To Kill A Mocking Bird

by Harper Lee

Read time: about 3 minutes


This classic, first published in 1960 has been published with different cover pages over the years. With a stark orange background that never fails to catch the eye and the symbolic mockingbird , some of the covers have the lead character- Scout on it, while some others have the tree –which again has a significance of its own in the plot. Most covers adopted for this book give some insight on the setting and the characters in the book causing enough curiosity in the reader without giving away too much.

People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.


Revolving around the life in a small town, there are quite a few characters making a constant appearance throughout the book. The highlight, however, remains Jem and Scout Finch who are children of Lawyer widower Atticus Finch. Another recurring character playing a significant character is their mysterious neighbor Arthur Radley.

As the plot progresses Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell make an appearance who alter the story to a large extend and make it as legendary as it is now considered.


Set in the 1930’s in Southern United States , this is the story of Jem and Scout Finch –children of Atticus who is a lawyer. It revolves around the lives of these children and the town they live in over a period of three years. It is written from the perspective of the little girl, Scout and tackles serious issues of racism and equality.

From documenting their childhood over three summers and culminating in a riveting turn of events leading to the battle for justice, To kill a Mockingbird touches upon the ideas of racism and the finer nuances of the human emotions –all from the perspective of a child.

People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.


As it is set in an earlier time-line , a lot of word used and the dialect adopted reflects the common slang used then. As it touches upon the lives of different communities living in the town, all the people are starkly demarked by their language and style of talking.

The mixture of the local slang used then, add to the otherwise simple narrative used to write this book.

Good points

Written from the perspective of a child, it is a beautiful narrative on how innocent and curious a child’s mind can be, and how the events that they are exposed to mould their young minds.

It also tackles the issue of racism and equality keeping the child’s perspective in place. It shows the growth of town and how the environment shapes and moulds the children.


Sought as one of the classics, largely known for its take on racism, it not only touches on that but on a myriad of human emotions. It is loosely based on the real-life events of Lee’s childhood . Most characters are inspired from real life and this piece of literature is a part of many academic programs . It was also banned at one point of time, due to the content and profanity used in the book.

This book, like many others of its kind, questions human behavior and their approach to racism and equality in the society. Keeping this in place, it is woven around the life and captures the daily hum-drum of life in an interesting manner.

What I like most about the book is the way the world is shown from a child’s eyes. How the curiosity and innocence are directed at making them understand more complex issues that one faces through life.


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.

“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.”

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH