Jean Louisse Finch, or Scout, is a little girl who is very intelligent, curious, observant, and outspoken ("Nelle Harper Lee" 2002 para. 6). Scout tells the story of the many childhood experiences that she and her older brother Jem encountered, as well as the experiences that have opened their eyes to how the world operates outside the fantasies and innocence of childhood (Kasper 272).
Set against this world of injustice and racism of the 1930s is their father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer who is determined, liberal, and honest in his ways (Adams para. 3). He raised his children to be fair and honest, and talks to them as if they were adults, answering questions in a straightforward manner ("Studying to Kill a Mockingbird" para. 41). The struggles of Atticus Finch to defend a colored man who was indicted of raping a white girl, and the mystery behnid the person of Boo Radley is where the story revolves. To Kill a Mockingbird certainly contains much parallels with the events surrounding the 1930s, specifically racism and sexism in South America.
The theme of the novel may be seen through the title, which is a metpahor for harming innocent and defenseless people ("Studying to Kill a Mocking...
This confuses Scout so she asks Miss Maudie about it. Her reply was fairly accurate in metaphor: "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, they don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. " (Lee 74 para. 9)
Tom Robinson, a handicapped black man, was accused of raping Mayella Ewell who belongs to a family of uneducated and poor whites. Out of a sense of duty, obligation, and because Atticus was a courageous, fair, and liberal man, he accepted the task of defending Robinson. The series of trials then reveal that Mayella Ewell made sexual advances on Robinson, and was then caught by her father in doing so (Dorr 711).
Despite these facts and Atticus' efforts in proving that Robinson was not guilty of the charges pressed against him, Robinson was a lost cause and was hence sentenced as guilty. During this period of time in the South, black men were not allowed to mingle with white women, and this served as an eye-opener for Scout that racism was very much a hard issue to battle with (Dorr 711). She said that "Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed" (Lee 254).
Racial prejudice makes white men unreasonable in their judgement and ultimately deprives African-American men of the right to a just trial, and even a comfortable, worry-free life (Dorr 712). As Atticus stated, "people go stark-raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up" (qtd. from Dorr 712).
In the current events period of Scout's class, Hitler and the persecution of the Jews