Discuss whether you find To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee a book of love or hate.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the previous post was quite lucid.  In my mind, I have to look at Atticus as the reason why the book represents one of love.  Undoubtedly, there are moments and characters that represent the very essence of hatred and are despicable.  These individuals would represent the force of death in the world.  Yet, it is through the life affirming spirit of love and community which can overwhelm it and I find this to be embodied by Atticus.  The ability to listen to one's own moral compass, stand up for one's own convictions, and represent the values of a pluralistic and heterogeneous society.  With this, I think that the book represents one of love.

mkcapen1 | Student

I can see both sides in the book "To Kill A Mockingbird."  Mr.  Ewell is a hateful drunkard who rapes his own daughter and blames a black man, Tom Robinson.  He would rather allow a man to die than even have not reported the situation.  Prejudice abounds in the town.  However, I get more of a sense of love from the book than hatred.

Atticus clearly loves his children.  He spends time reading with them, communicating, and guiding them through life.  He also serves his community and recognizes the good in others.  He shares his feelings about understanding others with his children. Even when Miss Caroline, Scout's teacher, does not want him to read with Scout anymore, he does not exhibit anger. Instead, he tries to help Scout to understand that she is new in town.

Calpurnia is the mother figure to the children.  She scolds them and watches after them, but she also takes them to church with her in the black community.  She shares the values she has been taught.

In the end of the book when Scout is talking with her father she expresses Boo Radley as being a mocking bird.  The innocence in the child projects a sense of love.  It is the same innocence and act of kindness that had caused her to guide Boo to a darker seat in her house on the night that he had saved the children.


kjem39638 | Student

Although both themes are present, I tend to view this novel as one of love. There is parental love as expressed by Atticus toward his children and the protecting love of Calpurnia for them as well. Sibling love is evident in the relationship between Jem and Scout. There is also love shown for Atticus by the black community for his willingness to represent Tom Robinson. In the end, Boo's reentry into society is a symbol of love overcoming hate.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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