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To Kill A Mockingbird 4 Essay Research

To Kill A Mockingbird 4 Essay, Research Paper

To Kill A Mockingbird

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The book To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee. It

was published in 1960 then it went on to win the Pulitzer prize in

1961 and was later made into an Academy Award winning film. Harper Lee

always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is

regarded as a masterpiece of American Literature. There are so many

characters in this book that I can’t name all of them. Here are most

of the characters.

The Finch family contains of Atticus (The head of the

household), Aunt Alexandra (Atticus’s sister), (Jem) Jeremy (The

oldest of Atticus’s two children), (Scout) Jean Louise (The youngest

of the two . She also trys to be a boy by doing boy things). And you

can’t forget their black maid. Her name is Calpurnia.

Miss Rachael is Dill’s aunt that lives in Maycomb. Dill is a

friends with Jem and Scout. According to Scout they are married. (Boo)

Arthur Radley is the person that takes Jem back to his house after Jem

gets hurt by Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson is a black man that was accused

of raping Mayella Ewell. Bob Ewell is Mayella’s father. He is out for

revenge on Atticus for what he did to him and his daughter. Mayella is

Bob’s daughter who supposedly got raped by Tom Robinson. Judge Taylor

is the Judge of Maycomb County. Heck Tate is the county law official.

I think the protagonist in the story is Atticus Finch because

he has the main part and he has the biggest decision to make. The

decision being whether to defend or not to defend Tom Robinson.

To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb County, an imaginary

district in Southern Alabama. The time is the early 1930s, the years

of the Great Depression when poverty and unemployment were widespread

in the United States.

The story begins during the summer when Scout and Jem meet a

new playmate named Dill who has come from Mississippi to spend the

summer with his Aunt Rachael. Dill is fascinated by the neighborhood

gossip about “Boo” Radley. Egged on by Dill, Jem and Scout try to

think up ways to lure him out of his house.

Soon it is Summer again , and Dill returns for another visit.

The children’s plans for making contact with Boo Radley grew bolder

this year, and on Dill’s last night they decide to sneak up onto the

Radley porch and spy on Boo. Jem goes first, but just as he reaches

the window, Nathan Radley catches site of them and scares them off

with a blast from a shot gun.

Jem realizes that Boo is not a monster after all, but has been

playing along with them. Scout does not figure this out until the

winter, on the night that the house of their neighbor burns to the

ground. While Scout is standing outside in the cold, someone sneaks up

behind her and places a blanket around her. Later, Scout and Jem

realize that there was only one person in town who has not already at

work fighting the fire and that was Boo.

Now that Jem and Scout realize that Boo is basically a kind

person, their interest in the Radley family begins to fade. In the

meantime, they learn that their father has become the defense lawyer

for Tom Robinson, who is charged with raping Mayella Ewell.

As the trial of Tom Robinson grows nearer, the children become

more aware of the strong feeling it has aroused in everyone in

Maycomb. One day their housekeeper takes Jem and Scout to visit her

church, and the children realize for the first time that the black

parishioners are supporting Tom Robinson’s wife.

Two nights before the trial is to start, a group of men come

to the Finch house to tell Atticus about threats against Tom

Robinson’s life. Atticus spends the next night camped out at the jail

to defend Tom from the mob. Jem, Scout and Dill go downtown to check

on Atticus and arrive at the same time as a group of men, who have

come to kill Tom. Scout recognizes one of the men in the group as

Walter Cunningham. Her friendliness embarrasses the man so much that

he and the mob leave.

The next day, at the trial, Atticus” questions make it clear

that Mayella and her father are lying about the rape. Neverless the

jury convict him because their prejudices prevent them from taking a

black man’s word against two whites. Atticus is now a hero in the

black community of Maycomb, but Bob Ewell, vows to “get” Atticus for

showing him up as a liar in front of the whole town.

Tom Robinson has give n up hope and trys to flee the prison,

but while doing it he gets caught and shot.

By the time Halloween comes around, the Finch family has begun

to put Tom’s death behind them. There is a pageant planned and Scout

much to her dismay has been cast as a ham. After the pageant Scout

decides to walk home still dressed in her bulky costume, with Jem

leading the way. The cowardly Bob Ewell. seeing an opportunity to get

revenge on Atticus through his children. He follows the children down

a dark street and tries to kill them. In the side. It is none other

than Boo Radley, who had seen the attack from his window. Boo stabs

Bob Ewell to death, and carries the wounded Jem home.

The sheriff decides to file a report that Bob fell on his own

knife and died, thus sparing Boo the publicity that would be sure to


Scout never sees Boo again after that night, but she has

learned that he was a good man all along. She has learned a lesson

about understanding and tolerance. And through the sheriff’s action

she sees that sometimes there can be justice and compassion in the


The title of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a key to some

themes in the novel. The title is first explained in Chapter 10 at the

time that Jem and Scout have just received air rifles for Christmas.

Atticus tells his children that it is a sin to shoot a mockingbird.

Later Miss Maudie explains that Atticus meant that Mockingbirds are

harmless creatures who do nothing but sing for enjoyment.

It is easy to see that the “mockingbird” in this story is Tom

Robinson a harmless man who becomes a victim of racial prejudice. Like

the mockingbird, Tom has never done wrong to anyone. Even the jurors

who sentence him to death have nothing personal against him. They find

him guilty mostly because they feel that to take the word of a black

man over two whites would threaten the system they live under, the

system of segregation. Tom himself is guilty of nothing but being in

the wrong place at the wrong time.


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