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To Kill A Mockingbird

Mockingbird is a special species of flocking bird. But, in popular American culture, if someone says To kill a mockingbird, it does not mean the ways to kill a mockingbird. Instead, it represents the famous classic American novel written by author Harper Lee and which was first published in the year 1960. This novel has now become a classic piece in the history of modern American literature and is these days widely taught in the schools across the United States.

When the novel was initially published, it stirred a series of controversies especially down the southern part of the country because of its contents. The plot of the novel is set in the early to mid-1930’s and spans for three years of time period and deals with topics of racism, rape and social insecurities with a slight touch of humor. The story revolves around the life turning and twisting events of a defense lawyer and his children- a daughter and two sons. Problem starts in their otherwise peaceful life in a small town of Alabama when he decides to defend a “black” sex offender who is accused of raping a white woman. He decides to fight the case in the criminal’s favor against the wishes of all the residents of the town and as a result his children suffers and are boycotted as they are compelled to take their father’s sides. In the court trial it is evident that the “black” supposed criminal is innocent but despite the proof of that person’s innocence the court convicts him just due to his color and the lawyer is mocked all over the town as a nigger-lover. From here on the situation gets complicated for the lawyer and his children and a fight ensues in the courtroom and ultimately the black victim died in the fight. The main characters of this novel are- Atticus- a middle aged Alabama based lawyer, Dill, Jem and scout, the lawyers’ children and their friend and the Bob – the suspected sex offender.

The novel got popular due to its writing style and its portrayal of the lives of Americans during the period of the great depression in the southern states of America. And one of the critics had said about the novel that every adult should read the novel once before they die. Though there has been controversies regarding teaching the novel for its adult contents but it’s been continued to be a part of the curriculum in the high schools.