How does Harper Lee communicate her main themes and ideas in To Kill a Mockingbird? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
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Harper Lee develops her main themes--primarily those of racism, intolerance and loss of innocence--through the two main plots of To Kill a Mockingbird. The first main plot is established in Chapter 1 with the introduction of the mysterious Boo Radley, and the children's interest in him continues to grow for most of Part One. In Part Two, the Tom Robinson trial takes central focus for the first dozen chapters before the main focus returns to Boo Radley in the final four chapters. Primarily through Scout and these two characters--Boo and Tom--are most of the themes developed. The children slowly learn the meaning of tolerance as they change their attitudes about Boo: He goes from being a scary ghoul who prowls the neighborhood at night to a lonely man in search of friendship (once the children realize that he is the source of the gifts in the secret knothole). The approaching trial of Tom Robinson teaches them about the attitudes of the town, and then the children get to see for themselves how justice is served when an accused black man goes before an all-white jury. Loss of innocence is evident in both Boo and Tom, but it is the children who are the main focus of this theme. By the end of the novel, they have seen some major events unfold before them, and nearly all of them are troubling.
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