To Kill A Mockingbird

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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I thought that To Kill A Mockingbird was a very good novel. I thought that I had the best connection with this book out of all the novels we have read so far, I really understood the story and characters; however, I dont think If ully understood why the novel was called To Kill A Mockingbird. Despite my confusion with the title, I thought it was filled with great character sketches for all of the characters, no matter how insignificant they were to the story. The great descriptions really helped give a deeper understanding of each of the characters and why they reacted to certain events the way they did. It also had very interesting anecdotes which kept the story moving along since they weren't too long and drawn out.

Because the anecdotes were not very long, but full of description it made them a lot easier to read.

I've always thought that you gain more from smoething shorta nd precise rather than something long adn meticulous. I thought that the courtroom anecdote was especially effective, and great to read. Because it only took place in a twenty four hour period I didn't get bored, if it had been long and taken a few days to resolve the trila, I may have gotten a little tired of readinga bout it. The anecdote contained a lot of descriptions and actions, it went into detail about what the characters were doing during the trial. It explained what actions they performed and how they physically reacted to what was being said. It didn't just focus on physical description, but on their movements and things like that. I thought that was very good bevcause you could picture the scene a little better when you knew what everyone was doing. I thought that the use of physical description was good also, just not as effective; hoever, it did help to know what each character looked like. Another thing that made the anecdotes effective was the use of dialog, it's always better to "hear" for yourself what was said rahter than just being told. Knowing what the characters were saying and how they responded gave me a better understanding of what exactly was going on.

Although the dialog and actions were very helpful for understanding the characters, it was the great character sketches taht really made me connect with all the characters. Throughout the entire story, whenever a new person was introduced there would always be a very detailed description of that person. It would describe their physical characteristics, mannerisms, personality and things like that. AFter reading it, you could picture exactly what they looked like and what they acted like. You felt as if you knew the character, and you could relate to them in one way or another. Whether it be one of their physical characteristics or a certain unikque personality trait. What also helped to make the character sketches intersting is the same adjectives weren't used over and over again. When words like "tall" or "small" are used over and oever it becomes too repetitious. When the same words are used repeatedly the characters start to look the same in my mind. The sketches also showed me what the characters were like, they didn't just tell me by saying things like "he was big, with blonde hair", they were a lot more specific. The great character sketches were effective tools used in the novel.

The character sketches and anecdotes were very good tools; however, there were things that I didn't quite understand. The main thing being why the novel was called To Kill a Mockingbird. Perhaps I didn't look deep enough into the story, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why this title was used. I remember the specific time that the story talked about killing a mockinbird, but I didn't see how it tied into the story. I thought about it a bit after finishing the novel and I thought that maybe it was because an innocent man was killed, and killing a mockinbird is killing an innocent animal. I"m not sure if that is correct or not, but that is the only thing I could come up with. That was the main thing in the novel that confused me.

Even though there was a little confusion while reading the novel, all in all I thought that it was a terrific story. With all the great character sketches and intriquing anecdotes, I have to agree that To Kill a Mockingbrid was a very interesting novel to read. I felt a connection with the characters in the stroy, and I know that I wont forget them for a long time. This was my first time reading the book and I now understand why this novel is considered a classic.