Set in the Deep South, Scout and Jem’s father is defending a black man charged with rape. Atticus Finch is states ‘Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird.’, Tom Robinson is this novel’s mockingbird. The whole town is affected by the trial, and in this tight knit community, there is only one opinion, Tom is guilty. This is the iconic novel of proving innocence through innocent eyes; Scout.
This novel throws up a lot of issues such as prejudice, violence and hypocrisy, as can be expected from 1930s America. Scout is in a position of education and rationality, her father has taught her well so the ‘adult’ behaviour is strange and unfounded. She’s not your typical young girl, she’s rather get muddy with the boys then be seen in a dress. She’s strong headed, she knows what she wants; however, her narration still comes from a place of innocence.
This is a blend of tragedy and comedy, it has its moments of light relief. But at its core, it’s a book about people. It does address the issue of race and that’s what it’s better known for. For me, I simply feel in love with the characters; Scout’s determination, a trait she must have inherited from her father, Jem’s good nature that almost excuses his stubbornness. I’m so glad I didn’t study this so I enjoy it as a beautifully crafted novel.