Why is To Kill a Mockingbird so important?

To Kill a Mockingbird is stylistically important as a classic work of American literature and politically important as a book that has always aroused fierce controversy and debate.

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There are two principal ways in which To Kill a Mockingbird is an important book.

First, it is a classic work of American literature that exhibits all of Harper Lee 's skill as an author—there is a reason why this novel is one of the most frequently assigned works in...

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There are two principal ways in which To Kill a Mockingbird is an important book.

First, it is a classic work of American literature that exhibits all of Harper Lee's skill as an author—there is a reason why this novel is one of the most frequently assigned works in high school English classes. Harper Lee creates memorable characters and writes about them with great skill and sympathy. The young Scout provides a unique narrative voice, and many people who have read the book find themselves remembering and quoting Atticus's moral observations for the rest of their lives. Additionally, the town of Maycomb comes alive for the reader with a host of colorful minor characters and bits of town gossip. The rich themes of the book are universal—guilt and innocence, justice and injustice, peace and violence—and the novel is rife with symbols and metaphors, making it an excellent work to study in the classroom. The novel's presentation of the evils of racism and prejudice also offer valuable moral lessons to its audience, inviting them to consider how these issues play out in American society today.

It is the themes of the book and the controversy that has always surrounded it which make To Kill a Mockingbird politically important as well. The novel deals with difficult topics such as rape, abuse, and racism and includes profane language and racial slurs. This has led to it being one of the most frequently banned and censored books in America and worldwide. The political and social importance of the book was underscored when, fifty-five years later, Go Set a Watchman was published to an almost equal mixture of acclaim and condemnation. In particular, the reaction to the way in which Atticus Finch was portrayed in Go Set a Watchman demonstrated the central place he had acquired in American culture.

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