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Eingesendet: 09.02.2011
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Autor: Litze91
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To Kill A Mockingbird - Review

Harper Lee's novel 'To kill a Mockingbird', published in 1960 by J.B. Lippincott & Co. in the United States, deals with the three years of Scout and Jem's childhood in which they expire a trial about a wrongly convicted 'black' guy and the reaction of town's society to this event.

The story of Scout and Jem Finch is set in the Alabama of the 1930's. The great depression and racial segregation were most influential in this time and affected the public life. Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for this classic part of American literature, also putted a lot autobiographical content in the plot. E.g. Atticus works as solicitor as Lee studied law and her childhood friend Truman Capote significantly influenced the character of Dill. Furthermore we can assume that Maycomb reflects Lee's hometown Monroeville in Alabama. As the whole story takes place in southern America the parlance of the characters is worked out according to this.

The central plot of the book is the trial of the Afro-American Tom Robinson who is accused of having raped a girl named Mayella Ewell, a girl from a low status family. Atticus Finch, widower and father of Jem and Scout, was assigned to defend Tom. Although it was impossible for a Afro-American to win a trial against a white person in the 1930's, Atticus tried to help Tom win the trial and show his innocence. And although Tom got convicted Atticus was able to show to the jury and the audience that Tom did not rape the girl.
Jem, Scout and Dill, a new friend moved from Meridian, get to know the real Maycomb through this trial. On top of that the vengeance of a exposed outcast but also the benevolence of the mythical person Boo Radley.

Next to this we get to know the world of three up growing children in a lazy old town. When they're playing their role plays we, can see that gender roles aren't that clear to the children. Which is a problem in Aunt Alexandra's eyes, who tries to make scout fitting in society. But not only Aunt Alexandra tries to educate the children. Atticus as their role model and a person of respect has the biggest educational influence on the chlidren. As a consequence they come in conflict with the education from school, the neighbors and society in general.

All this aspects are told through the innocent voice of a young southern girl giving the reader a view on themes which impartially and truly never could be. And these are just the most important aspects of which Lee putted a lot of them in this book. She elaborated so naturally on them that you don't notice them at first glance. Through this whole story you lose the feeling of narrated time which is sad but does not bar you at noticing the development of the characters.

The title 'To Kill A Mockingbird' couldn't fit better. You get advices throughout the book to understand what Lee could have meant but the real meaning you get on the last page, which is solved brilliantly in my opinion. But without your making your own thoughts on this book you can't extract every hidden secret.

If you are interested in South-American culture and society, history of Afro-Americans and books which give thought-provoking impulses 'To kill a mockingbird' would be the right book as it is easy to read. Its furthermore for every group of age. But if you search for suspense I reckon you'd search for a different book.

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