To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee Book Review


To kill a mocking bird is an extensively popular novel especially in middle school and high school across the united stated states. The novel's author Harper Lee is also an established writer with a Pulitzer Prize for her book. The mocking bird was published in 1960

Harper indicates that she wrote the book loosely basing the characters to her observation of her family members and neighbors in her hometown while she was young in Monroeville, Alabama. In the novel, Harper talks about rape, prejudice, and racism but also adds a twist to it with her sense of humor.

 The book is sensitive and an eye-opener to the younger generation on these issues. In this paper, I am going to explain how the author characterizes the Narrator Scout Finch and how this characterization shapes the readers’ perception of the physical and emotional setting of the novel.

The author uses a young girl as the narrator in the novel, “Scout Finch” her nickname, now a grown woman Jean Louise narrating her observations as a little girl. Scout is seen as both the questioner and the observer. The fact that she is a child she can ask tough questions even though her questions are not politically correct. As a child, Jean Loise wonders what it means by “being a lady.” 

She is portrayed as a tomboy and often her brother criticizes her of not acting girlish enough "It's time you started being' a girl and acting right!" (Lee, p 68) except for few times that he accuses her of “acting like a girl.” Her tomboyish behavior and physical strength intimidate moss boys at school and even drives Aunt Alexandra to distraction. As a child, she believes any problem can be solved by fighting, on her first day at school she fights. The reader gets the perception that she is a bold and courageous character.

As much as she is bold and can be violent at times, she is also emotional. She wants attention from Dill and approval from his father, Atticus. When Scot meets Dill for the first time, she describes him as a “curiosity’ even though there is no romantic relationship between them she started a fight with Dill because he was paying more attention to Jem rather than herself. This is a strange sing of affection but creates the perception that she is human too and she does experience emotions.

 Scout is also humorous in her description of Miss Caroline’s amazement towards her reading skills and tells her to sit down. She mumbles to herself “I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers."(Lee, p 17). Scout implies that it was not her intention to be that fluent I reading at her age but the fact that she sat on her father’s lap while he read the paper and her love for reading made her so fluent in reading.

In conclusion, the reader is introduced to Scout as a bold, honest, courageous and humorous character at the beginning of the novel. This sets them up on what to expect of Scout throughout the novel. All these characteristics have shaped the novel to be emotional and bold given the issues being addressed. The Author, Harper Lee does this from the start of the story through her characterization of Scout Finch to create a physical and emotional setting in the novel.

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