Why is To kill a mocking bird a classic?

Essay by SubtractionHigh School, 11th gradeC+, September 2004

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What is a classic? One definition given by the dictionary is: having lasting significance or worth; enduring. When examined closely we can discover what makes the novel unique and memorable. There are many important messages in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, which make it memorable to the reader. The main message in this novel is about racism, how people around you, not just parents have a strong influence on you when you are growing up, and how rumors and misjudging can make a person look bad. Judging other people without knowledge of the facts is also a common occurrence.

Nearly the whole last half of the book is about racism. The attitude of the whole town is that Tom Robinson, because he is black and,"...all Negroes lie,...all Negroes are basically immoral beings,...all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women..."(Lee 207), will be found guilty regardless of how good a case Atticus makes for him.

There was substantial amount of evidence that suggests his innocence. Even the prosecution's two witnesses' stories contradicted each other. The jury did not give a guilty verdict it gave a racist verdict. Not a verdict based on fact, but a verdict based on the color of a man's skin. This is important because the author was not making this racism up; it was what it was like in those times. She is trying to show how ignorant and blind people can be just because of differences between them, as well as how society treats racial minorities.

During the book Scout and Jem are at an age were people around them greatly affect their thoughts, views and ideas about the world. Although Atticus tried to raise them to treat Negroes as equals, people around them affected their views on them. A...