to kill the mockingbird theme statement

To Kill a Mockingbird

Everything you need for every book you read..

Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon

Good, Evil, and Human Dignity

To Kill a Mockingbird follows Scout , a precocious six-year-old, over the course of three years as she begins to grow, and in the process, bears witness to the trial of Tom Robinson , a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. As a child, Scout has set ideas regarding what’s good and what’s evil, but throughout the novel, her father, Atticus , gradually begins to encourage her to see that the world…

Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon

Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird , Scout witnesses many different types of prejudice—and even promotes these attitudes herself—including classism, sexism, and racism. Regardless of the type of prejudicial worldview, each one treats people as stereotyped groups, demands conformity, and doesn’t give any credit to individuals. Over and over again, To Kill a Mockingbird illustrates how prejudice can be closed-minded and dangerous, as well as seemingly benign—but in all cases, it’s ridiculous and misguided.

Though racism…

Prejudice Theme Icon

Over the course of the novel’s three years, Scout , Dill , and Jem grow up both physically and mentally. They begin the novel with a firm and uncomplicated idea of what’s good and what’s bad, but by the end of the novel, they’ve all lost their innocence and have come to a more complex understanding of how people and the world work. In particular, having Scout, whom the reader meets at age six, narrate…

Growing Up Theme Icon

Many people in To Kill a Mockingbird confuse courage with strength and believe that courage is the ability or willingness to use strength to get one’s way. However, the novel makes it abundantly clear that this understanding of courage is immature at best and is possibly wrong altogether. Instead, the novel proposes that courage isn’t about winning. Instead, it’s about thinking about something and choosing to do what’s right, even if doing so is difficult…

Courage Theme Icon

Small Town Southern Life

Maycomb is a small town with all the stereotypical characteristics of small-town life. Most notably everyone knows everyone else’s business, which leads mostly to endless and generally harmless gossip—but more importantly, it makes the community extremely intimate and close-knit. Throughout the first part of the novel, these qualities cause Scout and Jem to believe that Maycomb is nothing more than an insular, safe, intimate community. While they’re not entirely wrong about the truth of this…

Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon

Find Study Materials for

Business studies, combined science, computer science.

  • English Literature

Environmental Science

Human geography, macroeconomics, microeconomics.

  • Social Studies
  • Browse all subjects
  • Exam Revision
  • Career Advice for Students
  • Student Life
  • Study Guide
  • University Advice
  • Read our Magazine

Create Study Materials

Language Flag

Select your language

to kill the mockingbird theme statement

Are people good or evil by nature? What actions are inherently good or bad? In her classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), author Harper Lee deals with these questions. To Kill a Mockingbird describes the life of a young girl named Scout in Alabama during the 1930s. Throughout…

