Book Review of: To Kill a MockingbirdGenre: Fiction/RealismFirst published in 1960 by William Heinemann Ltd. F PlotTo Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story of Scout Finch and her brother, Jem, in 1930's Alabama. Through their neighbourhood walk-abouts and the example of their father, they grow to understand that the world isn't always fair and that prejudice is a very real aspect of their world no matter how subtle it seems. The summer when Scout was six and Jem was ten, they met Dill, a little boy who spent the summer with his aunt who lived next door to the Finches.
The children become obsessed with the idea of making Boo Radley come out of his home. They go through plan after plan, but nothing draws him out. This subsequently becomes the subplot. The main plot of the book is of Atticus and Tom Robinson. Atticus must defend Tom in court as he has been charged with rape. Tom is a black man and people criticise Atticus for defending him because of his race.
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- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
StyleThe most outstanding aspect of the way in which To Kill a Mockingbird is written, lies in its unique narrative point of view. Scout Finch, who narrates in the first person, is nearly six years old when the novel opens. The story, however, is recalled by the adult Scout; this allows her first-person narrative to contain adult language and adult insights yet still keep the innocent outlook of a child. The adult perspective also adds a measure of remembrance to the tale, allowing for a deeper examination of events. SettingTo 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.CharacterizationAt the beginning of the novel, Scout is an innocent, good-hearted five-year-old child who has no experience with the evils of the world. As the novel progresses, Scout has her first contact with evil in the form of racial prejudice, and the basic development of her character is controlled by the question of whether she will come out from that contact with her conscience undamaged or whether she will be hurt, or destroyed like Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Thanks to Atticus’s wisdom, Scout learns that though humanity is full of evil, it also is full of good, and that the evil can often be diminish if you approach others with an outlook of sympathy and understanding. Though she is still a child at the end of the book, Scout’s.