The novel is told as a first person narrative from the perspective of Jean-Louise "Scout" Finch. The story is narrated in flashback: Scout details the events of three years (1933-1935) in the history of Maycomb, Alabama. The complex and disturbing events of the text are given a chilling clarity as witnessed by a young girl then catalogued in her adulthood.
Scout is very much part of the action and learning experiences that the community go through in this pivotal time. She is the daughter of Atticus Finch, a respected white lawyer requested to defend a black man (Tom Robinson) accused of raping a white woman (Mayella Ewell).
Scout is also significant in the sub-plot of the story-the revelation of the true Arthur "Boo" Radley.