To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Plot

Scout, the narrator whose name is really Jean Louise Finch, grows increasingly upset with school until Atticus, her father, teaches her the beauty of compromise. Scout's brother Jem has struggles himself with the grouchy, old lady Mrs. Dubose and has to make amends after he destroys her Azelea bushes. But the real conflict of the novel begins when Atticus, a lawyer, is appointed to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white girl. The rape never occurred, yet the girl's racist father is set out to destroy Tom Robinson because he cannot live with the fact that his daughter came onto a black man and kissed him. A subplot exists with a strange, introverted character named "Boo" Radley who is labeled by others just because he's different. He ends up becoming a hero when Jem is almost killed by another man later in the novel. When twists and turns, the reader continues to understand the complexity of the characters and the value of family, community and true friends.

Key Quotes

"Atticus was right. One time he said you never reall know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them" (321).


"'I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"..."Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy" (103).

L. Humphries, Period 12