Essay Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1046 Words Mar 30th, 2016 5 Pages
The novel To Kill a Mockingbird reflects life values and lessons to a great extent through the character Atticus Finch. It is said of Atticus that ‘whether Maycomb knows it or not, we’re paying him the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do it right.’ And it is with Atticus’ moral integrity he teaches his children through the themes of good and evil, prejudice, and courage.

A prevailing theme in the novel is racism, and within this, Jem and Scout learn a lot from their father. Lee explores the theme of racism through the Tom Robinson court case, where Tom is convicted because it is a white woman’s word against that of a black man. Early on in the novel Atticus tells the children ‘shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ The mockingbird motif comes into play during the court case, because Tom is an innocent, victim of a cruel and racist justice system and killing him for the sake of that prejudice is a sin, same as it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. In this court case, Scout and Jem get their first bitter taste of racism and Atticus teaches them just how much of a threat this kind of prejudice poses to those who it does not favour. Harper Lee reviews this racism once more through the microcosm of the small town, using colloquial language to set the scene of Maycomb, Alabama. Throughout the novel, Atticus is referred to as a ‘nigger lover’ by adults and children alike, Mrs Dubose even going so far as…

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