Baillie Junge November 21, 2013
To Kill a Mockingbird
“To Kill a Mocking Bird”- Which celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2010, has become
required reading in middle schools and high schools across the country (Mills). In comparing the
forms of discrimination defined in this novel are the lessons learned applicable to all types of
prejudice? For the students reading this novel today, America is a very different place than it was when
Lee wrote the book 50 years ago. This very controversial book came out about the time the nation was
fighting over school desegregation. Ironically, after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr. saw nothing of the Jim Crow liberal in Atticus. He wrote in his 1964 book, “Why We Can’t
Wait”, To the Negro in 1963, as to Atticus Finch, it had become obvious that nonviolence could
symbolize the gold badge of heroism rather than the white feather of cowardice.”(Mills).
Born in Monroeville, Alabama, Nell Harper Lee’s place in American letters was secured in 1960
with the publication of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mocking Bird (Kort). This novel has
frequently been challenged by parents on the language and the way in which race is represented ( Sova).
Even the BEA protested the book was unfit for school (Sova). Many students and teachers claim offence
to the various terms and proceedings that occur in the book that could be translated as anti-African
American. These words and events are meant to add life to the story and not to insult the reader in any
way. Harper Lee gives a strong diction and racial slurs to show her position. The author claimed that the
sleepy fictional town of Maycomb County was pure imagination, but reporters who have visited
Monroeville, Alabama, on the 30th...