By Harper Lee Presented by Jenna Bell and Stephanie Robinson This presentation includes videos of Roger and Gerald as they discuss The First Amendment, Factors for Book-Banning, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”
“ To Kill a Mockingbird” To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee and first published in 1960 is considered one of the all time classics of literature. The story takes place in the 1930's during the Great Depression in Maycomb, Alabama. This small southern town is very heavily segregated and there is quite a bit of racial prejudice. The narrator of the story is Scout (Jean Louise) Finch; a spirited 6-year-old tomboy who spends her time idolizing her older brother Jem (Jeremy) Finch. Their father, Atticus Finch, is the town's lawyer and has just been appointed to defend a black man (Tom Robinson) who has been falsely accused of rape. Because of Atticus' position in the case, Scout and Jem face many unsolicited repercussions. The story takes us through three years in the town of Maycomb, and the antics and happenings that occur there. From the children's fascination with the infamous Boo Radley to being attacked in the dead of night; this coming-of-age story gives a perspective of what it was like to grow up in the south during a very tumultuous time.
Racial prejudice is an obvious theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, but there are many others that are explored in this novel. Superstition and bravery are introduced early in the novel. These themes speak through Scout and Jem's curiosities about Boo Radley. They are constantly trying to get a peek into the Radley home at the end of their street; and though they are terrified there is something inside them that gathers enough guts to walk by the house everyday. Femininity is also a significant theme in the novel. Jem constantly accuses Scout of "acting like a girl", as if it were something to be ashamed of. Scout and Jem are growing up without their mother, so Scout has to look up to the women around her for ideas of femininity. She observes their house keeper Calpurnia, Miss Stephanie, Mrs. Dubose and Ms. Maudie, whom she most closely identifies herself with. Summary Continued: To Kill a Mockingbird is a thoroughly enjoyable book, no matter how many times it has been read. This story speaks to all ages and races and still has a place in society today as the enlightening bildungsroman that it is. Although To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged since its release, it should be incorporated into reading lists for readers to enjoy for years to come.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird . Dramatic Pub., 1970. Print. "ALA." American Library Association . N.p., 04 Mar 2009. Web. 7 Apr 2010. <www.ala.org>. Castleman, Tamara. Cliffs Notes: To Kill a Mockingbird . 10th . Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2000. Print.