Issues that are Raised in the Book “To Kill a Mockingbird”

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“To Kill a Mockingbird” was published back in 1960, but it still resonates today. This novel was written by Harper Lee and became successful almost instantly. What’s the secret of this popularity all over the world? Let’s learn more about this book to find it out.

A few words about the novel

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is set in a small town in the 1930s. This town in Alabama is much like the one where the author was raised. In that area separate never meant equal. Even though Harper Lee grew a generation later, he saw much of himself in Scout, the girl who narrates the book. Harper Lee decided to bring issues of fairness and simple justice to the public. And this is exactly what made the book an overnight sensation.

To Kill a Mockingbird is as relevant nowadays as it was sixty years ago. Students are often given assignments on the topics related to this novel. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to complete them due to the complexity of this literary work. But you can check the “To Kill a Mockingbird” essay for free on special student platforms to get a deeper understanding of the novel. Luckily, there are a lot of materials on the web that can help you deal with your homework in Literature.

Issues raised in “To Kill a Mockingbird”

In this famous novel several social themes are presented. Even though they are specific, those ideas are still applicable to any timeline. Let’s consider issues raised in the book in more detail.

Good vs evil

One of the central problems in the novel is the conflict between good and evil. The author highlights it by showing the transition of Scout and Jem from the perspective of innocence. As children they believe that people are inherently good. However, as they grow up, they come to see that goodness doesn’t always win out. What’s more, evil can be extremely powerful, leading to destruction and emotional death. Once unleashed, evil often refuses to be bottled up, especially when it grows out of fear and ignorance.


Another major theme conveyed in “To Kill a Mockingbird” is knowledge that doesn’t come from a formal school system. Education in Maycomb leaves much to be desired as teachers working at Scout’s school are focused on perpetuating ignorance and bigotry rather than giving knowledge. Children are not provided with factual information and have no chance to develop critical thinking skills. But still, Jem and Scout get some moral education from Atticus, being nurtured with positivity. They are encouraged to grow both intellectually and morally.

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Lack of trust

Trust in societal institutions is really a big problem. The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” explores if the legal system can be trusted to promote justice and if the schools can be trusted to educate children. Unfortunately, none of them can. So the author gives a message that people sometimes have to act against societal institutions for good purposes. Of course, it’s hard to do right things that contradict the law. But it’s worth trying.

Loss of innocence

The motif of the novel is closely related to the theme of innocence lost. Being little children, Jen and Scout, represent innocence. But they lose it when confronted by racial injustice and biased morality of the society. Even Atticus loses his faith in the good, becoming more vulnerable. The unjust system just mocks people’s integrity. By the end of the novel, the innocence of characters transforms into maturity and responsible thinking.

Moral complexity

The idea of moral complexity is also present in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Main characters, Jen and Scout, learn that good and evil in humans can’t be measured. At first, they are confident that all people are symbols of virtue and purity. Children don’t understand how complex morality can be. But as the plot keeps developing, characters realize that all the moral principles are controversial and it’s really hard to follow them in all life situations.

Final thoughts

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of the greatest literary works in history. It’s very thought-provoking and touching. This novel makes an impression on everybody who gets familiar with it. If you read the book closely, you will see that several important issues are raised in it. They are the conflict between good and evil, the quality of traditional academic education, lack of trust in social institutions, loss of innocence and moral complexity of life.

 Author’s BIO

Kathy Mercado is a literary critic and a teacher of Literature at one of the best private schools in the United States. She is passionate about her subject and does her best to teach it in an entertaining way. Kathy believes that literature has a life-changing power, so her life goal is to spread knowledge about it.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.