How is To Kill a Mockingbird an experience that sweeps out the cobwebs of prejudice and shines the light of hope of mankind?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Despite the injustice of Tom Robinson's guilty verdict and the obvious racism that exists in To Kill a Mockingbird's Maycomb, the novel closes with an aura of optimism and hope. The villain of the novel, Bob Ewell, dies during his attempt to harm Jem and Scout--a fitting end to the man who falsely accused Tom and created so much hatred and fear to innocent residents of the town. Boo Radley, the other man most feared (though unduly) in Maycomb, becomes the hero in the end when he saves Jem and Scout from the murderous hands of Ewell. The town is ridded of its most despicable inhabitant, and Boo is able to safely return to the haven of his home when Sheriff Tate decides to call Bob's death self-inflicted. Tom's death has somewhat been avenged, and Boo will be remembered (at least by those who know the facts) as a good neighbor. Prejudice and racism will remain in Maycomb, but the ending shows that there is hope yet. Maycomb still has Atticus and his children, and there are others who will spread an enlightened attitude among the townspeople in the decades to come. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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