Writing a To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

In order to write a “To Kill a Mockingbird” essay, it helps to read the book first, obviously. Watching the original movie with Gregory Peck (as Atticus Finch) won’t hurt, either. The mindset of southerners in the early 20th century was vastly different than it is today, so getting a feeling for the under currents and attitudes of the time are necessary. These two research items can help when writing an analytical essay.
Racial prejudices were rampant in those days. People noticed first the color of a person’s skin and then acted with suspicion and a wariness that is fortunately gone today. This story was written during the early stages of the Civil Rights movement, in a small town. It is the first and only novel ever written by Harper Lee.
To Kill a Mockingbird Essay should incorporate the basic plot and should explain the foundation in theintroduction to an essay. The tale is told by the tomboy daughter of Atticus Finch, a lawyer who is defending a black man against the charge of raping a white woman. Through the eyes of a child, we get a view of the days of racism and prejudice that is stark and appalling. The character of Boo Radley is also an image of prejudice, but for a different reason. Ask yourself why Radley was so interesting to the children and what they learned about prejudging people through him.
The trial of Tom Robinson was expected to be a kangaroo court, where the defendant is bounced out quickly, and often to the gallows. Atticus Finch gave an excellent defense and ultimately proved that the charges against him were false. Was the author using a true story with the verdict? Or was it wishful thinking after having known of injustices and wrongs done in her own southern town? Another question that a To Kill a Mockingbird essay might attempt to answer is why Robinson was doomed, in spite of being vindicated. Was it a fatalism that the author was acknowledging?
Perhaps not germane to the story, but interesting for a comprehensive essay, might be a comparison between then and now. Not the modern day view that prejudice and racism still run rampant, one look at Washington, DC, will prove that notion false. But a look at the make-up of the judiciary (including lawyers and even jurors) for the much-proclaimed “diversity” can be a learning experience. Could the trial of Tom Robinson happen today, with the same outcome? Hardly likely. Would an attorney and his family be abused for defending a black defendant? Do some people still try to blame people of other races for their own misfortune? Is the result the same as in the novel?
A To Kill a Mockingbird essay can be relegated to a retelling of the story with no analysis and could easily give a writer ample material to create a powerful 1000 word essay, or longer. It won’t be the first time. But an essay should involve a little more than rewording the subject, don’t you think? It requires a little more time and effort, of course, but a better grade is worth it. The act of critical thinking can be honed with something as simple as an essay on a novel. It’s not killing a mockingbird, but you could consider it killing two birds with one stone.
This article originally appeared on http://writingbee.com/blog/essay-writing/writing-a-to-kill-a-mockingbird-essay

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