n****r lover.” The repeated use of the “n-word” in normal talk makes readers to believe it’s simply second nature to act racist, something that would make for great class discussion. Truly, the setting plays a rather important role in To Kill a Mockingbird when it comes to advancing the story. The last highly noteworthy point to bring up about Harper Lee’s novel is the topics and themes that are seen throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. Some people may argue that the topics in the story of racism and rape are too mature for the students to read about. This is not true because if anything, the topics help mature students and readers by basically saying these things do happen in our community but that shouldn’t rob us as students of our “innocence.” This goes directly to the recurring theme of innocence and people being stripped of it. Arthur “Boo” Radley is a prime example because as a child he was abused by his father which in return robbed poor Arthur Radley of his innocence as a child. Going back to a previous paragraph talking about Scout is also important when talking about the theme because she is being thrown at such a young age these mature topics which have a negative effect on her innocence but learns to learn from it and not let it hold a negative effect on her. Truly, the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is what brings this already magnificent novel together. It’s hard to make an argument against not having the novel being start in our schools. Each difficult to argue with success, and that’s exactly what this book has been since its publication back in 1960. The novel is strong in all areas ranging from characters to themes making it at minimum a recommended read. If students were not to read it, they would be missing out on a truly thought provoking piece of American literature. With To Kill a Mockingbird bringing so much to the table and the only counter argument being that the book being mature makes it anonymous that it should remain being taught to our schools.

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