The un-girly little girl Scout lives with her father Atticus, her older brother Jem, and their loyal housemaid Cal. During the summer, the siblings is joined by their best friend, Dill who comes during the summer to live with Miss Rachel, the Finch's neighbor. Dill goal is to get the reclusive Boo Ridley to come out from his house.
The novel is divided into two sections and its entire story is told from Scout's point of view. The first section is focus on childhood mysteries of friends and treasures. While the second section depicted the loss of childhood innocence after the children witness Tom Robinson trial. The second part nuances by social political cause and Harper Lee has given a clear-eyed depiction of America's biggest sin: racism. Although Atticus delivered the evidence that it was Mayella Ewell that was making sexual advances toward Tom and Bob Ewell, her father, knew exactly what happened, the jury voted Tom guilty and sentenced him to jail.'
"If you was a nigger like me, you would be scared too"
When Dill was so upset with the way the court delivered questions to Tom Robinson, Scout simply replied, "He's only a negro."
In Indonesia where text is read as plain as it were, this sentence could dangerously be taken as the writer's racist view. But what Lee attempted to portray is the system of inequality and segregation between human race and how we never --rarely-- question the complexity of social codes among us. Even worst, like most citizen of Maycomb, we choose to take side and let ourselves blinded from truths, even though those truths lay right in front of our eyes.
Many critics noted the strength of Lee's talent for narration, I myself see her strength on creating strong characters to represent what she has wanted to say in this novel. A novel that offers so much complexity and compassion on human kinds. In the world where everything is divided into black and white, it would be so refreshing to have more people like Atticus who is willing to comprehend things behind what it seems.
Atticus tells his daughter: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb around in his skin and walk around in it."
As for the title, why it was chosen? In one part of the novel Miss Rachel tells Scout that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Because mockingbird is a bird that can sing beautifully and never harm anyone, therefore it is a sin to kill (the bird).
It is as sin to kill an innocent man.