What is the message of To Kill a Mockingbird? How does the narrative technique help express this?

Essay by ladida_blahJunior High, 9th grade June 2004

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The message of To Kill a Mockingbird is that people often have prejudiced, incorrect opinions of people, which should be avoided by employing a method involving empathy and understanding. These discriminatory views are shown through several situations in the novel. One of these is the racism shown from the Anglo-Saxon people towards the African-Americans. This racism makes it difficult for the African-Americans to live in peace, as the Anglo-Saxons treat them without respect or consideration. Another example of an incorrect view in the novel is the view that the Finch children have developed of Arthur (Boo) Radley, from stories they have heard from their neighbours. Boo Radley is seen to be the equivalent of an evil monster, which is entirely untrue, as he turns out to be a nice man. Another biased view was the way that Jem Finch saw his neighbour, Mrs Dubose - To be a mean, thoughtless, and worthless old lady.

Scout's view of her Aunt Alexandra was much the same, and Scout had to learn to understand her Aunt and he views, and appreciate them. The author has narrated the novel from the point of view of Scout, a young girl. The use of this technique further emphasises the message of the novel, contrasting dark themes with the innocence and naiveté of a young child who expects everything in life to be fair, and right.

In the town of Maycomb, the "white" residents are greatly prejudiced towards the "black" people. In the novel, this racism is shown when the residents are greatly opposed to Atticus Finch, a lawyer, defending Tom Robinson, a black man who has been charged for assault on a white lady. The court case held for this event provides the knowledge that Tom Robinson is innocent, however Tom Robinson is convicted...