Author: Harper Lee
Setting: The small, depression-era southern town of Maycomb, Alabama provides a backdrop for thebrooding Gothic theme. Harper Lee seems to impress upon her readers how poverty reinforces the hypocritical nature of a race-based class system.
Scout: the narrator and protagonist ofthe story. Scout learns about the goodness of people as well as the dark side of humanity.
Jem: Scout's older brother, Jem serves as protector. His presence also highlights Scout's youthful innocence.Atticus: The proud, moral, respected father.
Tom Robinson: The accused but apparently innocent rapist.
"Boo" Radley: The mysterious neighbor.
The mockingbird stands forinnocence in this book. Some of the "mockingbirds" in the book are characters whose goodness was injured or squelched: Jem and Scout, whose innocence is lost; Tom Robinson, who is killed despite hisinnocence; Atticus, whose goodness is almost broken; Boo Radley, who is judged for his apparent weirdness.
The story is narrated by a young girl who goes by the name of "Scout" Finch. Scout's realname is Jean Louise, a name that is not fitting for a tomboyish, rebellious girl like Scout.
Scout lives in the small Alabama town of Maycomb in the 1930s with her brother, Jem, and her widowedfather, Atticus. Another presence in the house is the stern but ultimately kind-hearted African-American housekeeper named Calpurnia.
The story takes place during the depression, but the Finch familyis better off than many in this small town, as Atticus is a successful and respected lawyer.
Two main themes that permeate this book are judgment and justice. Scout and Jem learn lessons aboutjudging other people through the character of Boo Radley, a mysterious and reclusive neighbor. Early in the story, the children poke fun at Boo, but they ultimately discover his goodness.