Mockup Schule

Explore our app and discover over 50 million learning materials for free.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Explanations
  • StudySmarter AI
  • Textbook Solutions
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Amiri Baraka
  • Arcadia Tom Stoppard
  • August Wilson
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  • David Henry Hwang
  • Edward Albee
  • Eugene O'Neill
  • European Drama
  • Fences August Wilson
  • Goethe Faust
  • Hedda Gabler
  • Henrik Ibsen
  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Lillian Hellman
  • Long Day's Journey into Night
  • Lorraine Hansberry
  • Luigi Pirandello
  • Luis Valdez
  • M. Butterfly
  • Murder in the Cathedral
  • No Exit Jean Paul Sartre
  • Oedipus Rex
  • Oliver Goldsmith
  • Prometheus Bound
  • Pygmalion Overview
  • Sean O'Casey
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • The Cherry Orchard
  • The Children's Hour
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • The Homecoming
  • The Iceman Cometh
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Little Foxes
  • The Misanthrope
  • The Way of the World
  • The Wild Duck
  • Tom Stoppard
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • William Congreve
  • Zoot Suit Luis Valdez
  • Age of Revolution
  • American Gothic
  • American Romanticism
  • Black Mountain Poets
  • Colonial Era
  • Confessional Poetry
  • Dark Romanticism
  • Early National Era
  • Fireside Poets
  • Literary Modernism
  • Modern American Drama
  • Modern American Poetry
  • Modern American Prose
  • Native American Literature
  • New Formalism
  • New York School
  • Poetry Slam
  • Puritan Literature
  • San Francisco Renaissance
  • Slave Narrative
  • Transcendentalism
  • A Journal of the Plague Year
  • A Map of the World
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Albert Camus
  • Alexandre Dumas
  • Alias Grace
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • An American Childhood
  • Angie Thomas
  • Anita Desai
  • Anna Karenina
  • Annie Dillard
  • Antelope Wife
  • As I Lay Dying
  • Asian Literature
  • Babylon Revisited
  • Bernard Malamud
  • Blood Meridian
  • Bobbie Ann Mason
  • Book of Daniel
  • Brideshead Revisited
  • Brothers and Keepers
  • Captain Corellis Mandolin
  • Carson McCullers
  • Cat's Cradle
  • Cathedral by Raymond Carver
  • Charles Bukowski
  • Charles Chesnutt
  • Clear Light of Day
  • Cormac McCarthy
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Cry the Beloved Country
  • Daniel Defoe
  • David Foster Wallace
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • Don DeLillo
  • Don Quixote
  • EL Doctorow
  • Edith Wharton
  • England England
  • Erich Maria Remarque
  • Ethan Frome
  • European Literature
  • Evelyn Waugh
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Fathers and Sons
  • Flaubert's Parrot
  • Ford Madox Ford
  • Frances Harper
  • Franz Kafka
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Gertrude and Claudius
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Going After Cacciato
  • Gravitys Rainbow
  • Great Expectations
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • Gustave Flaubert
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Henry Fielding
  • Herman Melville
  • Hermann Hesse
  • In Cold Blood
  • In the Lake of the Woods
  • In the Time of the Butterflies
  • Infinite Jest
  • Invisible Cities
  • Invisible Man
  • Islands in the Stream
  • Italo Calvino
  • Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
  • JD Salinger
  • Jack Kerouac
  • James Baldwin
  • James Fenimore Cooper
  • Jane Hamilton
  • Jazz (1992) Toni Morrison
  • Jean Toomer
  • Jill Ker Conway
  • John Cheever
  • John Edgar Wideman
  • John Fowles
  • John Updike
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Joseph Heller
  • Joyce Carol Oates
  • Julia Alvarez
  • Julian Barnes
  • Kafka on the shore
  • Katherine Anne Porter
  • Katherine Mansfield
  • Kingsley Amis
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Light in August
  • Louis de Bernieres
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Madame Bovary
  • Maggie A Girl of the Streets
  • Mansfield Park
  • Margaret Laurence
  • Markus Zusak
  • Martin Amis
  • Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • Milan Kundera
  • Moll Flanders
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • Naked Lunch
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Northanger Abbey
  • Norwegian Wood
  • Notes From Underground
  • O Pioneers!
  • Oceanian Literature
  • Octavia Butler
  • Of Mice and Men
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 1
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 2
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 3
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 4
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 5
  • Of Mice and Men Chapter 6
  • On the Road
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Passing by Nella Larsen
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Philip Roth
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Rabbit, Run
  • Ragtime Novel
  • Ralph Ellison
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Raymond Carver
  • Richard Wright
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Rudolfo Anaya
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Saul Bellow
  • Scarlet Letter
  • Sent for You Yesterday
  • Serafina's Stories
  • Ship of Fools
  • Sister Carrie
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • Song Of Solomon
  • Sons and Lovers
  • Stephen Crane
  • Tess of the D'Ubervilles
  • The Adventures of Augie March
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Age of Innocence
  • The American
  • The Aspern Papers
  • The Baron in the Trees
  • The Book Thief
  • The Book of Ruth
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Conjure Woman
  • The Crying of Lot 49
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman
  • The Garden Party and Other Stories
  • The Good Soldier
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  • The Heart of The Matter
  • The House of Mirth
  • The House of the Seven Gables
  • The House on Mango Street
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • The Loved One
  • The Making of Americans
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • The Member of the Wedding
  • The Metamorphosis
  • The Natural
  • The Plot Against America
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Power of Sympathy
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Road from Coorain
  • The Sound and the Fury
  • The Stone Angel
  • The Stranger
  • The Sun Also Rises
  • The Temple of My Familiar
  • The Three Musketeers
  • The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
  • The Wapshot Chronicle
  • The Woman Warrior
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Theodore Dreiser
  • Thomas Pynchon
  • Tim O'Brien
  • Time's Arrow
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Voyage in the Dark
  • Washington Irving
  • We Were the Mulvaneys
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
  • White Noise
  • Wide Sargasso Sea
  • Willa Cather
  • William Faulkner
  • William Hill Brown
  • William S. Burroughs
  • 77 Dream Songs
  • A Barred Owl
  • A Red Red Rose
  • A. R. Ammons
  • Adrienne Rich
  • Alexander Pope
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • An American Sunrise
  • And death shall have no dominion
  • Andrew Marvell
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • As I Walked Out One Evening
  • As Kingfishers Catch Fire
  • Balder Dead
  • Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter
  • Beowulf Poetry
  • Binsey Poplars
  • Briefings Collection
  • Carl Sandburg
  • Carolyn Forche
  • Chicago Poem
  • Concord Hymn
  • Concord Hymn by Jack Spicer
  • Crossing the Bar
  • Crossing the Swamp
  • Danse Russe
  • Derek Walcott
  • Diving into the Wreck
  • Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
  • Dover Beach
  • Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes
  • Dylan Thomas
  • E. E. Cummings
  • Easter 1916 Poem
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Edmund Spenser
  • Edward Kamau Brathwaite
  • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
  • Elegy for Jane
  • Elegy for a Jet Pilot
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning Biography
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Emancipation from British Dependence Poem
  • Epitaph on the World
  • European Poetry
  • Five Flights Up
  • For Jane Meyers
  • For That He Looked Not Upon Her
  • For the Union Dead
  • Frank O'Hara
  • Garrett Hongo
  • Gary Snyder
  • George Gascoigne
  • George Oppen
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
  • Gertrude Stein(1874-1946)
  • Gwendolyn Bennett
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Helen In Egypt
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Here Philip Larkin
  • Hilda Doolittle
  • How We Became Human
  • I Carry Your Heart with Me
  • I, Too Langston Hughes
  • Idylls of the Kings
  • If I Could Tell You
  • If you forget me Pablo Neruda
  • In the Waiting Room
  • Jack Spicer
  • James Schuyler
  • John Ashbery
  • John Berryman
  • John Crowe Ransom
  • Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
  • Law Like Love
  • Leaves of Grass
  • Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Let America be America again
  • Li-Young Lee
  • Life Studies
  • Lorine Niedecker
  • Louise Glück
  • Mary Oliver
  • Matthew Arnold
  • May Swenson
  • Meaningful Love
  • Midsummer, Tobago
  • Mountains and Rivers Without End
  • Musee des Beaux Arts (1939)
  • My Papa's Waltz
  • My People Langston Hughes
  • Ode to the Confederate Dead
  • Of Being Numerous
  • Ogun by Kamau Brathwaite
  • On Being Brought from Africa to America
  • On Her Loving Two Equally
  • On My First Sonne
  • On the Banks of the Ohio
  • On the Bus with Rosa Parks
  • One Hundred Love Sonnets XVII
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Paterson by William Carlos Willaims
  • Phenomenal Woman
  • Philip Freneau
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • Picture Bride
  • Pied Beauty
  • Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral
  • Poetry of Departures
  • Rebecca Hammond Lard
  • Richard Eberhart
  • Richard Wilbur
  • Rights of Passage
  • Robert Browning
  • Robert Hayden
  • Robert Lowell
  • Sailing to Byzantium
  • Seamus Heaney Digging
  • Seasons of the Soul
  • Sic Vita Thoreau
  • Sir Philip Sidney
  • Some Trees Poem
  • Songs of Innocence
  • Spring and All
  • Storm Warnings
  • Storyteller
  • Sunday Morning
  • Sylvia Plath
  • The Author to Her Book
  • The Bean Eaters
  • The Black Walnut Tree
  • The British Prison Ship
  • The Buried Lake
  • The Centaur
  • The Colonel
  • The Convergence Of The Twain
  • The Day Lady Died
  • The Death of a Toad
  • The Definition of Love
  • The Empty Glass
  • The Faerie Queene
  • The Groundhog
  • The Hollow Men
  • The Indian Burying Ground
  • The Juggler
  • The Kaddish
  • The Lake Isle of Innisfree
  • The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
  • The Man He Killed
  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • The Odyssey
  • The People, Yes
  • The Rape of the Lock
  • The Raven Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Red Wheelbarrow
  • The Second Coming
  • The Shield of Achilles
  • The Unknown Citizen
  • The Weary Blues
  • The Wild Honey Suckle
  • The Wild Iris
  • The Windhover
  • Theodore Roethke
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
  • Those Winter Sundays
  • Thou Blind Man's Mark
  • To Brooklyn Bridge
  • To His Coy Mistress
  • To My Dear and Loving Husband
  • To Penshurst
  • To a Dark Girl
  • Wallace Stevens
  • Walt Whitman
  • We Real Cool
  • When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd
  • William Butler Yeats
  • William Carlos Williams
  • Yellow Light
  • [Buffalo Bill 's] by E. E. Cummings
  • African American Diaspora
  • African American Literature
  • American Crime Fiction
  • American Diaspora
  • American Jewish Fiction
  • Appalachian Fiction
  • Canadian Fiction
  • Chicano Poetry
  • Chinese American Literature
  • Frontier Novels
  • Latin American Literature
  • Local Color Novel
  • New England Fiction
  • Southern Fiction
  • A Good Man is Hard to Find
  • A Rose for Emily
  • Battle Royal
  • Death by Landscape
  • Desiree's Baby
  • Dry September
  • Flannery O Connor
  • Guy De Maupassant
  • Interpreter of Maladies
  • James McBride
  • Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Necklace
  • The Pardoner's Tale
  • The Tell Tale Heart
  • The Things They Carried
  • The Under Graham Railroad Box Car Set
  • Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
  • A Doll's House
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • An Inspector Calls
  • Anton Chekhov
  • Arthur Miller
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Brian Friel
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • Dancing at Lughnasa
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Doctor Faustus
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Harold Pinter
  • J B Priestley
  • Jez Butterworth
  • John Webster
  • Julius Caesar
  • Measure for Measure (1603-1604)
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Our Country's Good (1988) Overview
  • Polly Stenham
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  • Sam Shepard
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Shelagh Delaney
  • Taste of Honey
  • Tennessee Williams
  • The Birthday Party
  • The Crucible
