To Kill a Mockingbird Themes, Motifs & Symbols


The Coexistence of Great and Evil

The most significant style of To Eliminate a Mockingbird is the book’s search of the significant characteristics of human being beings—that is, whether people are effectively good or effectively nasty. The novel solutions this problem by dramatizing Look and Jem’s switch from a point of perspective of youth love, where they think that people are fantastic because they have never seen nasty, to a more person point of perspective, where they have skilled nasty and must include it into their comprehension on the planet. Due to this illustration of the switch from love to experience, one of the book’s significant sub-themes requires the chance that hatred, tendency, and understanding place to the innocent: people such as Tom Johnson and Boo Radley are not equipped for the nasty that they experience, and, therefore, they impaired. Even Jem victimized to an amount by his development of the nasty of bias during and after the test. Whereas Look is able to manage her simple trust in human being instinct despite Tom’s sentence, Jem’s trust in legal and in human beings is terribly impaired, and he vacations into a state of disillusionment.

The significant style of To Eliminate a Mockingbird embodied by Atticus Finch, who is essentially exclusive in the novel in that he has skilled and recognized nasty without dropping his trust in our being ability for rewards. Atticus knows that, and not being simply critters of fine or critters of nasty, most people have both negative and positive features. It is important is to appreciate the best features and recognize the bad features by dealing with others with concern and trying to see living from their point of perspective. He tries to show this best significant training to Jem and Look to show them that it is possible to live with mind without dropping trust or becoming doubtful. In this way, Atticus is able to respect Mrs. Dubose’s daring even while deploring her bias. Scout’s success as an individuality in the novel scheduled by her constant growth toward comprehension Atticus’s classes, concluding when, in one more sections, Look at last encounters Boo Radley as an people. Her increased ability to perspective the area from his point of perspective guarantees that she will not become skilled as she shed her love.

The Value of Moral Education

Because search of the novel’s bigger significant concerns arises within the point of perspective of kids, the training of kids is actually included in the growth of all the novel’s styles. In a feeling, the plan of the account graphs Scout’s significant training, and the style of how kids are educated—how they shown to switch from love to adulthood—recurs throughout the novel (at the end of the publication, Look even says that she has discovered essentially everything except algebra). This style researched most strongly through the marriage between Atticus and his kids, as he spends himself to ingraining a public mind in Jem and Look. The scenarios at classes give an immediate counterpoint to Atticus’s effective training of his children: Look is regularly met with instructors who are either frustratingly unsympathetic to can suffer needs or fairly hypocritical. As is true of To Eliminate a Mockingbird’s other significant styles, the novel’s summary about training is that the most significant classes are those of concern and comprehension, and that a considerate, comprehension method is the best way to show these classes. In this way, Atticus’s capability to put himself in his can suffer footwear can develop him a great instructor, while Overlook Caroline’s firm responsibility to the helpful methods that she discovered in institution can develop her useless and even damaging.

The Living of Social Inequality

Differences in public place researched generally through the overcomplicated public structure of Maycomb, the way it operates of which regularly baffle the kids. The relatively well-off Finches have near the top of Maycomb’s public structure, with most of the townspeople below them. Unaware place farm owners like the Cunninghams lie below the townspeople, and the white-colored garbage Ewells sleep below the Cunninghams. But the dark-colored area in Maycomb, despite its variety of amazing features, leg squats below even the Ewells, empowering Bob Ewell to develop up for his own shortage worth focusing on by persecuting Tom Johnson. These firm public categories that develop up so much of the person area unveiled in the publication to be both unreasonable and damaging. For example, Look cannot recognize why Mother Alexandra will not let her consort with young Wally Cunningham. Lee uses the can suffer perplexity at the distressing adding of Maycomb area to check the position of training place and, eventually, tendency in human being marriage.



Gothic Details

The can develop of fine and nasty in To Eliminate a Mockingbird seem bigger than the tiny Lower area in which the account arises. Lee gives excitement and ambiance to her account by together with a variety of Old information in the place and the plan. In materials, the period Old represents a style of stories first accepted in eighteenth-century Britain, offering great situations, dark and haunted options, full moons, and so on. Among the Old features in To Eliminate a Mockingbird are the distressing snowfall, the fireplace that eliminates Overlook Maudie’s house, the can suffer superstitions about Boo Radley, the mad dog that Atticus limbs, and the threatening night of the Hallow’s eve on which Bob Ewell problems the kids. These features, out of spot in the normally peaceful, estimated Maycomb, develop stress in the novel and give to foreshadow the difficult activities of the test and its results.

