The Themes In "To Kill A Mockingbird" By Harper Lee

1116 words - 4 pages

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird succeeds in portraying the lifestyle of a relaxed southern town in theearly 20th century. It shows the families, feelings, and bigotry of the time. There are three main themes in the novel,which are: justice is not blind, mob rule is not the way to solve things, and that you shouldn't fear or resentsomething that hasn't done anything to disturb life. These themes are true in the novel and are also true in everydaylife.[Nelle] Harper Lee was born and raised in the heart of the south. Lee's life and time period influences herwriting. Like her father and Atticus Finch, Lee went on to study law. She left school in 1950 so that she could go toNew York and become a writer. 'Her law studies proved to be 'good training for a writer' because they promotelogical thinking and because law cases are an excellent source for story ideas' (Matuz 239). When her fatherbecame ill, she was forced to split her time between New York and Monroeville, Alabama. 'In her native town shewas surrounded by the setting of her novel; an old house where a mysterious recluse might live, the courtroom, andthe lawyer's office' (Matuz 239). This environment and her southern background proved to be the perfectcombination for writing a story about life in a quiet town in Alabama. The only way to be a good writer is to writefrom experience, and since she lived most of her life in the setting of the story, her writing proved to be good. Thetiming for the release of To Kill a Mockingbird could not have been more perfect. 'In a time of the burgeoning civilrights movement, her book was met with popular acclaim and was later adapted for film' (Matuz 240). To Kill aMockingbird to some extent is based on Lee's childhood. 'Scout was based upon Lee's own upbringing...themischievous Dill was recently found out to be based upon Lee's childhood companion, Truman Capote' (Bryfonski341). One of the ideas that Lee tried to put across in the novel was the fact that there will always be prejudice in oneform or another. Harper Lee has written only one novel in her life, but she made that one count.Racism is still alive in modern society. No matter the amount of advances people have made to end racism,there will always be a portion of the population that fears and hates anything that is different from their own. In ouradvanced, yet somewhat bigoted society, there is one place that is supposedly 'color-blind'. That is the courtsystem. Unless the jury is made up of non-humans, the court system will always be bigoted. In the novel, the jury isall white and all male, and when the defendant is somebody like Tom Robinson, he hasn't got a chance. 'Lee writesabout a time when whites were the head honchos, and blacks were only counted as three-fifths, but that three fifthsdidn't amount up to anything as far as rights went' (Magill 1680). Before the case even went to trial, Atticus knewthat there was no way that he would win this. ''Are you gonna win this case Atticus? Nope.'' (Lee...

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