To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
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Experiencing the unfair trial of Tom Robison through the eyes of a little girl named Scout makes “To Kill a Mockingbird” and unparalleled story of the civil rights movement. So many books set in this time are portrayed from the vantage point of the adults who are causing the problems or the adults who are working to solve them. Scout was simply an observant little girl who wanted to understand why people were so insistent on treating other people differently. So poignantly she says, “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” How easy it is to see this point of view as a child who can so plainly see the similarities between men of all social standings!
As Scout and Jem watch the slow but noticeable changes in their father Atticus, they begin to realize the strength and honor their father possesses. Having many times discussed their father’s lack of “manly” skills such as football, hunting, and rough housing, the Finch children slowly learn to appreciate Atticus for his innumerable strengths of honesty, courage, and intellect. Tom Robison was accused of doing something horrible and the whole town was willing to cast him out simply because of the color of his skin. Jem felt the severity of the court house verdict as he realized that it mattered not what the evidence portrayed, but rather; only the skin color of the accuser held validity. This was a difficult concept for a 13 year old boy to grab hold of.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is filled to the brim of wonderful characters, including Dill, Boo Radley, Calpurnia, Miss Maudie, and Heck Tate. The friends and neighbors engulfing Scout have a profound influence upon her analysis of the world around her. Scout has been raised by the town of Maycomb and is a delightfully exuberant little girl with a passion for living. Everyone can learn a great deal about human nature from Scout, Jem and Atticus in the wild, and madly unfair adventures of Tom Robinson.