Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ published in 1960, is a fantastic novel with some important lessons. The storyline is an approximate recount of what happened in the author’s hometown when she was ten. Atticus Finch, her father, is an attorney defending Tom, a black man accused of raping a white girl while appearing completely innocent. Because he sticks up for what he believes in, despite opposition from most people, Atticus Finch is the protagonist of this book.
Despite dealing with some serious topics, the book’s written from the gaze of an innocent minor, making it a relevant read in schools. The book explores the moral essence of individuals—specifically, whether people are fundamentally good or evil.
The inclusion of To Kill A Mockingbird in the curriculum encourages debates that go beyond the text alone. The book’s historical setting is essential because it not only educates kids about the problematic issues of the past but also helps them draw parallels with the world they currently inhabit, examining topics related to the world, people, history, cultures, and everyday life. Here are some timeless life lessons the book conveys:
Never Judge A Book By Its Cover
Consider things from the other person’s point of view and empathize. People are complex; we are all individuals with unique wants, aspirations, values, etc. Learn about their lives and realize that you should never pass judgment on anyone.
In the book, Atticus’s caution to Scout recurs. Considering our society’s divide even today, his advice reminds us to reach out to people and attempt to understand others’ perspectives before passing judgment.
Given that the book was published when racial discord was at its peak in the 1930s, Atticus’ insistence on showing respect to everyone, regardless of gender, color, religion, etc., resonates even today. Positioning yourself as superior to another is unnecessary, given that we’re all the same in the end and have similar life goals. How we treat others defines us, and no set of ideas, religious or otherwise, can ever excuse cruel behavior.
Violence Isn’t the Answer
Responding to violence with greater violence never solves anything. Additionally, the only way to stop a bully is to let what they say or do go. Your best allies are patience and restraint since the sole tactic of an aggressor is to elicit a response. The idea of “two wrongs don’t make a right” is applicable even today, with harassment now extending to online trolling.
Stay True To Yourself
You must uphold your own moral standards regardless of what other people think. Whether or not other people agree with him, Atticus stands up for Tom because it’s the right thing to do. Being mindful of everyone’s opinion, he persevered in defending the moral high ground.
“Remember It’s A Sin To Kill A Mockingbird”
The book’s most impactful quote that inspired its title connotes the idea of innocence. A mockingbird is an innocent creature that creates beauty and means no harm. The bird becomes a symbol of innocence in this tale of good destroying innocence. Killing a mockingbird is equivalent to destroying innocence.
The phrase “To Kill a Mockingbird” has become more profound since it was first published—a point of reflection for the moral choices we make in our own lives for many readers. Course Hero offers a To Kill a Mockingbird movie summary, including study guides and infographics that aid students in analyzing various points of view and cultural experiences reflected in the book.