The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator, six-year-old Scout Finch, lives with her older brother Jem and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer. Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill who visits Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer. The three children are terrified by, and fascinated with, their neighbor, the reclusive "Boo" Radley. The adults of Maycomb are hesitant to talk about Boo and for many years, few have seen him. The children feed each other's imaginations with rumors about his appearance and reasons for remaining hidden, and they fantasize about how to get him out of his house. Following two summers of friendship with Dill, Scout and Jem find that someone is leaving them small gifts in a tree outside the Radley place. Several times, the mysterious Boo makes gestures of affection to the children, but, to their disappointment, never appears in person. 
 
Atticus is assigned to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a young white woman. Although many of Maycomb's citizens disapprove, Atticus agrees to defend Tom to the best of his ability. Other children taunt Jem and Scout for Atticus' actions. Scout is tempted to stand up for her father's honor by fighting, even though he has told her not to. For his part, Atticus faces a group of men intent on lynching Tom. This danger is averted when Scout, Jem, and Dill shame the mob into dispersing by forcing them to view the situation from Atticus's and Tom's points of view. 
 
Because Atticus does not want them to be present at Tom Robinson's trial, Scout, Jem, and Dill watch in secret from the colored balcony. Atticus establishes that the accusers—Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk—are lying. It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella was making sexual advances towards Tom and her father caught her in the act. Despite significant evidence of Tom's innocence, the jury convicts him. Jem's faith in justice is badly shaken, as is Atticus', when a hopeless Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape from prison. 
 
Humiliated by the trial, Bob Ewell vows revenge. He spits in Atticus' face on the street, tries to break into the presiding judge's house, and menaces Tom Robinson's widow. Finally, he attacks the defenseless Jem and Scout as they walk home from the school Halloween pageant. Jem's arm is broken in the struggle, but amid the confusion, someone comes to the children's rescue. The mysterious man carries Jem home, where Scout realizes that he is the reclusive Boo Radley. 
 
Maycomb's sheriff arrives and discovers that Bob Ewell has been killed in the struggle. The sheriff argues with Atticus about the prudence and ethics of holding Jem or Boo responsible. Atticus eventually accepts the sheriff's story that Ewell simply fell on his own knife. Boo asks Scout to walk him home, and after she says goodbye to him at his front door, he disappears again. While standing on the Radley porch, Scout imagines life from Boo's perspective and regrets that they never repaid him for the gifts he had given them.

Pop Culture Connections - Incoming

It is referred to by these books...

The Lovely Bones
written by

This Book refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Detective Len Fenerman finds a paperback copy of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and confirms with a neighbor that Susie's class was in the process of reading the novel in 9th grade.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
written by

  • Date:
  • Type: Book
This Book refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of Charlie's 12 favorite books that his teacher assigns him to read.

It is shown on these television episodes...

Everybody Loves Raymond:
Season:  7  / Episode:  11 
The Thought That Counts

This Television Episode shows To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Robert gives Ray the idea of a thoughtful gift for Debra's Christmas present. He suggests that Ray give her a first edition copy of Debra's favorite book, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

It is referred to by these television episodes...

The Simpsons:
Season:  27  / Episode:  15 
Lisa the Veterinarian

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Nibbles the class hamster appears in a diorama of 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

30 Rock:
Season:  6  / Episode:  18 
Murphy Brown Lied To Us

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Cat tells Liz that she tried to get the kids at school to call her "Scout" like in the book 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

Family Guy:
Season:  13  / Episode:  10 
Quagmire's Mom

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
The girl Quagmire met at the party asked him a lot of questions about this book.

Weeds:
Season:  8  / Episode:  9 
Saplings

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
When Shane is seen in Ice Pick's car, Ice Pick's friends wonder if Ice Pick is out of jail. One of the friends says that Ice Pick is still in prison, "studying law like Atticus Finch 'n shit".

The Simpsons:
Season:  20  / Episode:  10 
Take My Life, Please

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
In a flashback to high school, Homer asks his prom date to read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' for him and then write the book report that's due on Monday.

Bored to Death:
Season:  1  / Episode:  3 
The Case of the Missing Screenplay

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
When Ray says, "Thank you, Boo Radley" it is a reference to the character in this novel who likes to leave toys in the tree outside his house for the town children to enjoy.

The Middle:
Season:  4  / Episode:  13 
The Friend

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Brick quizzes Axl on literature, because Axl wants a more meaningful relationship with his girlfriend.

Orange is the New Black:
Season:  4  / Episode:  13 
Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again

This Television Episode refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
After Suzanne's books are taken away from her, she says that she knows where to get more. Poussey kept extra books under her bed, special books, according to Suzanne, who goes and grabs another stack. One of the books is 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

It is shown on these movies...

Bad Teacher

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie shows To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Elizabeth Halsey teaches from this book in class
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It inspired these movies...

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie is inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
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  • Buy To Kill a Mockingbird on GooglePlay

It is referred to by these movies...

Almost Famous

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
The mother and son are talking about this book at the beginning of the movie.
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Failure to Launch

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie
This Movie refers to To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
Paula's roommate, Kit, is annoyed by a mockingbird outside her window. There is a recurring plot of Kit's to try to kill the mockingbird.
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Other Connections and Related Pop Culture

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Date:
  • Type: Movie

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