What conflicts and difficulties occur in To Kill a Mockingbird?  

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xanthya eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is brimming with examples of conflicts and difficulties.  One underlying difficulty is the Great Depression, during which the story takes place.  Another is that Scout's first grade teacher, Miss Caroline, is not happy that Scout can already read and write, claiming that she will have to "undo the damage."

Scout has trouble understanding others' viewpoints in the earlier portion of the novel, but she eventually learns how to "climb into" other people's "skin and walk around in it."

Jem and Scout have typical sibling conflicts throughout the novel, and gender stereotypes weave their way through the story as well.

Racial prejudice plays a substantial role in the story when a black man, Tom Robinson, is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, the daughter of the local ne'er-do-well, Bob Ewell.

When local townspeople threaten to lynch Robinson, Scout's impetuous nature saves the day when she asks Mr. Cunningham to tell his son "hey" for her and goes on to declare that "entailments are bad."  Though she doesn't fully understand what's happening, she has managed to defuse the situation, and the mob disperses.

Later, Robinson is shot and killed, an innocent victim, falsely accused of a crime he did not commit.

Finally, Ewell attempts to murder the Finch children and is killed in self-defense by Arthur "Boo" Radley, the town misfit, who has befriended the children in his own shy way, himself an object of local discrimination and gossip.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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