‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ First Published on This Day in 1960

by Megan Molseed
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It has been sixty-one years since the world was first introduced to Scout, her brother Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus Fitch in the prize winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.

Written by American author Harper Lee, the beloved classic follows young Scout as she navigates the depression-era south. As the young girl narrates the classic story, she learns hard lessons about race, injustice, and the inherent goodness of the people around her.

Since its publication, “Mockingbird has become a modern classic. Middle school and high school English classes across the country regularly read the story each year. The plot is loosely based on the author’s own experiences and observations growing up in Monroeville, Alabama in the 1930s.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” Touches Upon Some Sensitive Issues

Young Scout is a very unusual and curious little girl. She is incredibly intelligent and her confidence is usually unwavering. Her tomboyish behavior can be a source of stress for some of the adults around her. Scout is known to fight boys who seem “bigger” and “stronger” without any fear. However, most of the adults in Scouts life, primarily her father Atticus, are proud of the little girl’s unique confidence.

When the reader is first introduced to Scout, she is young and innocent. With absolute faith in the goodness of human nature.

Scout’s lawyer father, Atticus, defends Tom Robinson, a black man who has been unfairly accused of rape. While witnessing the trial, Scout begins to gain insights regarding her community, her family, as well as herself. Several incidents throughout the classic story encourage Scout to confront her beliefs that life is fair and good always prevails.

Scout’s own personal experiences during the trial also highlight the lessons she is slowly learning through her father’s trial.

The Classic Novel’s Sensitive Nature Appeals To Readers

Throughout the book, Scout’s father, Atticus, represents the inherent good Scout initially takes for granted. One of the novel’s most important themes is the lawyer’s struggle to remain fair and decent. Despite practicing law in a world where those same qualities are not always valued.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” became an instant bestseller upon its release. Despite its sensitive themes regarding race, and violence, readers have embraced the novel. “To Kill a Mockingbird” approaches the topics with a sort of innocent quality as seen through the eyes of a child. The book earned its Pulitzer Prize n 1961. The classic novel was later adapted into an Academy Award Winning film starring Gregory Peck.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee passed away on February 19, 2016 at the age of 89.

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