I read this novel a few months ago for English 9 and I cannot believe how great this book is. It is an older book and so it’s not an action or typical type of book teenagers would like. However, for a long time I would hear about people talking about TKAM and I would be like, whaa are they talking about. And now I know. This book takes place in Alabama of the United States around the time of racism, and the Great Depression. The main themes that circle this book involve racism, prejudice, innocence, and the steps from childhood into maturity. Scout Finch is the narrator of this book, and as time passes on the readers get a clear sense of character development through many of the main characters. Another great part of this book is the symbols that weave themselves through the story add a lot of dynamic to the story and contribute to a greater meaning to the themes.
The summary of the story through my words:
Scout Finch recalls her childhood and talks about the many events that occur through her younger years. Boo Radley is a mystical man that keeps her and her brother, Jem, occupied throughout the early summers. As time goes on however, Jem and Scout begin to realize that perhaps Boo is not the mean man as everyone states he is. They begin to see his true colours, and come to senses about their own town, Maycomb County, and how the folks there are too blinded by their prejudices to see people for who they really are. As time also goes on, their father,(Atticus,) a well respected man and lawyer, is chosen to defend a black man, ( Tom Robinson,) in the case of him raping a white woman, named Mayella Ewell. As the time is in the 1930’s/40’s, Atticus is able to defend Tom very well, and the clear evidence come to the fact that Tom is innocent. However, the readers come to the realization that during this time, it is highly unlikely that a black man can win a case against a white man, no matter the circumstances. This saddening realization, gives us a perspective of what it was like in the olden days, when people were judged for the colour of the skin.
The quote that is encrypted on the back cover of the book is: “You can shoot all the bluejays you want, but it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
This quote is extremely important to the main themes of this book:racism and innocence. As you read you will begin to understand the deeper meanings of childhood innocence and innocence in general.