A reading club with a view to the future

568 Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

“To Kill a Mockingbird” explores themes of racial injustice, innocence, and moral courage through the eyes of Scout Finch.



"To Kill a Mockingbird" is a classic novel by Harper Lee set in the 1930s in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story is narrated by Scout Finch, a young girl who grows up in a racially divided society. Through Scout's innocent perspective, the novel addresses important themes of racial inequality, social prejudice, and the loss of innocence. The central plot revolves around the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape. Scout's father, Atticus Finch, is appointed as Tom's defense attorney and represents the moral conscience of the story. As the trial unfolds, Lee skillfully portrays the deep-rooted racism and prejudice within the community, while also highlighting acts of compassion, empathy, and moral courage. Through vivid characters, evocative storytelling, and poignant symbolism, "To Kill a Mockingbird" offers a powerful exploration of justice, empathy, and the complexities of human nature.


  1. Title: To Kill a Mockingbird 
  2. Author: Harper Lee 
  3. Publishing Year: 1960 
  4. Publisher: J. B. Lippincott & Co. 
  5. Length in Hours: 12 hrs and 17 mins

5 main ideas

  1. Racial Injustice: The novel exposes the pervasive racism and injustice faced by African Americans in the Deep South during the 1930s.
  2. Loss of Innocence: The story is told through the eyes of Scout, who learns about the harsh realities of prejudice and discrimination, leading to the loss of her childhood innocence.
  3. Moral Courage: Atticus Finch embodies moral courage as he defends Tom Robinson, challenging the prevailing racism and standing up for what he believes is right.
  4. Social Prejudice: "To Kill a Mockingbird" explores the damaging effects of social prejudice, demonstrating how it can lead to unjust judgments and the persecution of innocent individuals.
  5. Empathy and Understanding: The novel emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding in bridging racial and social divides, portraying characters who exhibit compassion and empathy in the face of prejudice.

5 funny quotes

  1. "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow."
  2. "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
  3. "It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived."
  4. "I was born good, but had grown progressively worse every year."
  5. "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
  2. "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 see it through no matter what."
  3. "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
  4. "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."
  5. "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."

5 dilemmas

  1. The dilemma of racial injustice and the fight against deeply entrenched prejudice in a segregated society.
  2. The moral dilemma faced by Atticus Finch as he defends Tom Robinson, knowing the odds are against him but choosing to stand up for what is right.
  3. The dilemma of social expectations and the pressure to conform to prejudiced beliefs, particularly for Scout and Jem as they navigate their community.
  4. The internal dilemma of Scout as she grapples with the loss of innocence and the complexities of moral ambiguity.
  5. The dilemma of empathy and understanding, as characters are challenged to see beyond the surface and confront their own biases.

5 examples

  1. Atticus Finch - The character Atticus Finch serves as a symbol of moral integrity and justice in the face of racism.
  2. Tom Robinson - Tom Robinson, a black man unjustly accused of rape, represents the victims of racial prejudice and injustice.
  3. Boo Radley - Boo Radley, a reclusive neighbor, becomes a subject of fascination and misunderstanding in the community.
  4. Maycomb County - Maycomb County serves as the backdrop for the story, representing the deeply divided society and its embedded prejudice.
  5. Calpurnia - Calpurnia, the Finch family's African American housekeeper, plays a pivotal role in Scout's upbringing and understanding of racial dynamics.

Referenced books

  1. "Ivanhoe" by Sir Walter Scott
  2. "The Gray Ghost: A Seckatary Hawkins Mystery" by Robert F. Schulkers
  3. "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell

Share a quote

"It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived."

Become a NextBook Insider

Join our community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.