“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic novel by Harper Lee that was first published in 1960. It is set in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression, and is narrated by a young girl named Scout Finch.

Plot Summary

The novel’s central plot revolves around the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is appointed as Tom’s defense lawyer, and the trial becomes a major event in the town.

Throughout the novel, Scout and her brother Jem experience various coming-of-age moments as they learn about racism, injustice, and the importance of standing up for what is right. They also encounter several other characters, including their mysterious neighbor Boo Radley, who they develop a fascination with.

As the trial progresses, it becomes clear that Tom is innocent and that Mayella’s father, Bob Ewell, is responsible for her injuries. Despite this, Tom is found guilty by the all-white jury and ultimately dies while attempting to escape from prison. The novel ends with Scout and Jem’s growing understanding of the world around them and their appreciation for their father’s unwavering moral values.

Characters of To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Scout Finch: The narrator and protagonist of the novel, a young girl who learns about racism and injustice as she grows up in Maycomb.
  • Jem Finch: Scout’s older brother, who also experiences many of the same coming-of-age moments as Scout.
  • Atticus Finch: Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer who defends Tom Robinson and teaches his children about morality and justice.
  • Tom Robinson: A black man who is falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell and becomes the subject of a controversial trial.
  • Mayella Ewell: A white woman who accuses Tom Robinson of rape.
  • Bob Ewell: Mayella’s father, who is responsible for her injuries and seeks revenge on Atticus and Tom.
  • Boo Radley: A mysterious neighbor who becomes the subject of Scout and Jem’s fascination.

Themes of To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Racism and prejudice: The novel explores the pervasive racism that existed in the South during the Great Depression and its impact on the lives of black people.
  • Justice and morality: Atticus’s defense of Tom Robinson highlights the importance of standing up for what is right, even when it is difficult or unpopular.
  • Coming of age: Scout and Jem’s experiences throughout the novel represent their growth and development as they learn about the world around them.

Writing Style

Harper Lee’s writing style is characterized by its simplicity and clarity. The novel is narrated from Scout’s perspective, which allows the reader to experience the story through the eyes of a child. Lee’s use of imagery and symbolism also adds depth to the novel, particularly in the case of the mockingbird, which represents innocence and purity.


“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a powerful and enduring novel that continues to resonate with readers today. Its exploration of themes such as racism, justice, and morality remains relevant in today’s society, and its characters are beloved by generations of readers. Through the eyes of Scout Finch, Harper Lee tells a story that is both heart-wrenching and inspiring, reminding us of the importance of empathy, compassion, and standing up for what is right.

Interested in this book?

Categorized in: