Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements / paper topics on “To Kill a Mockingbird” that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements for “To Kill a Mockingbird” offer a short summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.>*Note: Additional Quotes from this and other books can be found easily in books online *
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Notions of Justice and Fairness in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
Despite the unwavering dedication of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, the absence of evidence, and a moving courtroom speech, Tom Robinson is convicted of a crime that he did not commit. This jury ruling causes both those who advocated Robinson’s conviction and those who were convinced of his innocence to question their notions of justice and fairness. As if a false conviction was not enough, Tom is eventually killed, and the sense of justice and fairness seem to be completely violated. Write an argumentative essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you establish what Lee is trying to convey regarding these two concepts that are so important to civil society. Questions that you might want to consider include: If justice and fairness are so elusive, how can Atticus and Scout continue to believe in them?, and Are justice and fairness conflicting concepts in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Various Forms of Discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird
The most obvious form of discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird is racism; however, there are other types of prejudice and discrimination that typify relationships among the novel’s characters. Scout, for example, is ridiculed in “To Kill a Mockingbird” because she is a tomboy. Boo Radley is ostracized despite the fact that hardly anyone knows him. Reverse racism is also present in the novel, as evidenced by the threats against Atticus Finch and his family as he defends Tom Robinson. Take one or more of the forms of discrimination in To Kill a Mockingbird and write an analytic essay in which you explain the forms and, if applicable, compare and contrast the types of discrimination. You should argue whether the lessons about discrimination that Scout learns are applicable to all types of prejudice, or whether they apply to racism alone.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Moral Development of Scout and Jem in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Scout and her brother Jem are both children of the morally passionate lawyer, Atticus Finch, and both are exposed to the same experiences that shape their sense of right and wrong. Yet Scout and Jem come to dramatically different conclusions about good and evil and the essential nature of humankind. Write an expository essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you develop an understanding of how Scout and Jem arrive at such disparate concepts of the world. Be sure to consider not only the final worldview at which each arrives, but to look at the novel as a whole and identify how their belief systems develop. Include relevant quotations that demonstrate how, despite their shared experiences, Scout and Jem begin to part ways, philosophically speaking, early in the novel.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4 The Role of Place in To Kill a Mockingbird
The town of Maycomb is described in great detail in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, so much so that the reader gets the sense that Maycomb is more than a setting; it takes on the weight and importance of a character. Write an expository or persuasive essay on “To Kill a Mockingbird” in which you describe Maycomb and explain its significance with respect to the events and meaning of the novel. Be sure to dig beneath the surface: it’s easy to say that Maycomb is a Southern town and that certain social dynamics—such as racism—shape the characters and their circumstances, but there are also more subtle characteristics about the town that exert influence over the novel’s outcome. Finally, consider whether Maycomb is changed by the conclusion. It shapes people and events, but it is also shaped by its inhabitants and their actions.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Character Analysis of Atticus Finch
One of the most inspiring characters in 20th century American literature is Atticus Finch. A morally upright lawyer, a committed and loving father, and an overall good citizen, Finch is regarded highly by most citizens with a sense of justice. Write an essay in which you analyze Atticus Finch’s character. You may wish to focus the content of your essay by selecting a single quote or passage (consider a portion of the courtroom speech, for instance) and explaining how it reflects Finch’s character strengths. Address whether Finch has any flaws, and explain how he conveys his beliefs to his children and his community.
* For an outstanding essay/article analyzing the character of Atticus Finch,click here *
The Significance Of The Title, 'to Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee
When the author is choosing the title of a novel, they have to make sure it stands out, but is still relevant to the story, it also has to evoke interest in someone who casually looks at the book. It has to hint at what the story is about, but not give it all away. Harper Lee is successful in this, by titling the book, "To Kill A Mockingbird". The title attracts potential readers, as well the symbolism it infers. The children are told that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird by their father, and a neighbor, Miss Maudie, goes more in depth as to why. The legend of the mockingbird which only sings to please others and subsequently, a sense of sin is associated in "killing" the mockingbird has been woven into the plot. The mockingbird is used to represent the characters, and events surrounding them: Tom Robinson, and discrimination against him, the justice system, racism, prejudice, childish innocence, and Boo Radley.
Tom Robinson is a kind, gentle man who, like the mockingbird, has never hurt anyone and only wanted to help Mayella Ewell because he felt sorry for her, and what she had to go through. But the fact that he was black overshadowed his good character, he was incarcerated, and dead the minute Mayella Ewell cried out, falsely, that he raped her. His arrest, and subsequent death, was likened to killing an innocent animal. "Mr. Underwood simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, be they standing, sitting, or escaping. He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children." (P. 241)
The justice system is like a mockingbird, as well. It is in place to help society - for the citizen's benefit, however it is possible to be "killed" as it was in Tom Robinson's case. The jury didn't give one thought to all the evidence against a white man, Bob Ewell and convicted Tom Robinson just because his skin was a color different than theirs. However, in the southern United States, especially back in the 193O's, that was something that was expected. If you could blame it on a black person, you...
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