“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a book written by the author Harper Lee and these past few weeks my classmates and I have been reading the play version of this book, which has been dramatized by Christopher Sergel. Even though we have read the play of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and not the book I still feel that it covers all the themes, characters and issues that Harper Lee included in her book.
A Mockingbird doesn’t eat up people’s gardens or nest in corncribs, all they do is sing their hearts out for all to hear and enjoy. They are harmless. At the beginning of the play Jean, who plays older Scout, tells us of how her father Atticus asked Scout and her brother never to kill a mockingbird. Even though there are no actual mockingbirds included in the play there are many characters who I feel Harper Lee uses to symbolize the inner mockingbird in people.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of the citizens of Maycomb, Alabama from the eyes of a young girl named Scout who is the daughter of the local lawyer Atticus Finch. Lately the Finch family have had their named slandered about the community as Atticus has taken on the case of a negro man named Tom Robinson and is actually trying to win his case. Even though slavery had been abolished in the southern states for many years many people still act as though negro people and their associates were of a lower standard and class than themselves.
Atticus Finch is a middle-aged father of two who was widowed a sort time after his daughter Scout was born. He was a quiet and well-mannered man who was quite highly regarded in the community until the time of the Tom Robinson case. Atticus isn’t like most fathers in the neighbourhood. He enjoys reading, has a middles-class job and never takes part in the local father/son activities, to his son Jems dismay. Atticus is one of the central characters in the play and throughout the play he seems to give the impression that he is the odd one out in the town. Many of the Maycomb residents are very racist towards black people but Atticus has a very polite approach to all people including negros.
I believe that Atticus symbolizes the people of the 21st century as we can relate to Atticus’ actions as most of us are not racists also. Atticus’ main scenes are also the most crucial scenes in the play like the court scene where Atticus stans up for Tom Robinson and humiliates Bob Ewell and his family. The angry mob gathered outside the jailhouse is also a scene where we see Atticus’ personality in full light. Altogether Atticus is a great character who heps us understand and appreciate people in those times.
Scout and Jean are another pair of main characters in this play. Scout is the daughter of Atticus Finch and the story is shown for her point of view throughout the play and Jean is an older version of Scout and she is the narrator of the play. We first meet Scout in the first scene of the play where she is informing Clapurnia (a negro maid) that she is not coming inside as she is waiting for Atticus.
This shows how stubborn Scout can be and when Atticus does come home she quizzes her father on his wok as children at school have been teasing her because “her daddy defends niggers” which highlights her innocence towards the world of racism. This is also shown in the angry mob scene where she doesn’t seem to twig why Mr Cunningham and the other men are confronting her father. Scout is a very lively character and without her or Jean the play would not work at all.
In conclusion “To Kill a Mockingbird” is an amazing play and I cannot wait to read the book which hopefully cover each topic found in the play more thouroghly.