To Kill a Mockingbird

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The 1961 novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ (TKAM) by Harper Lee, supports the belief that reading is the key to understanding our world. Set in the 1930’s in the town of Maycomb, it taken us into the racist world of the American south allowing us to develop new understandings of the events of prejudice. Atticus Finch, a lawyer, finds himself defending an innocent black man & his children, Scout and Jem experience a sequence of events that form a dramatic story of loss of innocence. The author also exposes the differences between the people in the society to reveal the destructive effect of social structure. The children have an innocent outlook on the world. They believe that everyone is equal. However, this innocence is soon taken away from them as they begin to discover the evils which lurk around every corner. The mockingbird is a symbol of the innocent people in the book, and Atticus tells his kids, “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Miss Maudie later explained "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy”. We come across examples of mockingbirds that are Arthur Radley (Boo) & Tom Robinson; they are both unjustly accused of doing something wrong and both are caused great distress because of it. Jem realizes that there is more than one type of people in the world. "If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time. It's because he wants to stay inside." (Jem p.233) Jem’s speech here shows the battle going on inside him between childhood innocence and his new awareness of life's cruelty. He loses his innocence when he sees the injustices in the world after the trial, & starts to understand why things such as Tom Robinson’s trial go so wrong. At the very end of the book, Scout realizes that Boo...