Just as the novel is an illustration of the changes Jem faces, it is also an exploration of the realities Scout must face as an atypical girl on the verge of womanhood.
Although acknowledging that the novel works, Mallon blasts Lee's "wildly unstable" narrative voice for developing a story about a content neighborhood until it begins to impart morals in the courtroom drama, following with his observation that "the book has begun to cherish its own goodness" by the time the case is over.
Atticus is the moral center of the novel, however, and he teaches Jem one of the most significant lessons of courage. One night, Atticus faces a group of men intent on lynching Tom. In To Kill a Mockingbird, it taught me that people are people, and you should never judge somebody based on social class or race.
Christopher Metress writes that the book is "an icon whose emotive sway remains strangely powerful because it also remains unexamined". I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.
However, inLee stated that she had in mind something less sensational, although the Scottsboro case served "the same purpose" to display Southern prejudices.
But her novel did plenty of talking for her, and millions of Americans credit Harper Lee with teaching them how to understand difference. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed. Lee's father, Amasa Coleman Lee, was an attorney, similar to Atticus Finch, and inhe defended two black men accused of murder.
She attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery —45and then studied law at the University of Alabama — This regionalist theme is further reflected in Mayella Ewell's apparent powerlessness to admit her advances toward Tom Robinson, and Scout's definition of "fine folks" being people with good sense who do the best they can with what they have.