  • The Duchess of Malfi
  • The History Boys
  • The Laramie Project
  • The Life of Galileo
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The School for Scandal
  • The Seagull
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • The Threepenny Opera
  • The Winter's Tale
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker
  • Twelfth Night
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Waiting for Godot
  • William Shakespeare
  • A Room of One's Own
  • A Summary View of the Rights of British America
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Alas Poor Richard
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Ballot or the Bullet
  • Barack Obama
  • Barack Obama Second Inaugural Address
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Civil Disobedience
  • Common Sense
  • Death of a Moth
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Gettysburg Address
  • I Have a Dream
  • James Madison
  • Letter From a Birmingham Jail
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Notes of a Native Son
  • Notes on the State of Virginia
  • On Property
  • Politics and the English Language
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Rights of Man
  • Self-Reliance
  • Shooting an Elephant
  • Street Haunting
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Thomas Paine
  • Walking Thoreau
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Cultural Studies
  • Deconstruction
  • Derrick Bell
  • Disability Theory
  • Eco-Criticism
  • Edward Said
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • F. R. Leavis
  • Feminist Literary Criticism
  • Ferdinand Saussure
  • Formalism Literary Theory
  • Fredric Jameson
  • Freudian Criticism
  • Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
  • Harold Bloom
  • Helene Cixous
  • Homi Bhabha
  • Intersectionality
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Jean Baudrillard
  • Jean-Francois Lyotard
  • Julia Kristeva
  • Kimberle Crenshaw
  • Luce Irigaray
  • Marxism Literary Criticism
  • Mikhail Bakhtin
  • Narratology
  • New Historicism
  • Patricia J. Williams
  • Post-Structuralism
  • Postcolonial Literary Theory
  • Postmodern Literary Theory
  • Psychoanalytic Literary Criticism
  • Queer Theory
  • Raymond Williams
  • Reader Response Criticism
  • Roland Barthes
  • Roman Jakobson
  • Rosemarie Garland Thomson
  • Stephen Greenblatt
  • Structuralism Literary Theory
  • Terry Eagleton
  • Walter Benjamin
  • Walter Pater
  • Academic and Campus Novel
  • Adventure Fiction
  • African Literature
  • Amatory Fiction
  • Antistrophe
  • Autobiography
  • Biblical Narrative
  • Bildungsroman
  • Blank Verse
  • Children's Fiction
  • Chivalric Romance
  • Christian Drama
  • Cliffhanger
  • Closet drama
  • Comedy in Drama
  • Contemporary Fantasy
  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Crime Fiction
  • Cyberpunk Literature
  • Detective Fiction
  • Didactic Poetry
  • Domestic Drama
  • Dramatic Devices
  • Dramatic Monologue
  • Dramatic Structure
  • Dramatic Terms
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Dystopian Fiction
  • Elegiac Couplet
  • English Renaissance Theatre
  • Epic Poetry
  • Epistolary Fiction
  • Experimental Fiction
  • Fantasy Fiction
  • Feminist Literature
  • Fictional Devices
  • First World War Fiction
  • Flash Fiction
  • Foreshadowing
  • Framed Narrative
  • Free Indirect Discourse
  • Genre Fiction
  • Ghost Stories
  • Gothic Novel
  • Hard Low Fantasy
  • Heroic Couplet
  • Heroic Drama
  • Historical Fantasy Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Historical Romance Fiction
  • Historiographic Metafiction
  • Horatian Ode
  • Horatian Satire
  • Horror Novel
  • Hyperrealism
  • Iambic Pentameter
  • Indian Literature
  • Interleaving
  • Internal Rhyme
  • Intertextuality
  • Irish Literature
  • Limerick Poem
  • Linear Narrative
  • Literary Antecedent
  • Literary Archetypes
  • Literary Fiction
  • Literary Form
  • Literary Realism
  • Literary Terms
  • Literature Review
  • Liturgical Dramas
  • Lyric Poetry
  • Magical Realism
  • Malapropism
  • Medieval Drama
  • Metafiction
  • Metrical Foot
  • Miracle Plays
  • Morality Plays
  • Mystery Novels
  • Mystery Play
  • Narrative Discourse
  • Narrative Form
  • Narrative Literature
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • Narrative Poetry
  • Neo-Realism
  • Non Fiction Genres
  • Non-Fiction
  • Non-linear Narrative
  • Northern Irish Literature
  • One-Act Play
  • Oral Narratives
  • Organic Poetry
  • Pastoral Fiction
  • Pastoral Poetry
  • Pathetic Fallacy
  • Petrarchan Sonnet
  • Picaresque Novel
  • Poetic Devices
  • Poetic Form
  • Poetic Genre
  • Poetic Terms
  • Political Satire
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Prose Poetry
  • Psychological Fiction
  • Queer Literature
  • Regency Romance
  • Regional Fiction
  • Religious Fiction
  • Research Article
  • Restoration Comedy
  • Rhyme Scheme
  • Roman a clef
  • Romance Fiction
  • Satirical Poetry
  • Sceptical Literature
  • Science Fiction
  • Scottish Literature
  • Second World War Fiction
  • Sentimental Comedy
  • Sentimental Novel
  • Shakespearean Sonnet
  • Short Fiction
  • Social Realism Literature
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Spenserian Sonnet
  • Stream of Consciousness
  • Supernatural Fiction
  • The Early Novel
  • Theatre of the Absurd
  • Theatrical Realism
  • Tragedy in Drama
  • Tragicomedy
  • Translations and English Literature
  • Urban Fiction
  • Utopian Fiction
  • Verse Fable
  • Volta Poetry
  • Welsh Literature
  • Western Novels
  • Women's fiction
  • Byronic Hero
  • Literary Character
  • Narrative Mode
  • Narrative Structure
  • Point of View
  • Protagonist
  • Unreliable Narrator
  • Aestheticism
  • Aestheticism in Literature
  • Age of Enlightenment
  • American Naturalism
  • American Realism
  • Anglo Norman
  • Anti-Aestheticism
  • Beat Generation
  • Bloomsbury Group
  • Cavalier Poets
  • Confessional Poets
  • Elizabethan Age
  • Expressionism
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Hypermodernism
  • Industrial Revolution in Literature
  • Jacobean Age
  • Jacobean Drama
  • Kitchen Sink Realism
  • Literary Minimalism
  • Lost Generation
  • Mersey Beat
  • Metaphysical Poets
  • Middle English Period
  • Neo-Classical
  • New Criticism
  • New York School Poets
  • Nouveau Roman
  • Objectivism
  • Old English
  • Performance Poetry
  • Pre-Raphaelite
  • Renaissance
  • Romanticism
  • Social Novel
  • Social realism (1930s-1980s)
  • Sturm und Drang
  • The Augustan Age
  • The Restoration
  • Victorian Period
  • Alternative Literature
  • Booker Prize
  • Digital Humanities
  • Electronic Literature
  • Guggenheim Fellowship
  • Literary Awards
  • Walter Scott Prize
  • Alan Bennett
  • Allie Brosh
  • Anna Funder
  • Anonymous Author
  • Bill Bryson
  • Down and Out in Paris and London
  • Goodbye To All That
  • H is for Hawk
  • Helen Macdonald
  • I Am The Secret Footballer
  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
  • Into the Wild
  • Jeanette Winterson
  • Jenny Diski
  • Long Walk to Freedom
  • Maya Angelou
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Notes from a Small Island
  • Olaudah Equiano
  • Robert Graves
  • Skating to Antarctica
  • Solomon Northup
  • Stephen Grosz
  • Testament of Youth
  • The Diary of a Young Girl
  • The Examined Life
  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
  • The Lost Continent
  • Truman Capote
  • Twelve Years a Slave
  • Vera Brittain
  • Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • A Passage to India
  • A Room with a View
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Alice Munro
  • Alice Walker
  • Andrea Levy
  • Angela Carter
  • Animal Farm
  • Annie Proulx
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Arundhati Roy
  • Bleak House
  • Bram Stoker
  • Brave New World
  • Brick Lane Book
  • Brighton Rock
  • Bring Up the Bodies
  • Charles Dickens
  • Charlotte Brontë
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Chinua Achebe
  • D.H Lawrence
  • Daphne Du Maurier
  • E.M. Forster
  • East of Eden
  • Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Emily Brontë
  • Ender's Game
  • Enduring Love
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Fingersmith
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Frankenstein
  • Gabriel Marquez
  • George Eliot
  • George Orwell
  • Graham Greene
  • Graham Swift
  • HG Wells War of The Worlds
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Henry James
  • Hilary Mantel
  • In A Glass Darkly
  • Iris Murdoch
  • Iris Murdoch The Sea The Sea
  • J. M. Coetzee
  • Jamaica Inn
  • Jamaica Kincaid
  • James Joyce
  • Jane Austen
  • John Steinbeck
  • Jonathan Coe
  • Jorge Luis Borges
  • Joseph Conrad
  • Kate Chopin
  • Kathryn Stockett
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Khaled Hosseini
  • Life and Times of Michael K
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Margaret Atwood
  • Mary Shelley
  • Middlemarch
  • NW Zadie Smith
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Never Let Me Go background
  • Nights at the Circus
  • North and South
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
  • Oryx and Crake
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Persuasion Jane Austen
  • Possession AS Byatt
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Pride and Prejudice Chapter 1
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • Regeneration Pat Barker
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Richard Yates
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Salvage the Bones
  • Sarah Waters
  • Sebastian Faulks
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Small Island
  • Tender is the Night
  • Tess of the D Urbervilles
  • The Absolute True Story of a Part-Time Indian
  • The Awakening
  • The Bell Iris Murdoch
  • The Bell Jar
  • The Blind Assassin
  • The Bloody Chamber
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • The Color Purple
  • The Go-Between
  • The God of Small Things
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • The Hate U Give
  • The Heart of Darkness
  • The Help Kathryn Stockett
  • The Little Stranger
  • The Mill on the Floss
  • The Mirror and the Light
  • The Namesake
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Remains of the Day
  • The Rotters Club
  • The Secret Agent
  • The Shipping News
  • The Sign of the Four
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • The Woman in White
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Toni Morrison
  • Victor Hugo
  • Waiting for the Barbarians
  • What Maisie Knew
  • When the Emperor Was Divine
  • White Teeth Zadie Smith
  • Wilkie Collins
  • William Golding
  • Wives and Daughters
  • Women in Love
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Zadie Smith
  • Zadie Smith On Beauty
  • A Bird came down the Walk
  • A Quoi Bon Dire
  • A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
  • A Woman Without a Country
  • A narrow Fellow in the Grass
  • Absent from Thee
  • Ae Fond Kiss
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • America Claude Mckay
  • Anne Sexton
  • Ariel Sylvia Plath
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Batter My Heart
  • Birthday Letters
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Charlotte Mew
  • Christina Rossetti
  • Death Be Not Proud
  • Dulce et Decorum Est
  • Eavan Boland
  • Edna St Vincent Millay
  • Elegy XIX To His Mistress Going to Bed
  • Elizabeth Jennings
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Ernest Dowson
  • For My Lover Returning To His Wife
  • From Sonnets from the Portuguese XXIV
  • Frost at Midnight
  • Geoffrey Chaucer
  • George Herbert
  • Holy Sonnet VII
  • Homecoming by Simon Armitage
  • Hope is the thing with feathers
  • I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud
  • I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
  • I, Being born a Woman and Distressed
  • If We Must Die
  • In Memoriam Tennyson
  • It was not Death for I stood up
  • Jacob Sam La Rose
  • John Milton
  • John Wilmot
  • Kid Simon Armitage
  • La Belle Dame sans Merci A Ballad
  • Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey
  • Louis MacNeice
  • Love and a Question
  • Marianne Moore
  • Meeting Point
  • Memory Christina Rossetti
  • Mending Wall
  • Musee des Beaux Arts
  • My Last Duchess
  • Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae
  • Ode on a Grecian Urn
  • Ode to a Nightingale
  • Ode to the West Wind
  • Out of the Bag
  • Paradise Lost
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • Philip Larkin
  • Richard Lovelace
  • Robert Burns
  • Robert Frost
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Seamus Heaney
  • She Walks in Beauty
  • Siegfried Sassoon
  • Simon Armitage
  • Sir Thomas Wyatt
  • So We'll Go No More a Roving
  • Songs of Experience Collection
  • Stop All the Clocks
  • The Canterbury Tales
  • The Darkling Thrush
  • The Death Bed Siegfried Sassoon
  • The Famine Road by Eavan Boland
  • The Garden of Love
  • The Good Morrow
  • The Love Poem
  • The Mind is an Enchanting Thing
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • The Road Not Taken
  • The Ruined Maid
  • The Scrutiny
  • The Sun Rising
  • The Waste Land
  • The Whitsun Weddings
  • This is Just to Say
  • Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
  • Thomas Hardy
  • To Lucasta, Going to the Wars
  • What Are Years
  • Whoso List to Hunt
  • Wilfred Owen
  • William Blake
  • William Wordsworth
  • Woman in Kitchen

