Main Themes



Racism is brought up or hinted through about every chapter in this book. The book, written by Harper Lee demonstrated what racism can turn in to. The outcome of this book was a black defendant accused of rape, basically getting himself killed awaiting another trial because he had had it. The prejudice was just too much. The way the book is written, in the 1930s down in Southern Alabama, racism and segregation was still going on and going strong. Towards the end half of the book, a ladies' group gets together and they talk about helping people in Africa, but they don't ever think about helping their own town situation and how strong their segregation is, including the fact that the blacks have their own church. They talk about it, but seemed more concerned about other countries and their problems. Many characters undergo racism such as Tom Robinson, Atticus (called a "nigger lover"), and Calpurnia, who didn't have very many rights because she was black.

Courage, Bravery and Will Power

Courage was shown strongly throughout this novel. A person who really shows this quality very strong throughout this book is Atticus. He had been called a "nigger lover", because he talked to the blacks, didn't think of them differently, and even stood up for them sometimes. It took a lot of courage for Atticus to represent Tom Robinson in such a monumental case impertinent to black rights. Miss Maudie also showed courage. After her house burning down and some of the children witnessing it, she still chose to put on a brave face and reassured the kids that everything was going to be okay. Lastly, Boo Radley. Throughout this book he was sort of an introvert, but towards the end I'm sure it took a lot of courage to rescue and save Jem and Scout from possibly being murdered. He put his life on the line. There are several examples of courage shown throughout many characters in this book, they may have just been shown in different ways.


These themes relate together by how the characters' personalities were portrayed in this book. Courage, willpower, and bravery are traits that come from your personality, and racism/believing in segregation is partly your personality and what you believe. It's how you act.