To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee || Analysis Summary || Highschool Reading

 To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee || Analysis Summary

Written by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird is an American novel exploring the themes of racism, injustice, and compassion. It is one of the most celebrated novels of all time and is read by many students throughout middle schools and high schools. 

Important Characters: 

Scout (Jean Louise) Finch: The narrator of the story. Scout is an intelligent tomboy who has a strong sense of justice and compassion, 

Jem (Jeremy Atticus) Finch: The older brother of Scout. He is intelligent, as well as responsible. Jem's point of view and understanding of the world, change throughout the novel by the events that take place.

Atticus Finch: A widowed, middle-aged lawyer and the father of Scout and Jem. He is kind, patient, wise, and a strong advocate for justice and equality. 

Tom Robinson: The accused black whom Atticus defends. 

Arthur "Boo" Radley: A recluse who lives in the neighborhood. 

Plot summary:

The novel is set in the 1930s in a fictional town called Maycomb, Alabama. The story is narrated by Scout, who is six years old at the beginning of the novel. Atticus is a lawyer, who lives with his two children and a black cook named Calpurnia. Over the summer before Scout's first year at school, Scout and her brother Jem meet a boy named Dill. The three of them grow curious and fascinated by their mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley, whom the adults don't talk about much. Throughout the story, Jem and Scout find gifts in front of the Radley's home, but they don't know who's behind the kind gesture. 

In chapter 9, Atticus Finch is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman named Mayella Ewell. Due to racism in the South, the Finches all face criticism for Atticus taking the case. Scout is tempted to fight those who make fun of Atticus, but Atticus tells her not to. The night before the trial, Atticus sits on the porch of the county jail to protect Tom Robinson from harm. A group of men encounters Atticus, making an attempt to lynch Tom. Scout, being there, breaks the mob apart by calling out one of her classmates father, Mr. Cunningham. 

During the trial, Atticus defends Tom Robinson with valid and reasonable evidence. It is revealed that Mayella made a sexual advancement toward Tom, which led her father, Bob Ewell to beat her. Despite many townspeople claiming that the Ewells cannot be trusted, Tom is convicted. Atticus hopes for an appeal, but Tom is shot dead while desperately trying to escape prison. The conviction causes Jem to see the injustices of the court and the people of Maycomb differently. 

A few months after the trial, Jem and Scout walk home one night after a Halloween pageant. Bob Ewell, who is still bitter about the humiliation he faced during the trial, attempts to harm Atticus' children by attacking them. Jem is knocked unconscious, but the two children are eventually saved by a mysterious figure. The figure, who turns out to be Boo Radley, carries Jem home. 

Sheriff Tate later announces that Bob Ewell is dead, and he is certain that Boo Radley killed him. In order to protect Boo's privacy, they simply agree that Bob accidentally killed himself while trying to attack the children. Scout walks Boo to his home, and puts herself into Boo's shoes, imagining what his life is like. 


Mockingbird: The mockingbird symbolizes innocence and purity. It creates no harm and simply sings beautiful songs. Mockingbird characters in the story include Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. 


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