Save the explanation now and read when you’ve got time to spare.

Lerne mit deinen Freunden und bleibe auf dem richtigen Kurs mit deinen persönlichen Lernstatistiken

Nie wieder prokastinieren mit unseren Lernerinnerungen.

Are people good or evil by nature ? What actions are inherently good or bad? In her classic American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) , author Harper Lee deals with these questions. To Kill a Mockingbird describes the life of a young girl named Scout in Alabama during the 1930s. Throughout the novel, Scout grows up and learns important lessons about life and injustice in a prejudiced society.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Content Warning, StudySmarter

Content warning: contains themes of rape and racism.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: A Synopsis

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1926-2016) is among the most classic American novels. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature and is widely read in schools across the country.

To Kill a Mockingbird, house in Alabama, StudySmarter

The novel is set in the 1930s, during the Great Depression, in Maycomb, Alabama. At the start of the story, Scout Finch is six years old, and the novel goes on to detail her coming-of-age over the next three years. When Scout's father, a lawyer, defends a black man in court, Scout and her brother Jem are awakened to the prejudice and racism in their small Southern town.

Maycomb is a fictional small town in Alabama. It is based in Monroeville, the Alabama town where Lee was born and raised.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Plot Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is divided into two parts and twenty-five chapters.

Six-year-old Scout Finch and her ten-year-old brother Jem grow up together in a small Alabama town in the 1930s. They are raised by their father, lawyer Atticus Finch, and their Black housekeeper Calpurnia, a woman who is a mother figure to them.

The novel begins in the summer of 1933. Scout and Jem make friends with Dill, a boy who comes to Maycomb with his aunt to spend the summer holiday. The children are fascinated by the neighboring Radley house, where the reclusive brothers Nathan and Arthur "Boo" Radley live.

Boo Radley, in particular, is the subject of vicious gossip in Maycomb. He is said to eat squirrels and to have stabbed his father in the leg with scissors. Intrigued by these and other rumors, Jem, Scout, and Dill want to lure Boo out of the house.

However, when they try to sneak into the house, the children are chased away and shot at by Nathan Radley. Jem loses his pants in the escape, but he mysteriously finds them mended, hanging over the fence the next day. Although they never see Boo, Scout and Jem begin to find small gifts in a tree hollow near the Radley house, seemingly from the reclusive man.

The children want to put something in the tree hollow in return, but, shortly afterward, Boo's brother closes it with cement.

Scout and Jem's father is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of beating and raping a young white woman named Mayella Ewell. Atticus believes that defending Robinson is the right thing to do, but the conservative town of Maycomb ostracizes him for his choice, and his children are taunted at school with racist slurs.

When Robinson's trial begins, the accused man is placed in the local jail, and a crowd forms intending to lynch him. Scout and Jem, however, have snuck out of the house, and Scout defuses the situation after she recognizes one of the men as her classmate's father.

During Robinson's trial, the accused Tom Robinson argues that he rejected Mayella's advances. The girl's father, Bob Ewell, had then beaten his daughter because he caught her approaching a black man.

Atticus is able to prove that Robinson, whose left arm is crippled, could not have been the perpetrator at all. Bob Ewell, on the other hand, is left-handed and could easily have given his daughter a black eye on the right side of her face.

 To Kill a Mockingbird, conviction, StudySmarter

Despite the evidence of Robinson's innocence, he is unanimously declared guilty by the all-white jury. Robinson is sent to prison. He tries to escape but is shot seventeen times and killed.

Scout, Jem, and Dill, who watch the trial from the colored balcony, are deeply affected by it. Jem, in particular, is shaken by the jury's verdict. He understands that Robinson is innocent, and the jury's conviction severely undermines his faith in justice.

Even though Robinson is convicted, Bob Ewell wants revenge on Atticus for the damage to his reputation and attacks Jem and Scout with a knife on Halloween night. The two children cannot clearly see what is happening through their costumes, but they get help from an unknown man who incapacitates Ewell and carries the injured Jem home.

Scout and Jem later discover that Boo Radley saved them but accidentally killed Bob Ewell with a knife in the process. In order to protect Boo, Atticus and the sheriff decide to tell the citizens of Maycomb that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife in the fight.

Scout understands that they made up this story to protect Boo. Boo was only trying to help, with no intention of hurting anyone or drawing attention to himself. Scout feels as if she can finally picture life from Boo's perspective.

To Kill a Mockingbird : Key Characters

Although there are many different characters in To Kill a Mockingbird , Scout, her father Atticus, and their neighbor Boo play the most critical roles.

To Kill a Mockingbird : Language and Genre

Let’s explore the language and discuss the genre of the novel in detail.

Harper Lee wrote the novel To Kill a Mockingbird from the first-person perspective of young Scout. Using Scout's perspective means that the narrator is not authorial or omniscient, but it does try to analyze and comprehend the thoughts and feelings of others.

Using a child's perspective, Lee succeeds in approaching complex issues such as racism with a childlike naivety.

Despite the childlike perspective, the narrative uses complex language. This language sounds more adult and articulate than a reader would expect from young Scout Finch. At these points, you notice the difference between the young Scout in the story and presumably the older Scout telling the story.

To Kill a Mockingbird is written in the past tense and tells of events from 1933 to 1935. This allows for the interpretation that the narrating Scout is now older and more educated, which explains this more complex language. Here, for example, a more mature Scout reflects back on her childhood experiences:

Until my father explained it to me later, I did not understand the subtlety of Tom's predicament: he would not have dared strike a white woman under any circumstances and expect to live long, so he took the first opportunity to run - a sure sign of guilt. (Chapter 19)

This difference in language level was often criticized as a "bad style" at the time of publication but is now a common method in literature.

Harper Lee also uses colloquial language and Southern slang to portray the characters' dialogue authentically. For example, Atticus tells Scout:

No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. (Chapter 9)

In addition to the colloquial shortening of "them" to "'em", Atticus uses the colloquial expression "get your goat," which means to annoy someone.

To Kill a Mockingbird has been characterized as a Southern gothic novel for Lee's use of gothic elements such as fires, spooky neighbors, and ominous settings.

The novel is also a bildungsroman or coming-of-age novel that tells the story of Scout as she grows and matures.

Bildungsroman is a German word for a literary genre of coming-of-age stories that show the mental and emotional growth of a character as they move from childhood to adulthood.

To Kill a Mockingbird : Analysis of Key Themes

The key themes of the novel are prejudice, discrimination and racism, the loss of innocence, courage, and morality. Let’s analyze them in detail.

Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism

Prejudice, racism, and discrimination are central to Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird .

As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it… Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. (Chapter 23)

Whether based on race, poverty, occupation or insulting rumors, the citizens of Maycomb are quick to judge others and marginalize different people. Black people, in particular, are considered second class and are at the bottom of the hierarchy in the town.

Tom Robinson is convicted by an all-white jury in court, although his innocence has been proven. It is clear that this sentence was passed because he is Black and because he is accused of harming a white woman. Even before the trial, it is clear from the population's mood that they will not give him a fair chance because of their prejudices.

Loss of Innocence

To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story and, therefore, a story of moving from childhood innocence to the understanding of adulthood.

Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time... it's because he wants to stay inside. (Chapter 23)

Scout is an innocent, six-year-old child at the beginning of the novel, and the story shows how she and Jem lose their innocence.

