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What would you consider to be the overall mood and tone of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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whitetree | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 26, 2011 at 10:32 AM via web

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What would you consider to be the overall mood and tone of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM (Answer #1)

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The tone of To Kill a Mockingbird shifts from chapter to chapter. The scenes with Jem, Scout and Dill and their antics concerning Boo Radley are mostly light-hearted and filled with childish humor. There are, of course, scenes of a more serious type, but even many of them are interspersed with examples of Harper Lee's comic touch. 

The second half of the novel, which primarily centers on the trial of Tom Robinson, is much more serious, exploring the subjects of rape, racism and intolerance. The children are growing and coming to understand that the adult world which beckons them is not a perfect one. Some of the scenes are heart-rending, such as Tom's unjustified guilty verdict and Bob Ewell's depraved actions. But the overall tone is one of hope and promise for a better world in the future.

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