Why is Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird an optimistic novel?
Harper Lee's classic coming-of-age novel in the American South during the 1930s, To Kill a Mockingbird, is, indeed, an optimistic story. If Tom Robinson's unjust conviction, imprisonment, and death and the rabidly racist temperament of Bob Ewell and his followers were all that comprised Lee's novel, then it would have been a more pessimistic story. Those events and characterizations, however, are not the sum-total of To Kill a Mockingbird. On the contrary, it is Scout's narrative about her childhood in Maycomb, Alabama, that provides the novel its enduring optimism. It is Scout's stories about summers with her older brother Jem and their friend Dill and their games involving the reclusive, mysterious figure of Boo Radley that, along with the lessons Scout learns from her father, Atticus , provide the moral foundation of Lee's novel. The trial of Tom Robinson, while occupying an obviously important element of the novel, is but a vehicle for illuminating the enduring...
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