Over the course of the novel, the children are forced to confront difficult situations that lead them to develop a more complex understanding of humanity and morality. This is more difficult for Jem, and he struggles with disillusionment after the conviction of innocent Tom Robinson.

In To Kill a Mockingbird , Atticus tries to raise his children with strong moral principles.

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. (Chapter 11)

Along with that comes the courage to live by and stand up for those principles . Atticus teaches his children that courage can look different for different people and different ways of life; the most important thing is to always do what you believe is right.

Courage manifests in many different ways in the novel, from Atticus defending Tom Robinson in court, to Scout talking down the mob who intends on lynching Robinson, to Boo Radley finally leaving his house to save Scout and Jem.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee questions whether people are inherently good or evil and what actions are inherently right or wrong.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view [...] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. (Chapter 3)

Morality is explored from the innocent position of Scout and Jem, two children who have yet to understand the reality of the world.

Atticus Finch is the moral compass of To Kill a Mockingbird . He has come to understand evil as part of the world and people; he values goodness and, through his empathy, can muster enough understanding not to judge people for their bad sides. He tries to teach his children this perspective.

Initially, Scout and Jem find it difficult to explain the evil behavior of adults, but they learn and mature through many situations. They come to recognize the coexistence of good and evil in the world. Jem is very affected by the actions of the adults and loses faith in the good. Scout, however, understands what Atticus was trying to teach them and is able to keep her faith in goodness despite what happens.

What's Up with the Mockingbird?

At first glance, the title To Kill a Mockingbird has little to do with the plot of Harper Lee 's novel. However, Lee uses this bird as an important symbol throughout the novel.

Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. (Chapter 10)

Early in To Kill a Mockingbird , Atticus warns his children against shooting mockingbirds, telling them:

[...] remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. (Chapter 10)

A mockingbird, an important symbol in Harper Lee's novel.

A mockingbird is a small bird that causes no harm to anyone. Killing one has no use or advantage; it is an unnecessary cruelty. The mockingbird, therefore, represents innocence in the novel .

There are several characters who are compared to mockingbirds. These are innocent individuals who are damaged or destroyed by evil, including Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.

Tom Robinson is shot trying to escape from prison, and even the newspaper describes his death as a "senseless slaughter of songbirds."

Boo is a totally reclusive man, and, at the end of the novel, Scout realizes that harming him would be like shooting a mockingbird: making an innocent being with pure intentions suffer.

A mockingbird is a small songbird common to North America. They are best known for their lovely song and their ability to imitate the song of other birds. The mockingbird is also known to be highly intelligent, with the ability to recognize specific humans and specific places. They are defensive of their territory and omnivorous, eating mostly insects and some fruit.

The Finch family is also named for a bird! What could be the significance of this name?

To Kill a Mockingbird - Key takeaways

  • To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and published in 1960.
  • It is the coming-of-age story of Scout Finch as she grows up in Depression-era Alabama.
  • The novel is narrated from young Scout's perspective.
  • Some important themes include the loss of innocence, racism and discrimination, courage, and morality.
  • The mockingbird is an important symbol of innocence in the novel.

Frequently Asked Questions about To Kill a Mockingbird

--> what is  to kill a mockingbird about.

The novel criticises racism and prejudice, while also exploring themes concerning the loss of innocence and whether people are inherently good or evil.  

--> Who wrote T o Kill a Mockingbird ?

Harper Lee (1926-2016) wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.

--> When was To Kill a Mockingbird written? 

To Kill a Mockingbird was written before 1960, when the novel was published.

--> Why is To Kill a Mockingbird a banned book? 

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird has frequently been banned in the US because of reasons such as its themes of rape and the use of profanity and racial slurs. 

--> What is the main summary of To Kill a Mockingbird ? 

To Kill a Mockingbird explores the life of Scout in Alabama in the 1930s, and the prejudices and racism she witnesses in society.

Final To Kill a Mockingbird Quiz

To kill a mockingbird quiz - teste dein wissen.

Which is NOT an important theme in To Kill a Mockingbird ?

Show answer

Show question

What is the name of Jem and Scout’s best friend?

In what time period does To Kill a Mockingbird  take place?

What is Atticus’ job?

Who narrates To Kill a Mockingbird ?

The novel is narrated by Scout Finch

When was To Kill a Mockingbird published?

What nickname is Jean Louise Finch known by?

Is Maycomb a real town?

Where does To Kill a Mockingbird take place?

In Maycomb, Alabama

Who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird ?

Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

Which is NOT an important theme in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Your score:

Smart Exams

Join the StudySmarter App and learn efficiently with millions of flashcards and more!

Learn with 4 to kill a mockingbird flashcards in the free studysmarter app.

Already have an account? Log in

Save explanations that you love in your personalised space, Access Anytime, Anywhere!

  • American Literature
  • Literary Elements
  • Literary Criticism and Theory

of the users don't pass the To Kill a Mockingbird quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

How would you like to learn this content?

Free english-literature cheat sheet!

Everything you need to know on . A perfect summary so you can easily remember everything.

More explanations about American Literature

Discover the right content for your subjects, engineering, no need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed packed into one app.

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Have all your study materials in one place.

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Join millions of people in learning anywhere, anytime - every day

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

This is still free to read, it's not a paywall.

You need to register to keep reading, start learning with studysmarter, the only learning app you need..


Create a free account to save this explanation.

Save explanations to your personalised space and access them anytime, anywhere!

By signing up, you agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy of StudySmarter.

StudySmarter bietet alles, was du für deinen Lernerfolg brauchst - in einer App!

Privacy overview.

To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

‘ Theme ’ is a universal idea presented in a literary piece of work.  In To Kill a Mockingbird , themes are specific and yet applicable to any timeline. The novel shows the dilemma of racism, along with the dark sides of human nature.  Some of the major themes in To Kill a Mockingbird are discussed below.

Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird

The conflict between good and evil.

One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is the conflict between good and evil. The writer deals with the idea of good and evil by highlighting the transition of Jem and Scout from the perspective of innocence. They believe that people are good because they do not realize the evil side of human nature. However, their viewpoint is changed when they learn that evil, once unleashed, refuses to be bottled up. This leads to the destruction and emotional death of people like Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Therefore, the theme of the conflict between good and evil runs deep in the novel as Atticus acknowledges that there some goodness in bad people.

Ambition is another major theme in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is ambitious to fight for innocent, Tom Robinson and remains persistent in his efforts. He revolts against society and follows his own principles to fight against inequality. Atticus’s ambition grows so strong that he faces the wrath and anger of Maycomb, a place, where he is once respected and admired. The end of the novel shows that Atticus was able to survive the odds and regain his lost dignity and respect. Hence, the theme proves that being ambitious for the right cause will lead anyone to victory.

The theme of education in To Kill a Mockingbird is not only evident but also very pervasive. Despite the fact that the educational system in Maycomb leaves much to be desired, Atticus instills love and benefit of good education in Jem and Scout. He nurtures the element of positivity in their minds so strongly that no evil can uproot it. Atticus also takes pride in instilling the roots of moral education in his children. He not only treats them as adults but also encourages them to grow intellectually and morally.

Another overarching but implicit thematic strand is that of prejudice.  The unjustified and cruel prejudicial system of Maycomb destroys a person’s lives. The most evident victim of discrimination is Tom Robinson, who is declared guilty of a false charge of raping a white woman. Tom’s accuser is also a victim of prejudice. Her whole family is considered immoral by the rest of the town. Scout and Jem also observe prejudice when Aunt Alexandra suggests Atticus to fire Calpurnia and teach children the importance of class.

Moral complexity

Another major theme that runs throughout the novel is of moral complexity. Jem and Scout learn this truth that no yardstick can measure good and evil in human beings. At first, they assume that human beings are symbols of purity and virtue . Jem’s trial challenges their perception toward humanity. When the angry mob tries to harm Atticus, they learn that how people can change in an instant and also stand against the person whom they used to admire once. But Atticus and his children approach others from a place of empathy and tenderness which successfully prepares them to confront evil without losing heart.

The theme of innocence also looms large in the novel. Jem and Scout are the representation of innocence. The test of their innocence comes when their father decides to support a black man. They learn that people are not judged by their qualities, or moral standards but by the color of their skin. The loss of innocence confronts them in the shape of racial injustice and biased social morality. This loss of innocence makes them more vulnerable and sympathetic toward society. The unjust system of society also mocks Tom’s integrity. By the end of the novel, the innocence of the people grows up to the level of mature and responsible thinking.

