Saturday, July 28, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This post was written by my son Derek as a writing assignment.  For another review by Derek you can go to Farenheit 451

In her book to To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses a rape case to express the relationships among four different people groups in the southern town, Maycomb: the white middle class, the white country folk, the poor whites, and the black people. The story is told through the eyes of nine year old Scout Louise who lives in the middle class.

The middle class does not usually associate with the white farmers. When Scout tries to invite a farm boy over for dinner, her Aunt Alexandria disapproves, saying that those type of people are unclean and would not fit in with the neighborhood kids. Many of the middle class kids share the same opinion. In school, the teacher comments on a farm boy's poverty, and lack of having enough food, while the rest of the class show indifference saying that it is normal for him.

The middle class and the white poor families treat each other with a little more hostility. The town kids show contempt toward the poor kids when they show up to school only on the first day just to get attendance. The impoverished blame everyone else for their troubles, instead of the poor parents who do not take care of their families. Because of the irresponsibility of the poor parents, the town folks do not respect them.

Because her father Atticus is not racist, Scout Louise holds no hatred for the poor black community, unlike the rest of the white populace. Though the separate white communities are different from each other they choose to stick with their race and defend a cruel white poor father in a court case where he is unjustly condemning a black man. After the rest of the white groups help the impoverished white man win the case, they tell him to crawl back into his hole where he came from.

In conclusion, Harper Lee tries to show the lines that seperate of all the different communities. Middle class, poor and country whites and the black people. The white communities treat each other differently, with either indifference or disdain. However, these differences between the white groups are overlooked when they have to choose between a guilty white man and an innocent black man. They side with the guilty white man. Even though they all despise him they believe they must stick with their skin color even though they know what he did was wrong. To Kill A Mockingbird provides an insight into these racial and class relationships in a Southern town in the 1940's.


  1. A very insightful and well-written piece. To Kill A Mockingbird has been so widely read and written about but your son's take on it is quite fresh.

    1. CHE: Thanks so much! We've been working on his writing skills and I think he's made a lot of progress.

  2. Great review. Couldn't have said it better myself.

  3. Fun to read a review from a teen! The review is well-written and does a great job explaining what To Kill a Mockingbird is all about. I enjoyed reading his thoughts.

  4. That's really well written! As mentioned in the review, it's interesting to consider the marginalised groups collectively. To Kill a Mockingbird is such a great novel, and I'm sure that it'll be popular for a long time to come.

    All the best.

  5. It is one of my favorites. Whenever I reach the points where Scout's innocence saves Tom Robinson from the mob, when the black community stand in respect to Atticus after the trial, and when Scott walks hand in hand with Boo I always tear up. Those parts are achingly beautiful.

    russel of Soapbox Photo Booth Rentals

    1. I agree, Russel. I could read this book again and again. It's important to know how things once were so we can avoid those mistakes (mob mentality racism, e.g.) in the future. Thanks for commenting!


I welcome comments from anyone with a mutual interest in the subjects I written about.