Critical Insights: To Kill a Mockingbird
In-depth critical discussions of Harper Lee's novel - Plus complimentary, unlimited online access to the full content of this great literary reference.
To Kill a Mockingbird is the type of book that transcends boundaries. Having been translated into over 40 languages, and never having gone out of print since its date of publication, Lee's novel is considered to be one of the most influential works of the 20th century. Lee is celebrated the world around for having created such a lasting and accessible story.
Edited by Alabama native and Lee scholar Don Noble, this volume brings together some of the very best criticism available on Lee's timeless classic. Overview essays by Nancy Grisham Anderson and Gurdip Panesar consider the cultural contexts surrounding the novel and the critical reception of Lee's work. Neil Heims offers a close examination of the novel as wisdom literature while Teresa Godwin Phelps and Thomas L. Shaffer consider the lessons being taught in the novel. Critic Matthew J. Bolton suggests looking at Lee's novel as an introduction to life in the South with an eye towards understanding Faulkner while Laurie Champion examines the notion of visual perception as a metaphor that is carried throughout the novel.
Also included in this collection are character studies of Atticus Finch; a consideration of narrative strategies in both the novel and the film version of Mockingbird; and studies of sexuality, race, and ethics as found in the novel. Mockingbird remains one of a handful of novels with the unique ability to influence the way people live their lives. The essays included in this volume help to shed light on some of Mockingbird's most enduring qualities.
Each Critical Insights title is divided into four sections:
An Introduction – The book and the author
The essays aim to provide a background to the title and author that is an historical, cultural, and biographical foundation for the reader.
These essays utilize common critical approaches to further analyze the author's work.
Each essay is 2,500-5,000 words in length and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
- Chronology of Harper Lee's Life
- Works by Harper Lee
- About the Editor