Small-Town Life

Counterbalancing the Old style of the account is the style of old-fashioned, small-town prices, which express themselves throughout the novel. As if to compare with all the suspense and significant magnificence of the publication, Lee focuses on the slow-paced, good-natured feel of living in Maycomb. She often purposely juxtaposes small-town prices and Old pictures to study more strongly the can develop of fine and nasty. The fear of the fireplace, such as, mitigated by the relaxing world of the people of Maycomb banding together to save Overlook Maudie’s items. In compare, Bob Ewell’s cowardly strike on the helpless Look, who fitted like a large ham for the classes competition, reveals him to be irredeemably nasty.




The subject of To Eliminate a Mockingbird has very little literal marriage to the plan, but it has a lot of outstanding weight in the publication. In this account of innocents impaired by nasty, the “mockingbird” comes to signify the idea of love. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to end love. Throughout the publication, a variety of people (Jem, Tom Johnson, Dill, Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond) could be unveiled as mockingbirds—innocents who impaired or impaired through get hold of with nasty. This marriage between the novel’s subject and its main style made precise several times in the novel: after Tom Johnson is chance, Mr. Underwood examines his passing to “the senseless slaughter of songbirds,” and at the end of the publication Look believes that harming Boo Radley would be like “shootin’ a mockingbird.” Most significant, Overlook Maudie describes to Scout: “Mockingbirds never do one element but . . . do their spirits out for us. Which is why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That Jem and Scout’s last name is Finch (another type of tiny bird) indicates that they are particularly susceptible in the improper area of Maycomb, which often goodies the delicate love of youth harshly.

Boo Radley

As the novel continues, the can suffer shifting method toward Boo Radley is a significant description of their growth from love toward a grown-up significant point of perspective. At the outset of the publication, Boo is merely a supply of youth superstition. As he simply leaves Jem and Look reveals and mends Jem’s jeans, he slowly becomes progressively and intriguingly real to them. At the end of the novel, he becomes absolutely human being to Look, illustrating that she has created into a considerate and comprehension person. Boo, a wise kid impaired by a terrible dad, is one of the book’s most significant mockingbirds; he is also a significant mark of the best that is available within people. Despite the pain that Boo has skilled, the love of his center regulations his marriage with the kids. In keeping Jem and Look from Bob Ewell, Boo reveals the best mark of fine.

To Kill a Mockingbird Analysis of Major Characters


Scout is a very uncommon little woman, both in her own features and in her public scene. She is very sensible (she understands to study before outset school), very secure (she quarrels young children without fear), very careful (she problems about the critical rewards and nasty of humanity), and very wonderful (she always operates with the best intentions). With regards to her public personality, she is uncommon for being a tomboy in the prim and suitable Lower community of Maycomb.

One rapidly knows when looking at To Eliminate a Mockingbird that Look is who she is because of the way Atticus has increased her. He has developed her brain, brain, and personality without bogging her down in particular public hypocrisies and thoughts of propriety. While most women in Scout’s location would be using attire and discovering methods, Look, thanks to Atticus’s hands-off nurturing design, sports overalls and understands to scale flowers with Jem and Dill. She does not always knowledge public niceties (she reveals her instructor that one of her other scholars is too terrible to pay her again for lunch), and human being conduct often confuses her (as when one of her instructors criticizes Hitler’s tendency against Jews while involving in her own tendency against blacks), but Atticus’s safeguard of Look from hypocrisy and public stress has made her start, forthright, and well indicating.

