what genre is to kill a mocking bird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by the American author Harper Lee. It was published in June 1960 and became instantly successful. In the United States, it is widely read in high schools and middle schools. To Kill a Mockingbird has become a classic of modern American literature; a year after its release, it won the Pulitzer Prize. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lees observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was ten.

Despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality, the novel is renowned for its warmth and humor. Atticus Finch, the narrators father, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. The historian Joseph Crespino explains, “In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its main character, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional of racial heroism.”[1] As a Southern Gothic novel and Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the Deep South. Lessons from the book emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice.[2] Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets. In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one “every adult should read before they die”.[3]

Reaction to the novel varied widely upon publication. Despite the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education, literary analysis of it is sparse. Author Mary McDonough Murphy, who collected individual impressions of To Kill a Mockingbird by several authors and public figures, calls the book “an astonishing phenomenon”.[4] It was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lees hometown.

To Kill a Mockingbird was Lees only published book until Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 14, 2015. Lee continued to respond to her works impact until her death in February 2016, although she had refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.

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The main characteristics of Southern Gothic fiction in To Kill a Mockingbird are its Southern setting, use of Southern vernacular, blend of humor and dark themes, heightened character development, and allusions to the paranormal. As a subgenre of American Gothic, Southern Gothic first gained popularity in the first half of the 20th century. Many Southern Gothic novels are characterized by a preoccupation with the unresolved past, as characters are forced to face the South’s legacy of racism, slavery, and violence—often in the form of literal or figurative ghosts. Boo Radley, as portrayed in Mockingbird, is essentially a living ghost, both in terms of his appearance and name. The novel’s plot revolves around a violent act, and the result is influenced by the town’s pervasive racism. But unlike many Southern Gothic novels, whose authors exaggerate their characters’ flaws for comedic effect, To Kill a Mockingbird is less graphic than other works in the genre, and Lee’s characters are more likeable.

Since a large portion of the action takes place during a criminal trial and the ethical questions the case raises heighten the drama of the story, this book is also one of the most well-known courtroom dramas in American literature. Although the term “courtroom drama” is typically used to refer to movies, it can also be used to describe books. Books in this genre take place mainly in a courtroom. Authors can depict conflicting views on justice, morality, or society by using characters on both sides of the dispute. Frequently in a courtroom drama, the main character has been falsely charged with a crime that goes against the norm in society. Usually, the defense team of the accused persuades the jury to examine their biases. In keeping with the genre’s norms, the main focus of To Kill a Mockingbird is Tom Robinson’s trial—a Black man who has been falsely accused of rape. All of the South’s racist preconceptions are subtly put on trial. However, Tom is found guilty and is killed shortly after the verdict, in contrast to many examples of the genre in which the innocent party is vindicated and prejudices are overturned. This less triumphant, more ambiguous ending departs from the genre norms of the book.

Ultimately, To Kill a Mockingbird is a bildungsroman because it follows Scout’s journey from a helpless young girl to a conscious member of her community via her experiences watching Tom’s trial and being saved by Boo Radley. A bildungsroman, which translates to “novel of education” from German, follows the journey of a single character—typically the narrator—from childhood to maturity. As in a bildungsroman, this character has limited knowledge of the adult world at the start of the novel. She encounters a significant obstacle that puts her worldview to the test and imparts valuable knowledge about the society she lives in. Scout discovers racism in the courts and in her community in To Kill a Mockingbird. Although she initially thinks that most members of her community are essentially good people, by the end of the book she has personally witnessed acts of violence and cruelty. She is therefore more mature and ready to join society. Be aware that a bildungsroman does not always imply that the protagonist becomes an adult by the book’s conclusion. It only indicates that the character is dealing with a big life obstacle that is helping her get a more mature perspective on the world. Because of this, even though Scout is still a young child at the end of the book, To Kill a Mockingbird is a bildungsroman.

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Go Set a WatchmanMain article:

Go Set a Watchman, an early draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was controversially published on July 14, 2015. Completed in 1957, this draft takes place 20 years after the events portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird, but it does not carry on the story. [7][154] This previous telling of the tale centers on an adult Scout Finch who visits her father, Atticus Finch, in Maycomb, Alabama, after moving from New York City. There, she encounters intolerance in her community. Before Lee’s attorney Tonja Carter found the Watchman manuscript, it was thought to be lost, however this assertion has been hotly challenged. Watchman features early iterations of numerous characters from To Kill a Mockingbird [154][155][156]. [157] Mockingbird was originally supposed to be the first book in a trilogy, according to Andrew Nurnberg, Lee’s agent: “They discussed publishing Mockingbird first, Watchman last, and a shorter connecting novel between the two.” However, rare-books expert James S. has disproved this claim [159]. Jaffe discovered the pages to be just another draft of To Kill a Mockingbird after reviewing them at Lee’s attorney’s request. [159] Additionally, Nurnberg’s assertion ran counter to Jonathan Mahler’s account of how Watchman was only considered the first draft of Mockingbird. [7] Examples of numerous passages that cross over between the two books—sometimes verbatim—also contradict this claim. [160] Forensic linguistics was also used to examine both works, and the results of their comparative analysis demonstrated that Harper Lee was the only author. [161].


What genre of literature is To Kill a Mockingbird?

To Kill a Mockingbird is primarily an example of Southern Gothic fiction in that it takes place in the South, contains both dark and comedic elements, uses Southern vernacular, features exaggerated characters, and references the supernatural.

Is the genre of To Kill a Mockingbird historical fiction?

Answer and Explanation: To Kill a Mockingbird is generally not considered to be historical fiction, but it is right on the borderline. The book was set in 1936, which was 24 years prior to the date the novel was published.

Is To Kill a Mockingbird realistic fiction?

Realistic fiction can have a historical element to it such as in Harper Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Harper Lee is an American author widely known for this dramatic, realistic fiction novel based on racial prejudice in the south many years ago.

Is To Kill a Mockingbird fiction or non fiction?

Examples of classic fiction include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, 1984 by George Orwell and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.