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What is a brief summary of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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Quick Answer

The novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" deals with serious issues, such as rape and racial inequality, as told from the viewpoint of a 10-year-old girl. It was written by Harper Lee and is loosely based on her observations of events that occurred during her childhood in her Alabama hometown in the 1930s.

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What is a brief summary of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?
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Full Answer

The story's main character is Scout Finch, who is 6 years old when the story begins and 8 when it concludes. The girl learns about life in general and the people of her community — a small Alabama town called Maycomb — during the Great Depression. Her father, Atticus, is a lawyer. He does not make much money because his clients are poor. Scout lives with her father and older brother, Jem. Their mother is deceased, and the children are cared for by Calpurnia, a housekeeper, while their father works.

A young friend named Dill spends his summers next door and befriends Scout and Jem. The three discover mystery and fear in the elusive character of Boo Radley, a man locked away by his father because he was crazy, according to rumor.

The story hinges on a controversial trial when Atticus agrees to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. Over the span of 3 years, Scout is astounded by man's inhumanity to man. She learns that one person cannot truly understand another without first stepping into his or her shoes. She comes to understand that race, social standing or the spread of rumors cannot define a person. The innocence of the black man her father defended and the rescue of her brother by Boo Radley accent Scout's understanding.

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