The Themes in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

Essay by James WhyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 1997

download word file, 4 pages 1.6

The novel To Kill a Mockingbird succeeds in portraying the lifestyle of a relaxed southern town in the

early 20th century. It shows the families, feelings, and bigotry of the time. There are three main themes in the novel,

which are: justice is not blind, mob rule is not the way to solve things, and that you shouldn't fear or resent

something that hasn't done anything to disturb life. These themes are true in the novel and are also true in everyday


[Nelle] Harper Lee was born and raised in the heart of the south. Lee's life and time period influences her

writing. Like her father and Atticus Finch, Lee went on to study law. She left school in 1950 so that she could go to

New York and become a writer. 'Her law studies proved to be 'good training for a writer' because they promote

logical thinking and because law cases are an excellent source for story ideas' (Matuz 239).

When her father

became ill, she was forced to split her time between New York and Monroeville, Alabama. 'In her native town she

was surrounded by the setting of her novel; an old house where a mysterious recluse might live, the courtroom, and

the lawyer's office' (Matuz 239). This environment and her southern background proved to be the perfect

combination for writing a story about life in a quiet town in Alabama. The only way to be a good writer is to write

from experience, and since she lived most of her life in the setting of the story, her writing proved to be good. The

timing for the release of To Kill a Mockingbird could not have been more perfect. 'In a time of the burgeoning civil

rights movement, her book was met with popular acclaim...