At the outset of the novel, Look is a simple, good-hearted five-year-old kid who has no ability with the evils on the planet. As the novel continues, Look has her first get hold of with nasty by means of racial tendency, and the simple growth of her individuality handled by the problem of whether she will appear from that get hold of with her brain and aspiration whole or whether she would be bruised, destruction, or damaged like Boo Radley and Tom Johnson. Thanks to Atticus’s information, Look understands that though human being beings ability for nasty, it also has an excellent ability for wonderful, and that the nasty can often be mitigated if one solutions others with a perspective of concern and comprehension. Scout’s growth into an individual competent of if that perspective represents the end of the novel and indicates that, whatever nasty she activities, she will keep her brain without becoming doubtful or experienced. Though she is still a kid at the end of the publication, Scout’s perspective on living grows from that of a simple kid into that of a near grown-up.


As one of the most visible people in Maycomb during the Great Depressive disorders, Atticus is relatively well off in some use of popular lower-income. Because of his just one brains, peaceful information, and excellent conduct, Atticus is well-known by everyone, such as the very terrible. He operates as the significant back of Maycomb, an individual to whom others move in periods of problem and problems. But the brain that can create him so amazing eventually causes his decreasing out with the people of Maycomb. Ineffective to follow the area’s secure ingrained racial tendency, he wants to safeguard Tom Johnson, a dark-colored man. Atticus’s actions can create him the subject of scorn in Maycomb, but he is merely too amazing a number scorned for lengthy. After the test, he seems meant used in the same great consider as before.

Atticus routines concern and comprehension that he preaches to Look and Jem and never supports a grudge against the people of Maycomb. Despite their callous apathy to racial inequality, Atticus encounters much to regard in them. He knows that people have both wonderful and bad features, and he established to regard the wonderful while comprehension and flexible the bad. Atticus goes this wonderful significant training on to Scout—this perspective shields the simple from being damaged by get hold of with nasty.

Ironically, though Atticus is a brave number in the novel and a well-known man in Maycomb, neither Jem nor Look purposely idolizes him at the outset of the novel. Both are uncomfortable that he is old than other men and that he will not look or seafood. But Atticus’s sensible nurturing, which he amounts up in Part 30 by saying, “Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to stay so I can look squarely again at him,” eventually benefits their regard. By the end of the novel, Jem, in particular, is very focused to Atticus (Scout, still a little woman, likes him uncritically). Though his can suffer approach toward him changes, Atticus recognized throughout the publication by his complete reliability. He is rigidly focused to legal and carefully willing to perspective issues from the aspects of others. He does not produce in the novel but keeps these features in same check, creating him the novel’s significant manual and design of brain.


If Look is a simple woman who revealed to nasty at a beginning age and required to produce a person significant perspective, Jem confirms himself in an even more powerful circumstances. His breaking expertise at Tom Robinson’s test happens just as he is joining adolescence, some time when living is difficult and distressing enough. His disillusionment upon seeing that legal does not always prevail simply leaves him susceptible and puzzled at a crucial, formative place in his living. Nevertheless, he admirably upholds the responsibility to legal that Atticus instilled in him and keeps it with heavy sentence throughout the novel.

Unlike the experienced Mr. Raymond, Jem is not without hope: Atticus reveals Look that Jem merely needs a chance to practice what he has discovered. The powerful position of Atticus in Jem’s living seems to offer that he will restore his stability. Later in his living, Jem is able to see that Boo Radley’s surprising aid indicates there is wonderful in people. Even before the end of the novel, Jem reveals symptoms of having discovered a good training from the trial; such as, at the outset of Part 25, he will not allow Look to crush a roly-poly bug because it has done nothing to destruction her. After seeing the illegal damage of Tom Johnson, Jem now wants to safeguard the delicate and ordinary.

The plan that Jem resolves his cynicism and actions toward a more secure living recognized by the outset of the novel, where a grown-up Look honors speaking with Jem about the activities that create up the novel’s plan. Look says that Jem precise the can suffer first wish in Boo Radley at the outset of the account, powerfully indicating that he recognized what Boo showed to them and, like Look, maintained to cut his purity without dropping his trust.

