To Kill a Mockingbird is a story by Harper Lee. The Book came out in the 1960s and became an instant best seller, and went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy award winning film. The story happens in a southern town called Maycomb around 1930. The book tells us about the Finch family and everything that they go through. We can see a lot of different themes and morale questions in this story. Themes e.g. courage, innocence and prejudice are the biggest themes, and the book really shows us how times have changed since 1930, especially for the black people. I am going to discuss the themes that I found most interesting and how that made the characters what they are.
First theme is about innocence. Its a big part of the book. The children are young and are always playing games together. A good example of innocence is e.g. when Scout drives the angry mob away from the prison. Many grown up man who probably came there to kill Tom Robinson got stopped by this little girl. The kids often get into trouble because they dont know any better and Atticus often has to save them from it. But Atticus tries not to talk to the kids like kids, he talks to them like they are grown ups. And Jem e.g is just a little boy who plays games with his sister, but when we get more in the story we notice he starts to grow up, and doesent play with his sister as much as he did. Calpurnina the black woman who was theyr sorta mother figure starts to call him Mr.Jem and his sister doesnt like it. When Jem is growing up we can link innocence and maturity togather. Boo Radley is a good example aswell. He was just a boy who had a bad father who treated him badly and he just stays inside his house and doesnt let anyone see him.
Second theme is about prejudice. Which is the biggest part of the story. We notice a lot of different kinds of prejudice in this book. First there are prejudice against the black people but thats not all, there were also prejudice for the poor and uneducated people. People didnt know any better at the time. Some black people couldnt read and write. The Ewells are a good example of this. Man of the house is a violent alcaholic who had few to many children and were poor. People liked to blame the black people for the unfortune and said black people had stolen their jobs and therefore hated colored people. Boo Radley was excluded from the community for what he had done in the past. Children wouldnt even dare to talk to him, made up stories about him and described him in a bad way. Atticus got the name nigga-lover when he started to defend Tom, he became a mark for the people who called bad names.
There are many symbols of courage in this story, how the grownups see it and how the children see it. The most courageos man in this story is most likely Atticus. He stood up for himself and to others. When Tom Robinson was accused to have raped and hit Mayella Ewell he was the only man who could defend Tom. That is because he was so fearless. He showed everyone that Tom Robinson didnt have that strenght if he was going to choke some one, because Tom Robinson was paralyzed on one hand and his muscle on his other hand had been ripped out one time.
But we see courage in the kids to, e.g. when Atticus was waiting with Tom and there came many men who were going to kill Tom and Jem,dill and scout came and she started to talk to the men and she denied to go home just like her father told her and the men caved and went home. Also when Jem and the other kids are going up to the Radley house and Jem touches it, that is considered very heroic in the eyes of Scout and Dill.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a very popular book, probably because it tells us about real things that affect our everyday lives. Things like respect, prejudice, courage and many more. Reading this book you get to know how things were at this time. The hate against black people and how some people have to struggle to be a part of the community. This book gets you thinking afterwards, and you realize just how good life is now. It doesnt matter where you come from or what color your skin is, you are always a part of the community.