To Kill a Mockingbird, and how it has stayed relevant for over 60 years.

Max Adams, Staff Reporter

To Kill a Mockingbird is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year in July. With the novel originally released in 1960, exactly how has it stayed one of the most prevalent novels in America to this very day?  The main reason behind this is its ability to perfectly tell a story that most everyone can relate to–the pains of growing up and the loss of of one’s own innocence–and relate it to deeper topics that many haven’t seen firsthand.

The story of the main character, Scout Finch, growing up and discovering that the world she lives in can be cruel, unjust, and violent towards those who don’t deserve it is the overarching story of the book. This story is able to connect with its readers through this journey that everyone has experienced. It’s able to connect to deeper and more serious topics that many have not been experienced to such as segregation, racism, death, injustice, and the racial bias that can form in the court system.

Though segregation, racism, death, injustice, and the racial bias that can form in the court system are all topics covered in the story, they are not the central theme of it. The theme of growing up and having to be mature is center stage in the story, with the topics of racism, death, and injustice playing into the theme of growing up. Though just because these topics play into the central theme doesn’t mean that any of them are underdeveloped. They are given the tone and respect that they deserve, and each of them shows a deep level of thought put into them with events like the near lynching of Tom Robinson and his later death given the somber and disheartening tone the deserve. There is also his trial and the strikingly accurate  demonstration of the racial bias commonplace in The South at that time in history.

The reason why this novel is one of the few from the time period that is still remembered fondly and is known throughout the country is because of its ability to tell a story that resonates with most everyone and then using that to connect people to issues and topics that aren’t as well covered or as experienced as its main story.