To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee shows the reader a time of social injustice and racial discrimination in the American South. The book tells the life of a young girl, Jean Louis Finch, who observes this discrimination around her and even experiences some bullying herself. The elements Harper Lee created in To Kill a Mockingbird beautifully tell the story in a seamless fashion. The first element Harper created tells story in a point-of-view from a young girl, the second element creates a strong-willed protagonist who sets an almost perfect example of what a good person should be throughout the story, the third element of the story discusses the systematic racism passed down from generation to generation in the south since before the Civil War.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jean Louis Finch, or Scout, narrates the story from a point of view that brings an unexpected but needed innocence to the novel. She tells the story in a more naive way that connects with a reader now who would not understand why these people continually discriminate against other races and even genders. Throughout the novel Scout shows a sense of compassion for the man her father is defending, Tom Robinson. She does not understand why her older counterparts continually discriminate against Tom not for the crime he has been accused of, but because of his race. This element shows how Harper Lee wanted to connect with the reader especially with a younger demographic.
The third element of this novel creates an almost perfect example of a good person, Atticus Finch. Throughout the novel Atticus does what a morally-right and strong-willed person would do. He represents all the good of humankind and constantly treats with others with the utmost respect, even those who deny him respect. In the novel Atticus becomes the appointed lawyer of Tom Robinson, a man accused of raping Mayella Ewell. He takes on the challenge with courage and nobility knowing how much resentment he will endure from the town. He endures this resentment and gives Tom Robinson the best defense he can offer, to the disapproval of the townspeople.
The third element discusses the continual racism and discrimination that rooted itself in the south since before the Civil War. This novel takes place sometime in the 1920’s but Harper Lee published it in the 1960’s, a time in America where race discrimination became a wildly discussed topic. The discussion of race in To Kill a Mockingbird sent ripples through American society and created a larger discussion about racial discrimination that needed to happen. Even though the novel discussed racial discrimination in the 1920’s many of the scenarios from the novel were still applicable in the 1960s showing that nothing changed in America pertaining to racism. To Kill a Mockingbird pushed for social change in America.
To Kill a Mockingbird discusses many important topics that still apply to today’s society. To Kill a Mockingbird shows what an inspirational and timeless novel should be by using elements of creating a connection through point of view, giving the reader a protagonist that sets an example, and opening the conversation about prominent but controversial social topics.