The novel To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, is a classic because the values and morals displayed through out this novel will never grow old. Translated into more than forty languages, this novel transcends the American canon. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb County, in southern Alabama, and is told from the innocent eyes of six-year-old Scout Finch, a tomboy/rebel, who is the daughter of Atticus Finch, an open minded lawyer with good values and morals. Atticus agrees to represent Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus isn’t one to judge man by his skin color and race but rather focuses on the content of their character and who they are as a person.
To Kill a Mockingbird teaches the reader this important lesson: that you shouldn’t judge others based on appearances or what you’ve heard “until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” For example, Scout has encounters with many people who defy stereotypes such as Boo Radley. The story also circles around the important moral that everyone is created equal and that, as Atticus states, “whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” Atticus’s comment implies that character outweighs skin color.
In my freshman year of High School, I read To Kill A Mockingbird for English class. I didn’t think much of it back then nor did I try to put it into context, analyze it, or to try and figure out what it really meant, because I wasn’t into it. Now rereading the novel almost two years later, I gained a lot more knowledge from the nuances of the story and insight into the morals that infuse the novel. I also gained insight into individual characters. I related more to Atticus in my second reading and I value the lessons he teaches Scout about not judging people. Re-reading increased my understanding of why To Kill a Mockingbird is regarded as an American classic.