The theme of racism serves as the backbone of the novel. Various characters in To Kill a Mockingbird confront racial discrimination, including Calpurnia, Scout, Tom Robinson, and his family. Throughout the novel, Scout explores differences between white people and black people. Tom is convicted because of the color of his skin. The race is the only strong evidence that stands against him. Since everything has ensued from the perspective of prejudice, it could be stated that racism is a critical thematic strand.

Laws and Codes

The novel also shows the critical importance of a legal system. This theme becomes more than necessary when it is applied selectively. The laws and codes practiced by Maycomb citizens are complex and contradictory.  Hence, they fail to provide justice to Tom, Boo Radley and all those victims in their society. Atticus Finch’s trial also shows the frailty of this legal system. Although Ewell has not broken any law, even some codes and their violation is considered akin to the violation of a legal system. However, Tom’s case does not come up to the yardstick of codes, but laws. Hence, laws are selectively applied in Maycomb, which makes an essential theme of the novel.

Jem and Scout pass from innocence to knowledge as their characters develop in the story through various experiences. They begin to realize their own relationship with the community outside and also encounters one man’s heroism against communal bias . At first, they judge the people through their narrow social lens. Later, their understanding of the people dramatically changes when they encounter bitter realities of life. Their experiences with the people making them believe that monster Boo Radley is truly a pure soul. This opens up a foray of knowledge to them.

The Existence of Social Inequality

Complicated social hierarchy of Maycomb explores the differences in the social status of the people. Whereas rich Finches are at the top of the hierarchy, the Cunninghams are at the bottom, while the Ewells and other communities are in the middle of this hierarchal social system. This social inequality has its impacts not only on the application of the legal system but also on public behavior. Therefore, it is another strong theme of the novel.

Related posts:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird Racism
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Characters
  • Macbeth Themes
  • Hamlet Themes
  • 1984 Themes
  • The Crucible Themes
  • Frankenstein Themes
  • Oedipus Rex Themes
  • The Metamorphosis Themes
  • Beowulf Themes
  • Odyssey Themes
  • Beloved Themes
  • Slaughterhouse-Five Themes
  • Antigone Themes
  • Inferno Themes
  • Fahrenheit 451 Themes
  • Into the Wild Themes
  • The Alchemist Themes
  • Night Themes
  • Life of Pi Themes
  • The Invisible Man Themes
  • The Tempest Themes
  • The Iliad Themes
  • The Jungle Themes
  • Siddhartha Themes
  • The Stranger Themes
  • The Aeneid Themes
  • Dracula Themes
  • The Scarlet Letter Themes
  • The Canterbury Tales Themes
  • Heart of Darkness Themes
  • Brave New World Themes
  • Death of a Salesman Themes
  • Things Fall Apart Themes
  • A Tale of Two Cities Themes
  • A Doll’s House Themes
  • The Grapes of Wrath Themes
  • Twelfth Night Themes
  • Crime and Punishment Themes
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God Themes
  • Wuthering Heights Themes
  • In Cold Blood Themes
  • The Kite Runner Themes
  • The Glass Castle Themes
  • King Lear Themes
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Themes
  • Romeo and Juliet Themes
  • Lord of the Flies Themes
  • Jane Eyre Themes
  • Julius Caesar Themes
  • 10 Different Themes in Taylor Swift Songs
  • A Huge List of Common Themes
  • Examples of Themes in Popular Songs
  • Nelle Harper Lee 

Post navigation

to kill the mockingbird theme statement

To Kill a Mockingbird

By harper lee, to kill a mockingbird themes, good and evil.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an exploration of human morality, and presents a constant conversation regarding the inherent goodness or evilness of people. Atticus, father of Scout and Jem, also plays the role of teacher, for his children and his town. Atticus believes that people usually contain aspects of both good and evil, but that good will usually prevail. Atticus teaches this to his children, but also to the town, as he works to defend Tom Robinson , an innocent black man accused of raping a white woman. In the racist town of Maycomb in the heart of America's South during the Depression era, this is a Herculean task. Despite the challenge of overcoming the town's deeply ingrained racism and forcing people to change their social perspectives, Atticus struggles on, because he believes that one day, goodness will prevail over the evils of racism and racial equality will exist.

Throughout the book, Scout and Jem make the classic transition from innocence to maturity. Jem leads this change, as he is older than Scout, but both children experience it. At the beginning of the novel, they approach life innocently believing in the goodness of all people, thinking everyone understands and adheres to the same values they and their father do. During Tom Robinson's trial, the children are sorely disappointed when the jury, made up of their fellow townspeople, convicts the obviously innocent Tom Robinson simply because he is a black man and his accuser is white. The realization that there is true evil within their society shakes Jem to the core. He held a strong belief in the goodness of all people, but after the trial must reevaluate his understanding of human nature. The challenge of this struggle causes him great emotional pain as he tries to come to terms with disappointing realities of inequality, racism, and general unfairness. Scout also struggles to understand these things, but even following the trial is able to maintain her belief in the goodness of human nature. At the end of the novel, both children are faced with true evil, as Bob Ewell tries to kill them. True goodness, embodied in Boo Radley , saves them. In this final conflict between these opposing forces, goodness prevails.

Shortly after the novel begins, Scout starts her first year at school. The educational system in Maycomb leaves much to be desired. Scout is ahead of her classmates because Atticus has taught her to read and write, and Calpurnia has even taught her script. However, once her teacher discovers this, she punishes Scout and tells her not to learn anything else at home, because her father does not know how to teach her properly. This is the first clear conflict between institutionalized education and education in the home.

Atticus clearly takes great pride in instilling a powerful sense of morality in his children. He truthfully answers whatever questions they ask, and encourages their inquisitive minds by treating them as adults and encouraging them to grow intellectually and morally as much as possible. On the other hand, Scout's teacher has a very specific understanding of what children should learn when, even if this schedule requires holding a child back. For example, when she asks Scout to write during class and Scout writes in script, she chides her and tells her that she should not be doing that for many years, because it isn't taught in school until much later. Scout feels frustrated that her teacher does not understand her and only wants to hold her back.

Scout comes to Atticus with concerns about her education and he helps her understand that she must get an education, even though she might find the process frustrating, and that he will continue to read with her and teach her at home. Clearly, Atticus understands the faults of the educational system, but also knows it is necessary for his children to pass through this system to be a part of society. However, his teaching at home, both morally and otherwise, is far more valuable to his children than anything they learn in the classroom. Scout notices this most obviously when learning about the Holocaust. Her teacher explains that such oppression of one group of people could never happen in the United States and Scout is astonished. She heard Miss Gates outside the court house during Tom Robinson's trial saying that, referring to black people, she thought it was, "time somebody taught them a lesson, they thought they was getting' way above themselves, an' the next thing they think they can do is marry us." Scout sees Miss Gates's statement about blacks in clear conflict with her statement about the equality in America.

Scout receives the majority of her education in the home, and doesn't believe school will do much for her. At the end of the novel, she notes that she has learned probably all there is to learn, except maybe algebra. Clearly, Scout understands that life experiences are the true teachers, and that Atticus has taught her more than school ever will. Clearly, Lee is expressing a lack of belief in the institutionalized educational system, and in fact suggests it might do more harm than good. Perhaps a more valuable education can be found in the home.

Social Inequality

Along with struggling with concepts of good and evil, Scout and Jem spend a great deal of time trying to understand what defines and creates social strata. Scout tends to believe that "folks are just folks", while Jem is convinced that social standing is related to how long people's relatives and ancestors have been able to write.

Scout elucidates the town's social strata quite clearly on her first day at school when Walter Cunningham does not have lunch or lunch money. Her classmates ask her to explain to the teacher why Walter won't take a loaned quarter to buy lunch, and she lectures the teacher on the Cunningham's financial situation and how they trade goods for services. Scout and the other children have a very clear understanding of the social inequalities in their town, but see these inequalities as natural and permanent. The Finch family falls rather high up in the social hierarchy, while the Ewell family falls at the bottom. However, this hierarchy only includes white people. Maycomb's black population fall beneath all white families in Maycomb, including the Ewells, whom Atticus labels as "trash".

Scout understands this social structure, but doesn't understand why it is so. She believes that everyone should be treated the same, no matter what family they are from. For instance, when she wants to spend more time with Walter Cunningham, Aunt Alexandra objects saying no Finch girl should ever consort with a Cunningham. Scout is frustrated by this, as she wants to be able to choose her own friends based on her definition of what makes a good person: morality.

