To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a touching story showing the transition from mere innocence to understanding the utter cruelty of the world. This book revolves around the Finch family of Maycomb, Alabama during the early/mid 1900s. Told from the view of the 6 year-old girl, Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout. 

 

With the help of her brother Jem and her father Atticus, Scout learns the concepts of racism, discrimination, prejudice, and judgement. Scout truly learns the “way of the world” through her experiences with Boo Radley and her father's case defending Tom Robinson. Boo Radley was the Finch family's neighbor and the whole neighborhood claimed him to be a person who isolated himself in the morning, and came out at night and committed the most deadly crimes. Boo Radley was seen as a person to fear. Children were scared, running past his house, adults would walk the other way willing to walk another mile just to avoid passing the Radley House. The whole town had these false accusations against Boo Radley, based on mere suspicion and no real evidence; agreeing and adding to the opinions and conspiracies of others. Scout understands further of the injustice in the world through her father, Atticus Finch. He was a lawyer, defending all people, no matter race or religion. When Atticus was asked to defend a colored man, Tom Robinson, Atticus and his children were called so many unbearable names. Despite their hardships, Atticus told his children to hold their heads up high and resist fighting. 

 

Harper Lee allows the reader to fall into the shoes of this young girl and experience her feelings of racism in her town. She realizes that opinions are something people make up and we should not believe opinions other people have; rather make up our own opinions based on what we believe based on our experiences. It is an extraordinary book that I would highly recommend for all. 

Section Editor of "Student Voice Column" and liaison for The Quadrangle. 

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