To Kill a Mockingbird Character List

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch –  The narrator and individuality of the account. Look life with her dad, Atticus, her sibling, Jem, and their dark-colored make, Calpurnia, in Maycomb. She is wise and, by the requirements of her some time to spot, a tomboy. Look has a combative ability and a simple trust in the rewards of the individuals in her area. As the novel continues, this trust is examined by the hatred and tendency that appear during Tom Robinson’s test. Look gradually grows a more grown-up point of view that helps her to appreciate human being rewards without neglecting human being nasty.
Atticus Finch –  Look and Jem’s dad, a attorney in Maycomb originated from an old regional household. A widower with a dry spontaneity, Atticus has instilled in his kids his highly effective feeling of values and legal. He is one of the few individuals of Maycomb devoted to racial equal rights. When he wants to safeguard Tom Johnson, a dark-colored man energized with raping a white-colored individual, he reveals himself and his household to the frustration of the white-colored area. With his powerfully used beliefs, information, and consideration, Atticus operates as the novel’s significant again.
Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch –  Scout’s sibling and continuous playmate at the outset of the account. Jem is something of a regular United states boy, question to again down from dares and fantasizing about enjoying sports. Four a long use of age than Look, he slowly distinguishes himself from her activities, but he is still her shut associate and guard throughout the novel. Jem actions into puberty during the account, and his ideas are shaken terribly by the nasty and disfavor that he perceives during the test of Tom Johnson.
Arthur “Boo” Radley –  A recluse who never models base outside his home, Boo rules the creativeness of Jem, Look, and Dill. He is a highly effective mark of rewards swathed in an first cloak of creepiness, causing little shows for Look and Jem and growing at an opportune a chance to preserve the kids. An wise kid psychologically impaired by his terrible dad, Boo provides an example of the chance that nasty creates to purity and rewards. He is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a great individual impaired by the nasty of human beings.
Bob Ewell –  A consumed, mostly jobless associate of Maycomb’s poorest household. In his intentionally wrongful accusation that Tom Johnson raped his kid, Ewell signifies the disadvantage of the South: understanding, lower income, squalor, and hate-filled racial tendency.
Charles Chef “Dill” Harris –  Jem and Scout’s summer time friend and great friend. Dill is a small, comfortable boy with an productive thoughts. He becomes serious with Boo Radley and signifies the point of view of youth purity throughout the novel.
Miss Maudie Atkinson –  The Finches’ friend, a sharp-tongued widow, and an old great friend of the household. Overlook Maudie is almost the same age as Atticus’s young sibling, Port. She gives Atticus’s love for legal and is the can suffer best great friend among Maycomb’s parents.
Calpurnia –  The Finches’ dark-colored make. Calpurnia is a firm disciplinarian and the can suffer fill between the white-colored community and her own dark-colored area.
Aunt Alexandra –  Atticus’s sibling, a strong-willed individual with a intense love to her household. Alexandra is the best Lower girl, and her responsibility to propriety and history often prospects her to battle with Look.
Mayella Ewell –  Bob Ewell’s misused, single, disappointed kid. Though one can waste Mayella because of her overbearing dad, one cannot pardon her for her embarrassing indictment of Tom Johnson.
Tom Johnson –  The dark-colored area side opponent of sexual assault. Tom is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an significant mark of purity impaired by nasty.
Link Deas –  Tom Robinson’s company. In his desire to look recent battle and reward the reliability of Tom’s individuality, Deas epitomizes the other of tendency.
Mrs. Mom Lafayette Dubose –  An aged, ill-tempered, improper individual who life near the Finches. Although Jem believes that Mrs. Dubose is a thoroughly bad individual, Atticus admires her for the daring with which she challenges her morphine habit.
Nathan Radley –  Boo Radley’s old sibling. Look believes that Nathan is much like the passed Mr. Radley, Boo and Nathan’s dad. Nathan cruelly slashes off an significant ingredient of Boo’s marriage with Jem and Look when he attaches up the knothole in which Boo merely leaves shows for the kids.
Heck Tate –  The sheriff of Maycomb and a significant experience at Tom Robinson’s test. Terrible is a reasonable man who tries to safeguard the simple from chance.
Mr. Underwood –  The manager of Maycomb’s paper. Mr. Underwood areas Atticus and shows his friend.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond –  A abundant white-colored man who life with his dark-colored mistress and mulatto kids. Raymond pretends to be a consumed so that the individuals of Maycomb will have an description for his conduct. In fact, he is merely experienced by the hypocrisy of white-colored community and wants lifestyle among shades of black.
Mr. Wally Cunningham –  A bad individuality and piece of the mob that wants to lynch Tom Johnson at the offender. Mr. Cunningham features his human being rewards when Scout’s politeness forces him to spread the men at the offender.
Walter Cunningham –  Son of Mr. Cunningham and classmate of Look. Wally cannot manage meal one day at classes and unintentionally gets Look in problems.