The Mockingbird

When Scout and Jem receive airguns for Christmas, Atticus tells them that although he would prefer that they practice their shooting with tin cans, if they must shoot at living things, they must never shoot at mockingbirds. Atticus explains that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Clearly, this is the title scene, but the theme continues throughout the book. Miss Maudie explains why Atticus is correct - mockingbirds never do anyone any harm, and are not pests in any way. All they do is sing beautifully and live peacefully. Therefore, it is a sin to kill them. The mockingbird comes to represent true goodness and purity. Tom Robinson is one example of a human "mockingbird". He stands accused of raping and beating Mayella Ewell , but is innocent of the charges. The town commits the ultimate sin by finding him guilty and sentencing him to death. In effect, they have killed a mockingbird. Boo Radley is another example of a human "mockingbird". He has spent his entire life as a prisoner of his own home because his father was overzealous in punishing him for a childhood mistake. Boo Radley observes the world around him, causing no harm to anyone, and then saves Jem and Scout's lives when Bob Ewell attacks. The sheriff determines that Ewell's death will be ruled an accident to avoid forcing Boo to go to trial, even though Boo killed him to protect the children. Atticus agrees, and wants to make sure Scout understands why this little white lie must be told. She replies saying of course she understands, putting Boo on trial and in the public sphere would be like killing a mockingbird. The mockingbird represents true goodness and innocence that should always be protected.


Throughout the novel, Atticus urges his children to try to step into other people's shoes to understand how they see the world. Whenever Scout doesn't understand Jem, Atticus encourages her to try to understand how he might be feeling. Usually, Scout finds this advice helpful, and her attempts to gain insight into other people's perspectives on life and the world broaden her moral education and social understanding.

When Mrs. Dubose , the mean old woman who lives down the street from the Finch family yells insults at Jem and Scout on her way to town, Jem reacts by returning and cutting up all the flowers in her front yard. His punishment is to read to Mrs. Dubose for a specified time period every day. He complains to Atticus that she is an awful woman, but Atticus tells Jem and Scout to try to understand Mrs. Dubose's point of view. She is an old woman, very set her in ways, and she is entirely alone in the world. Jem and Scout agree to visit her. After Mrs. Dubose dies, Atticus reveals that by reading to her each day, the children were helping her break her morphine addiction. Atticus explains that Mrs. Dubose was fighting to regain sobriety, even as she stood on the brink of death. Because of this, to Atticus, she is the bravest person he has ever known. He explains this to the children to try to make them understand the terrible pain she was experiencing, and how their presence helped her through the process. Although she might have said some horrible things, Atticus encourages the children to try to see the world from her perspective and to understand how brave and strong she was.

At the end of the book, Scout escorts Boo Radley back to his home. After Boo closes the door, she turns around and surveys the neighborhood from his perspective. She imagines how he has witnessed all the happenings of the recent years, including her and Jem running by the house on their way to and from school, her childhood Boo Radley games, Miss Maudie's fire, the incident of the rabid dog, and finally, Bob Ewell's attack. As she steps into Boo's shoes, Scout gains a new respect for his life, and understands that his experience is just as valid as hers. With this understanding, she is humbled.

Obviously, racism is a major theme of the novel. During the Depression era, blacks were still highly subjugated members of society. Blacks were not permitted to commingle with whites in public settings, as exemplified in the courthouse physical separation of races and in the clearly distinct black and white areas of town. Moreover, things like intermarriage were almost unheard of, and sorely looked down upon.

Throughout the novel, Scout explores the differences between black people and white people. She and Jem attend church with Calpurnia and Scout truly enjoys the experience. Afterwards, she asks Calpurnia if she might be able to visit her house sometime because she has never seen it. Calpurnia agrees, but the visit is never made, largely because Aunt Alexandra puts a stop to it. Jem, Scout and Dill also sit with the black citizens of the town in the balcony of the court house to observe the trial. In addition, Scout and Dill have a lengthy conversation with Mr. Raymond, a white man who married a black woman and has mixed children. Mr. Raymond reveals that he pretends to be an alcoholic by carrying around a paper bag with a bottle of Coca-Cola inside in order to let the town excuse his choice to marry a black woman.

Tom Robinson is convicted purely because he is a black man and his accuser is white. The evidence is so powerfully in his favor, that race is clearly the single defining factor in the jury's decision. Atticus fights against racism, and a few other townspeople are on his side, including Miss Maudie and Judge Taylor . Jem and Scout also believe in racial equality, but are obviously in the minority. When Atticus loses the trial, he tries to make his children understand that although he lost, he did help move along the cause of ending racism as evidenced by the jury's lengthy deliberation period. Usually, such a trial would be decided immediately.

Bravery takes many forms in To Kill A Mockingbird . Atticus is brave to defend a black man in the face of criticism and threats of violence. He also is brave in the face of danger, both when he kills the rabid dog with a single shot and when facing the mob of men outside the jailhouse. Atticus urges Scout to be brave and prevent herself from fighting those who criticize her or her family. To Atticus, withholding violence is one of the highest forms of bravery. The children believe themselves to be brave when approaching the Radley house early in the book, but learn later on that this was false bravery, and in fact, silly. Atticus holds up Mrs. Dubose as the ultimate definition of bravery, as she finds against her morphine addiction in order to be free from it before she dies, even when she knows she will die in the process. Atticus, who also fights against a power greater than himself, tells his children they should have great respect for Mrs. Dubose. Finally, Bob Ewell represents the greatest cowardice, as he both lies in the courtroom to protect himself and resorts to attacking children in the darkness in order to make himself feel more of a man.

Atticus is a lawyer, and the book is centered around his representation of Tom Robinson. Although Atticus loses the trial, he believes strongly that despite social inequalities, all men are equal in the courtroom. He includes this information in his closing statements to the jury, and during his later discussions with Jem and Scout regarding jury selection and the trial process, makes this statement again. Atticus believes that progress towards racial equality can and will be made in the courtroom.

In addition, although he believes powerfully in upholding the law, Atticus understands that it must be bent in certain situations. For example, Bob Ewell is permitted to hunt even in the off season because the town authorities know that if he is prevented from hunting, his children might starve. In addition, at the end of the novel, the law would require Boo Radley to be placed on trial to determine whether he killed Bob Ewell is self defense or not. However, Atticus understands, as does Heck Tate and Scout, that Boo should not be forced to experience powerful public attention or criticism. Therefore, it is necessary to bend the law in this case to protect Boo.

GradeSaver will pay $15 for your literature essays

To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for To Kill a Mockingbird is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Who were the Cunningham boys and what happened to them? What’s the irony here?

The Cunningham boys were a part of the group Boo hung out with. When the boys got into trouble, the Cunninghams were sent away to industrial school..... they were reformed and got a great education. Mr. Radley refused to let Boo go. Boo was left...

What are some attitudes shown towards black people in chapters 1 to 16 in To Kill a Mockingbird?

The sheriff hadn't the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was locked in the courthouse basement.

"Right. But do you think I could face my children otherwise? You know what's going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and...

Who really killed Bob Ewell?

Boo Radley killed Bob Ewell! End of argument!

Study Guide for To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a book written by Harper Lee. The To Kill a Mockingbird study guide contains a biography of Harper Lee, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About To Kill a Mockingbird
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Summary
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Video
  • Character List

Essays for To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

  • The Impact of Class Structure
  • Justice in To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Journey Motif in Works of American Literature
  • Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird and Goin' Someplace Special
  • Character Analysis in To Kill A Mockingbird

Lesson Plan for To Kill a Mockingbird

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Introduction to To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher

Wikipedia Entries for To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Introduction
  • Biographical background and publication
  • Plot summary
  • Autobiographical elements

to kill the mockingbird theme statement

To Kill a Mockingbird Themes: Prejudice, Racism, Justice and Courage

To kill a mockingbird themes.

Since its publication in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee has sold over 30 million copies. Although set in the 1930s in the fictional American town of Maycomb, the central themes and issues of To Kill a Mockingbird are just as relevant to society today. So prevalent are the issues of To Kill a Mockingbird that it has been cited by the American Library of Congress as being second only to the Bible as the book that had made a difference in people's lives.

Atticus and Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird

Main Characters of To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated from the viewpoint of Scout, a young girl of about six years old who is the daughter of another central character, Atticus Finch. Atticus is the voice of justice and rationalism speaking out in a town full of highly emotional and ignorantly prejudiced people. A lawyer, the courage and integrity of Atticus never wavers throughout To Kill a Mockingbird as we are shown one of the few figures who truly holds justice and moral beliefs above the prejudices of society.

The Mockingbird Theme

The main themes of To Kill a Mockingbird are illustrated through two major subplots running parallel throughout the novel. One of the major themes in the novel is the mockingbird motif. Atticus feels that it is wrong to kill a mockingbird because all they do is sing beautiful songs and never harm anyone. This theme is illustrated through the trial of Tom Robinson.

