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The heroic character of Atticus Finch has been held up as a role model of moral virtue and impeccable character for lawyers to emulate. To Kill a Mockingbird has endured as a mainstay on high school and college reading lists.
It was adapted to film in as a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck. Scout and her brother Jem are raised by their father and by Calpurnia, an African-American housekeeper who works for the family.
Scout and Jem meet and befriend seven-year-old Dill Harris, a boy who has arrived in Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer. Lee has stated that the character of Dill is based on young Truman Capote, a well-known Southern writer and childhood friend.
In the fall, Dill returns to his family in the North and Scout enters the first grade. Scout and Jem begin to discover mysterious objects, designed to intrigue children, hidden in a tree on the Radley property.
Mayella and her shiftless father, Essay questions for to kill a mockingbird Ewell, live in abject poverty on the outskirts of town. The family is known as trouble and disliked by townspeople. Atticus consistently strives to instill moral values in his children, and hopes to counteract the influence of racial prejudice.
The children view their father as frustratingly staid and bookish, until he is asked by the sheriff to shoot a rabid dog that is roaming the street. After Atticus kills the dog, Scout and Jem learn that their father is renowned as a deadly marksman in Maycomb County, but that he chooses not to use this skill, unless absolutely necessary.
The night before the trial of Tom Robinson is to begin, a group of local men threaten a lynching, but Scout inadvertently disrupts their plan when she recognizes the father of a schoolmate in the crowd of would-be lynchers.
When the trial begins, Atticus tries to protect his children from the anger and prejudice they would hear; however, Scout, Jem, and Dill sneak into the courtroom and sit in the balcony with the black community.
Mayella and her father testify that Tom raped Mayella after he was asked onto their property to break up an old chifforobe into firewood. Therefore, Atticus concludes, Tom could not possibly be the left-handed assailant who struck Mayella on the right side of her face.
Before the jury departs to deliberate, Atticus appeals to their sense of justice, imploring them not to allow racial prejudice to interfere with their deliberations.
However, after two hours, the jury returns with a guilty verdict, sentencing Tom to be executed for rape. Later, Tom is shot to death during an attempt to escape from jail.
Boo Radley, secretly observing the scene, intervenes in the scuffle, and Bob Ewell is stabbed and killed in the process. Intimately aware of issues of prejudice due to the Tom Robinson case, Atticus and the children agree to report that Ewell fell on his knife in the scuffle, sparing Boo the consequences of a legal trial.
Scout realizes in retrospect that Boo has never been the threatening figure the children had imagined, and that he was responsible for leaving the mysterious gifts for them to find on his property.
After walking Boo home, Scout stands on the porch of his house looking out, finally seeing the world through a wider perspective. Major Themes The central thematic concern of To Kill a Mockingbird addresses racial prejudice and social justice.
Atticus Finch represents a strongly principled, liberal perspective that runs contrary to the ignorance and prejudice of the white, Southern, small-town community in which he lives.
Atticus is convinced that he must instill values of equality in his children, counteracting the racist influence. Lee makes use of several images and allegories throughout the novel to symbolize racial conflict.
The rabid dog that threatens the town has been interpreted as symbolizing the menace of racism. The central symbol of the novel, the mockingbird, further develops the theme of racial prejudice.
The concept of justice is presented in To Kill a Mockingbird as an antidote to racial prejudice. As a strongly principled, liberal lawyer who defends a wrongly accused black man, Atticus represents a role model for moral and legal justice. Atticus explains to Scout that while he believes the American justice system to be without prejudice, the individuals who sit on the jury often harbor bias, which can taint the workings of the system.
Throughout the majority of the novel, Atticus retains his faith in the system, but he ultimately loses in his legal defense of Tom. Atticus decides to act based on his own principles of justice in the end, rather than rely on a legal system that may be fallible. To Kill a Mockingbird also can be read as a coming-of-age story featuring a young girl growing up in the South and experiencing moral awakenings.
In developing a more mature sensibility, the tomboyish Scout challenges the forces attempting to socialize her into a prescribed gender role as a Southern lady.
Lee has stated that the novel was essentially a long love letter to her father, whom she idolized as a man with deeply held moral convictions.
Atticus is clearly the hero of the novel, and functions as a role model for his children. Early in the story, the children regard their father as weak and ineffective because he does not conform to several conventional standards of Southern masculinity. They eventually realize that Atticus possesses not only skill with a rifle, but also moral courage, intelligence, and humor, and they come to regard him as a hero in his own right.
Critical Reception Since its publication, To Kill a Mockingbird has been enormously popular with the reading public, has sold millions of copies, and has never gone out of print.
Critical reception of the book has primarily centered around its messages concerning issues of race and justice. Atticus has been held up by law professors and others as an ideal role model of sound moral character and strong ethical principles.Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements / paper topics on “To Kill a Mockingbird” that can be used as essay starters.
All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement.
How to Write an Introduction to Essay. The main purpose of the introduction is to give the reader a clear idea of the essay’s focal point.
It must get the reader’s attention as it is the part when he decides if the essay is worth reading till the end or not. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was written in the s and published mid We shall explore the plot, characters and themes in the book.
The symbolism relied on by the author shall be addressed according to its relevance to the plot. To Kill A Mockingbird Essay In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird a major theme is the loss of innocence. Whether from emotional abuse, racial prejudice or learning, Boo, Tom, and Scout all lose their innocence in one sense or another.
Title – To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee By – Mat Campione Subject – Language Arts. Grade Level – Grades 8/9. Introduction: This book creates a learning environment for the grade 9 level of reading.
An essay on To Kill a Mockingbird will be no exception, and character analysis will most likely be present among your To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions. It is, however, a much easier thing to write about than racism.