To Kill a Mockingbird Summary

Finch life with her sibling, Jem, and their widowed dad, Atticus, in the tired Al area of Maycomb. Maycomb is enduring through the Wonderful Depressive disorders, but Atticus is a visible attorney and the Finch household is reasonably well off in assessment to the sleep of community. One summer time, Jem and Look make friends with a boy known as Dill, who has come to are in their place for summer time, and the group functions out accounts together. Gradually, Dill becomes serious with the crazy property on their neighborhood named the Radley Spot. The house is had by Mr. Nathan Radley, whose sibling, Arthur (nicknamed Boo), has resided there for years without going outside.

Scout goes to classes for initially that drop and detests it. She and Jem get products obviously remaining for them in a knothole of a hardwood on the Radley property. Dill results the following summer time, and he, Look, and Jem start to act out the account of Boo Radley. Atticus leaves a quit to their tricks, encouraging the kids to try to see living from another individual’s point of view before creating choice. But, on Dill’s last week in Maycomb for summer time, the three put the Radley property, where Nathan Radley limbs at them. Jem shed his jeans in the producing avoid. When he results for them, he confirms them repaired and put over the wall. The next cold weather, Jem and Look get more shows in the hardwood, presumably remaining by the strange Boo. Nathan Radley eventually attached the knothole with concrete. Quickly then, a fireplace fails out in another neighbor’s property, and during the fireplace someone falls a include on Scout’s again as she watches the fire. Certain that Boo did it, Jem shows Atticus about the repaired jeans and the shows.

To the consternation of Maycomb’s improper white-colored area, Atticus wants to safeguard a dark-colored man known as Tom Johnson, who has been opponent of raping a white-colored person. Because of Atticus’s selection, Jem and Look are experiencing neglect from other kids, even when they see Holiday at the household substance on Finch’s Getting. Calpurnia, the Finches’ dark-colored make, requires them to the regional dark-colored religious, where the heated and close-knit area generally holds the kids.

Atticus’s sibling, Alexandra, comes to stay with the Finches the next summer time. Dill, who designed to stay with his “new father” in another area, operates away and comes to Maycomb. Tom Robinson’s test requires place, and when the opponent man placed in the regional offender, a mob records to lynch him. Atticus people the mob down the night-time time before the test. Jem and Look, who have sneaked out of the property, soon become a member of him. Look knows one of the men, and her ethical pondering about his son shames him into scattering the mob.

At the test itself, the kids sit in the “colored balcony” with the area’s dark-colored people. Atticus provides clear information that the accusers, Mayella Ewell and her dad, Bob, are lying: actually, Mayella propositioned Tom Johnson, captured by her dad, and then opponent Tom of sexual assault to include her waste and waste. Atticus provides amazing information that the represents on Mayella’s experience are from cuts that her dad inflicted; upon getting her with Tom, he named her a that are and overcome her. Yet, despite the much information going to Tom’s purity, the all-white court convicts him. The simple Tom later tries to avoid from offender and is chance to passing. In the results of the test, Jem’s trust in legal is terribly shaken, and he lapses into despondency and question.

Despite the conclusion, Bob Ewell seems that Atticus and the access to have designed a deceive out of him, and he wedding vows vengeance. He menaces Tom Robinson’s widow, tries to crack into the judge’s property, and lastly problems Jem and Look as they move property from a Hallow’s eve. Boo Radley intervenes, however, keeping the kids and stabbing Ewell fatally during the fight. Boo provides the damaged Jem again to Atticus’s property, where the sheriff, to safeguard Boo, demands that Ewell triggered over a hardwood real and dropped on his own blade. After relaxing with Look for a while, Boo vanishes once more into the Radley property.

Later, Look seems as though she can lastly consider what living is like for Boo. He has become person to her at last. With this comprehension, Look holds her dad’s help to process concern and comprehension and shows that her activities with hatred and tendency will not sully her trust in human being rewards.