A black man, Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. In this subplot, the racially prejudiced nature of Maycomb is clearly portrayed through such instances as the fact that Atticus is accused by the town of loving black people for defending Tom's case and also through the lynch mob scene outside the jail. It is in the Tom Robinson trial that the greatest example of injustice because of prejudice is seen. Although Atticus actually manages to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, the white jury still refuses to declare the innocence of a black man over a white, resulting in the most blatant testimony to the fact that the town of Maycomb held racial discrimination above justice. Through its decision, the town essentially kills a mockingbird. Tom Robinson was a man who did no harm to others but instead actually helped others out of kindness - a mockingbird who becomes victim to a racist society.

The Theme of Another Man's Shoes

The second motif again concerns the nature of prejudice and is illustrated through the subplot of Boo Radley. Atticus tells his children that we never really know a man until we stand in his shoes and walk around in them. This theme is represented through Boo Radley, a man surrounded by mystery and rumors and hence prejudices. It is this prejudice that initially consumes Scout at the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird as she imagines Boo to be some kind of monster. However, Boo's kindness towards the children ultimately prevails and he even ends up saving their lives towards the end of the novel. In the end Scout even comes to accept Boo as a friend despite her original prejudice. This goes to show that we have no right to judge others since we cannot fully understand their viewpoint.

To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated entirely through the eyes of Scout who is initially a typically prejudiced Maycomb child who is quick to turn to fighting and force as a solution to conflicts. However, through such scenes as the lynch mob outside the jail where Scout disperses the entire mob simply by talking to them rather than by force and also through the Boo Radley subplot we see her mature and progress to become a rational and wiser character. This progression is essentially brought about by Atticus and shows that views and beliefs are ultimately passed on from parents and so through the right upbringing and teaching, children can overcome the prejudices held by society. And if a child such as Scout living in a 1930s society can learn to overcome such deeply held prejudices and come to understand the individual worth of a person then surely people living in today's society can too.

One of the biggest issues we face every day is prejudice. We may judge people on the color of their skin, the type of car they drive, or even the way their hair is done. Whatever the prejudice may be, everyone has got one. In Harper Lee's very successful novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, this fact of life is faced head-on. Every chapter challenges our right to judge others. With a relaxed style, Lee weaves a challenging novel, with many challenging characters.

The Theme of Prejudice

To Kill a Mockingbird does not just show the racial prejudice of the 1930s, but it also shows many other types of prejudice that were common among people in small, slow-moving towns like Maycomb in the USA, which is where the book was set. With a child-like innocence, the author retells the story of her childhood through the eyes of Scout, a six year-old girl without a mother, and a lawyer for a father.

Scout's father, Atticus Finch, is an almost too perfect father. He teaches his children, Jem and Scout, strong and upright morals, and frequently says that "You never really understand a person... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Chapter 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird).

The Theme of Mockingbirds

It is Atticus' fine moral standards that call him to the defense of Tom Robinson, an innocent black man who has been charged with the rape of a white girl. Even after Atticus so clearly proves Tom innocent, the jury comes to the inevitable decision: "guilty... guilty... guilty" (Chapter 21 of To Kill a Mockingbird). Here Harper Lee is showing the tragic fate of a mockingbird in society. After showing nothing but kindness and helpfulness to the community, Tom is judged guilty of rape for one simple reason: he is black and she is white.

The title, To Kill a Mockingbird, refers to the prejudice of Maycomb against the people who have done nothing but good for the community. A mockingbird in society is someone who continuously helps people and does good things, but gets unfairly discriminated against in spite of this. Tom Robinson is the most obvious mockingbird in the novel. Tom ends up suffering for a wrong not committed by him. Boo Radley is also a cleverly created mockingbird who the children discriminate against, even when all along he has been giving them gifts and helping them.

The mockingbirds in our present society are the people who you hear only bad things about from the press, when they are really only trying to do good for you and me. Mockingbirds in the novel are also largely affected by what people make up about them through gossip.

The Theme of Gossip

Gossip among citizens and neighbors is one of the most effective ways of spreading prejudice. When a story is told and retold all around a town, those with wild imaginations are sure to add their own touches to the story, and put more lies into it than there is truth. Children are usually the best at making up stories, as most children have very fertile imaginations, and love to add their own creative ideas. This is represented in the book when one of the characters, Boo Radley, who the children have never seen, is made out to be almost a monster with strange ways and habits and an unstable mind. In the end, the children learn the truth about Boo, and from then on they know he is just very shy, and has been secluded from society by his parents.

By being excluded from society since he was a teenager, Boo was kept separate from most of the prejudice and beliefs of the community of Maycomb, excepting only what he could see from the living room window. Boo never saw any of the racial prejudice that said that a white man's word is better than a black man's.

Children, Education and Dealing with Prejudice

How can these problems be addressed? First of all, changing the way society thinks starts with changing children and the way they think. It is almost impossible to change the way adults think and their moral values and prejudices, so children need to be educated to have an unprejudiced outlook on fellow citizens. We cannot avoid biased opinions, but we can build in children admirable moral standards.

Atticus displays this well as he tries to teach his children not to have common views and share society's prejudices, but to analyze and discover the truth for themselves, without forcing his own views on them. In the book, the children easily learn from watching the adults, to judge other children according to where they lived, what clothes they wore, and what their surname was. Scout is taught by her father not to judge little Walter Cunningham because he is different, but to simply accept him.

We see this kind of discrimination in the adult characters also, when Aunt Alexandra and "the ladies" have their so called, "missionary meetings" to drink fine tea, daintily eat biscuits, and gossip about all the poor, unfortunate citizens of Maycomb. But, as seen in the book, even Scout Finch, a six year-old girl, could not bear to listen to the way they gossiped about others.

The only way to avoid prejudice in society is to shield children from our own, and to teach them to see everyone as equal. This way, they will not see a need to put everyone into categories they think they should be in. Adults cannot change the way they think, but, with a little help, can nurture something special in the hearts of their kids so they may grow up to respect each and every person, for the person he is.


  1. 7 Key Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement

  2. PPT

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement

  3. Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird by ethan robertson

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes Storyboard by rebeccaray

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement

  6. To Kill a Mockingbird : The Themes

    to kill the mockingbird theme statement


  1. Important Themes of To Kill a Mockingbird |in Urdu| |in Hindi|


  3. mockingbird 🖤🕊️ ll #bird #ytshort #🕊️🖤 @goldentheme

  4. To Kill A Mockingbird Themes

  5. "To Kill a Mockingbird" Turns 50

  6. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' star excited to bring Broadway play tour to San Antonio


  1. Who Is the Narrator of “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

    The narrator of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is Scout Finch. Scout is also one of the main characters of the book, and, as the narrator, she recalls memories from her childhood.

  2. What Does “To Kill a Mockingbird” Mean?

    “To Kill a Mockingbird,” from Harper Lee’s novel of the same name, is a metaphor that means “to hurt someone who has done no wrong.” It references a comment in the novel by character Atticus Finch to his daughter Scout.

  3. What Are Some Quotes Attributed to Calpurnia in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

    One of the most notable quotes in “To Kill a Mockingbird” attributed to Calpurnia is “You’re not gonna change any of them by talkin’ right. Many quotes from the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” are attributed to the character of Calpurnia.

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird: Themes

    The Coexistence of Good and Evil. The most important theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is the book's exploration of the moral nature of human beings—that is

  5. 7 Key Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird

    7 Key Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird · Good vs. Evil Theme · Racial Prejudice Theme · Courage and Bravery Theme · Justice vs. the Law Theme.

  6. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

    To Kill a Mockingbird Themes · Good, Evil, and Human Dignity · Prejudice · Growing Up · Courage · Small Town Southern Life.

  7. To Kill A Mockingbird Themes, Symbols, Motifs & Character Analysis

    To Kill a Mockingbird explores themes of heroism and the idea of role models as well. Lee has stated that the novel was essentially a long love letter to her

  8. What are theme statements for To Kill a Mockingbird, and how do

    Get an answer for 'What are theme statements for To Kill a Mockingbird, and how do they apply to the novel?' and find homework help for other To Kill a

  9. To Kill A Mockingbird Thematic Statement

    Atticus told the kids they can shoot as much blue jays as they desire, but not to shoot any mockingbirds for that reasons, because mockingbird do not harm nor

  10. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes and Analysis

    Why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird? The answer to this is given by Miss Maudie Atkinson when she explains to Scout that the only thing mockingbirds do is

  11. To Kill a Mockingbird: Theme, Summary & Analysis

    The mockingbird, therefore, represents innocence in the novel. There are several characters who are compared to mockingbirds. These are innocent individuals who

  12. Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird with Analysis

    One of the most important themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is the conflict between good and evil. The writer deals with the idea of good and evil by highlighting

  13. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

    To Kill a Mockingbird Themes · Good and Evil · Education · Social Inequality · The Mockingbird · Perspective · Racism · Bravery · The Law.

  14. Prejudice, Racism, Justice

    until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Chapter 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird). The Theme of Mockingbirds. It is Atticus' fine moral standards that