To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1960 novel by Harper Lee. At first glance, it appears to be a coming-of-age story centred on Scout Finch who is growing up and realising that the hero figure of her father Atticus is much more complex than she might previously have realised.
Through a gradual loss of innocence, Scout begins to see that her father is embroiled in the tensions which consume the Deep South of America. As Scout and her brother Jem go on adventures with their friend Dill and explore their fascination with a local neighbourhood character, Boo Radley, Atticus becomes a champion in the fight against racial segregation and unfair political and judicial treatment of black people in the South at the time of the novel. Atticus has since become a figure of morality and a model of and for lawyers in America.
Whilst the novel depicts a tragic story it is celebrated for its well-timed use of humour and the warmth of feeling between the family at the heart of the novel. The narrative style has been celebrated for its effective rendering of the child protagonist and for it’s the subtlety and profundity of its dealings with the wider issues of life, prejudices and attitudes in the Deep South during the 1930s.