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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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It seems every student in the world who has heard this title. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most influential works in American literature. Generations of people have learned what is right and what is wrong from Harper Lee. However, there are still those who have no idea what it is. When assigned, these students google "how to kill a mockingbird summary" searching probably for some kind of a manual. If so, the good part is that the first time they read the novel is still ahead. And this is most definitely a book to read. Among the central themes, there are racism, feminism, innocence, compassion, etc., so you have plenty of choices for your essay topic.

Themes to Reveal in a To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

This novel was written in 1960. Since then, To Kill a Mockingbird has become known and loved worldwide. Its success is partly caused by the Pulitzer Prize it brought its author two years after publishing. However, this is not her main achievement. Harper Lee managed to reach millions of people around the globe, appealing to their acutest feelings. She depicts distinct characters of different age, race, gender, and social status: a young girl, a lawyer, a black man convicted of a terrible crime, a boy feeling responsible for his little sister, etc. It is curious how every reader can see him or herself in them and how we want to learn from them, match up to them. It would be much easier to explain if anybody of these characters was perfect. None of them is, but the way they get revealed amid the novel themes keeps us fascinated up to this days. Below, we present To Kill a Mockingbird essay prompts that will help you identify the most significant themes of the novel.

Theme of Racial Discrimination

This theme is apparent even to those who have not proceed further than To Kill a Mockingbird book summary. However, it doesn't make it less important. The setup is predictable: an African-American man is found guilty of the crime he hasn't committed only because of his race. Today, it seems impossible. Some people might argue with that, as innocent people still get convicted. But there are so many reasons behind it. And if we see that the reason is race, we can realize it, and, thus, we can prevent the tragedy of sending an innocent person to jail. Among others, it is possible because of Harper Lee. If she didn't touch upon the theme of racial injustice when it was so acute for the American society, who knows, maybe this society wouldn't be what it is today. Of course, there have been other people fighting racism. But many people watched their deeds from some distance and couldn't associate themselves with the movement - even in America, not to mention other countries, Harper Lee makes readers feel present at the trial and be a part of this critical injustice. So, no one can stay indifferent. There is plenty of material in this novel to write a To Kill a Mockingbird racism essay, and it will always be relevant.

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Theme of Childhood

Childhood is a magical time. Whenever you have to make a decision, everything is as simple as black and white. And whenever you are to learn something new, the world bursts into a whole spectrum of fascinating colors. We can observe childhood as one of the novel's themes from the very beginning. If you look through To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1 summary, you will find that the imagery of the chapter stems from a child's perception of the world. Scout Finch is only six years old. At this age, she has witnessed some significant flaws in the society in which she lives. The trial seems even more vicious from her point of view. But there are no excessive emotions in the narration as Scout tells her father's story when she grows up. This gives readers an opportunity to see all events as if they are looking through the clear glass with no distortion at all. There are no substantial impacts of complicated experiences behind Scout's logic and conclusions. Someone says a woman has been beaten and raped. For Scout Finch, it must have been hard to understand at her age. Someone says Tom Robinson is the one who did it. Any child would think that a guilty man deserves punishment. But Scout's father, the man she trusts more than anybody else in this world, claims that Robinson is innocent. Moreover, Atticus proves it. Scout and readers have no doubts that the lawyer is right. So, readers find themselves in a child's place: knowing the truth, feeling pain with every nerve, striving to help, and being unable to do a thing. Our inner child screams: "If I could do something, I would never let this happen!" Fortunately, in real life, we all have an opportunity to make a change. This is what Atticus Finch's example teaches us.

Theme of Social Exclusion

Alongside with race, this theme is conveyed in the novel through many other aspects. Besides Tom Robinson and other African-Americans, one of the most vivid examples of character exposed to social exclusion is Arthur "Boo" Radley. The fact that he lives in semi-voluntary seclusion doesn't minimize the hostility of the society toward him. Even children led by adults' suspicions and rumors fear and despise Radley at first. But Boo is not the only one you can put on this list. To Kill a Mockingbird character analysis will bring to the conclusion that Scout herself experiences social exclusion. Her peers judge her for the desire to act like a boy and to play with boys only. There are many reasons for such behavior: the lack of female figure, an influential father figure, the critical way of thinking, and - above - all the desire not to pretend. All this makes Scout a very young feminist in a constructive and modern meaning which we put in this word today. But it neither makes others like Scout nor makes her like them. In fact, Atticus is the only person who loves her just the way she is.

Teachers seem to love giving their students essays on To Kill a Mockingbird. The indisputable advantage of such an assignment for students is that this novel is exceptionally straightforward because it is narrated from a small child's point of view. Besides, you can find the summary of To Kill a Mockingbird in a blink of an eye. However, no summary can convey the imagery and emotional background of Harper Lee's work. That is why it is a definite must-read for everyone. Many important themes allow us to answer many To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions and to create numerous academic writings inspired by the novel. We have discussed three of them: racial discrimination, childhood, and social exclusion. These themes can give one plenty of ideas for an essay on To Kill a Mockingbird.

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