Posted in Book Reviews

Loss of Innocence: To Kill A Mockingbird

As the novel titled, To Kill A Mockingbird unfolds, Harper Lee conveys Scout’s experience and well-learned lessons of life. Racism and rumors in Maycomb County were Scout’s positive encounters to learn from and develop a compassionate mind toward her neighborhood and community. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Calpurnia are Scout’s moral guidance in her view toward racism and rumors.

Racism took a major part of Scout’s life as she grows studying the unfairness of the jury’s decision toward the black resident Tom Robinson and the criticism of the residents toward her father Atticus, who encouraged diversity and equality in the county. Miss Maudie helped Scout appreciate Atticus’ justice toward Tom’s case with words of appreciation and affirmation toward Atticus’s views:

“Your father’s right. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, 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 119).

Moreover, Calpurnia enriched Scout’s soul with humbleness and enlightenment. Through Calpurnia’s stand, Scout learned that everyone (black and white) deserves justice. Calpurnia respected Atticus and stood by Helen Robinson through her loss of her husband. Scout saw through Atticus and Calpurnia’s behavior a united act, which grew in her heart the roots of equality toward others. Therefore, Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Calpurnia were Scout’s guidance to kindly serve equality and justice in Scout’s life rather than aid racism.

Although Scout encountered racism in her community, rumors were also apparent in her surrounding, which put Scout in a judgmental position. Again, Atticus steps in with his rightful advice toward rumors about Arthur “Boo” Radley:

“What Mr. Radley did was his own business. If he wanted to come out, he would. If he wanted to stay inside his own house he had the right to stay inside free from attentions of inquisitive children” (Lee 65).

Moreover, Miss Maudie influenced Scout by reflecting her firm communication with others. Scout implies in the novel that “Miss Maudie ‘s voice was enough to shut anybody up” (Lee 60). Miss Maudie respected others’ absence by either saying good things about them or not saying anything at all:

“I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did. Spoke as nicely as he knew how” (Lee 61).

As Atticus and Miss Maudie discourage rumors about Arthur Radley in front of Scout, Calpurnia also rejected such habit. Scout watched Calpurnia running toward the Radley Place to warn Mr. Nathan and Mr. Arthur that a mad dog is coming (Lee 124). Calpurnia’s behavior demonstrated her humanity and compassion toward Radley’s Family and her rejection toward any rumors about them.

To Kill A Mockingbird is a course of learning experience in Scout’s life. Scout’s loss of innocence positioned her in a safe place since three characters (Atticus, Miss Maudie, and Calpurnia) embraced her while racism and rumors took place in her daily life. They communicated and reflected good deeds toward others and Scout. That enriched Scout’s heart with compassion, humanity, and equality. The racism toward Tom Robinson’s case and rumors about Arthur Radley heartened Scout to enjoy mockingbirds’ sing their hearts out and to protect them from any harm with a sense of equality and truthful words!

Work cited:

Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York: Grand Central, 1982. Print.


Book Illustrator . Photographer . Writer

4 thoughts on “Loss of Innocence: To Kill A Mockingbird

      1. Yes, exactly ! Atticus is my favorite too, and I love how Harper Lee conveyed him. The way Atticus balances his words while speaking to his children drags us to him even more!

        Liked by 1 person

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