To Kill A Mockingbird: Theme Of A Novel

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If we flip the quote “a picture can paint a thousand words” than we get “1000 words can paint a picture. I paint hundreds of pictures into our mind as we delve into the themes and meaning of To Kill a Mockingbird and how innocence and fear consistently pop up throughout the book. Reality can also be a cruel and unforgiving place so you could either escape reality with the help of Vicky on the website “This I believe” or push for equality like Martin Luther King Jr did in his “Letters from Birmingham Jail”.

Innocence is a theme that is consistently used with TKAMB. It portrays Scout as a young child and how she evolves with the town of Maycomb and learns how innocence yet biased the town really is. Scout’s innocence is put to the test when Scout was in the Jail sequence “Hey, Mr Cunningham. How’s your entailment getting along” (Page 167). The techniques, Rhetorical irony and twist are used to show how honest Mr Cunningham is. I show the irony as Mr Cunningham ended up helping Atticus stop the mob form lynching Tom Robinson. Most people who read are often young children/teens who are still quite innocent at their age. They read books often to escape reality and take on the thought that they can be someone more powerful/brave within a book while sticking to their real innocent selves. Innocence is often linked to characters with To Kill A Mockingbird and who we are in real life. On the other hand we often try to escape things that present us with fear and that is what Scout and Jem have to face throughout their young lives and how we follow along with them through the book.

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Fear is conveyed throughout To Kill a Mockingbird from “Mad dog, Tim Johnson” to the thought that Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley is taunting Scout with fear but how ends making a full 180 by saving the children from Bob Ewell. Tim Johnson was “the pet of Maycomb”, he was a “liver covered bird dog” who sadly contracted Rabies. Foreshadowing is used to show us what is about to happen as directly afterwards the “Mad Dog” starts pacing towards the children. Another quote is used to describe how Boo Radley is made out to be an antagonist but how he ends up saving the kids with the quote “Thank you for my children, Arthur,” A twist is used in this quote as Boo is always portrayed as the ‘Bogey Man’ because he stabbed his own father but he ends up doing a ‘180’ and ends up saving the children from Bob Ewell my making him fall on his own knife. Fear is a common emotion that we all feel as we are all human, and books use fear in order to hook us into their book as it gives a book a sense of fun. Fear is a common emotion within a human but Scout have to live it throughout the book as they learn the difference between good and bad.

We all read books but some of us read in order to escape. As I elaborated in the innocence paragraph and the writing of Vicky. She explains it perfectly in the quote “Whenever I read a good book, I like to pretend that I am a character in the story,” Reading often helps us become anything we ever wanted all the while maintaining our real selves. This helps us get away from the stresses of everyday life. We often use reading to escape reality and that is expanded by Vicky and her beautiful quote.

Reading can also literally change the world. It has changed the world in many ways but Martin Luther King Jr ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. He sums up his views by saying “It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.” He is sad that protests have taken place but that they “Negros” had no other choice. The letters ended up being being sold millions of times and being one of the pushing factors behind his speech In Washington in which he said “I have a dream”. Reading as quite literally changed the world as the letters helped push for equality.

The world can be a cruel and unforgiving place and if you are like Scout than although you are so innocent, you still have to face the fear that is the world. Many people often escape reality with the advice for Vicky or take a stand as did Martin Luther King did. “And In case I don’t see you–good afternoon, good evening and good night” (Truman Show, 1998).  


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