Harper Lee is one of those writers who wrote her name in American literature not only because of enormous talent but because of indifference to serious social problems. She was not afraid to raise topical issues and defend own opinion. Her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a tribute to all of humanity, regardless of color or nationality.
The story catches all the strings of the soul, as many characters seem to be the victims of injustice. Principal attorney Atticus Finch, lonely Boo Radley, and compassionate Tom Robbinson are perceived by the inhabitants of the city as a challenge to existing foundations and generally accepted norms of morality. Knowingly, Harper Lee chose the mockingbird as the emblem of the book, an inoffensive bird that only beautifully sang, not wishing evil to others. So these heroes just tried to live in a right way, for which they paid for their reputation and life.
This personage once again proves that people are ready to blame anyone for their troubles, only not themselves. Boo was unfairly accused of having problems that he did not even know existed. Residents see him as a potential criminal who is just waiting for the right opportunity to commit the next meanness.
Even without finding confirmation of their guesses, few of them are ready to change their views. It is convenient to believe in own choice, even if it is unfair. It is their retrograde dooms Boo for loneliness in a huge house. He knew in life only one joy, namely kindness for the neighboring children, becoming an angel-guardian for them.
Not accidentally, the author made him the central hero of the narrative. Key events take place in the South, in the 1930s, where there were widespread outbreaks of violence prompted by racial hostility. Mutual, contrived, most often brought up since childhood, hatred engendered injustice and belief in its validity. Therefore, the case of Tom, who was falsely accused of rape, is typical for that time. The irony is that it is because of compassion for the white woman, Mayella Ewell, Robbinson puts on trial.
Deprived of the support of her father and brothers, Mayella is experiencing enormous difficulties with farming. Sympathetic Tom offers her help, which the community of white people is in no hurry to attend. It is humanity that, according to the prosecutor, must be severely punished. Mayella is also a victim of the circumstances because she is too scared to stand up for Tom. It is much easier for her to be like everyone else, is in a crowd, than to think for herself.
It is noteworthy that Robbinson suffers not only from prejudice. Before us is a well thought out policy of the district, where the honesty of a blacky is worthless compared to the white man's falsehood. This is a normal state of things that everyone is offered to accept, including Atticus Finch. Tom represents a tragic image, which learned in life only hate, slander and injustice just because he decided to be born with a different skin color. That's why Finch compared Tom's death with the senseless killing of mockingbirds, killing by hunters and children.
Prejudices and stereotypes are found in any society. But only a few of us focus attention on them and try to overcome. Harper Lee was one of those who did not pass the injustice, trying to convey its danger and absurdity in her works.