To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)
The 1930s. The town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story is narrated on behalf of a nine-year-old girl, Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Eyeball.
Eyeball lived in a small house located on Main Street in Maycomb. The Finch family was one of the oldest in the county and consisted of three people. The head of the family, Atticus, a lawyer, worked as a court defender and kept his own law office. He had been widowed several years before, and was raising two children alone. The age difference between Glasatticus and her older brother, Jim, was four years. Atticus was raised by Calpurnia, a dark-skinned maid, a strict but kind woman. The children were a little afraid of her.
This story happened the year Brother Jim broke his arm, and it all started with the Scarecrow Radleys. These Redleys, who lived next door to the Finches, were an unsociable family. The older members of the family seldom left the house, and their son had not been seen for a long time. The boy had once been involved with a bad company, and his father had locked him in the house. Radley Jr. was the one they called the Scarecrow. He was feared by all the children in the town, and they avoided the neglected house. There were many legends about this man, and Radley's house was considered cursed.
The legend of the Scarecrow fascinated a new neighbor, Eyeball. A boy named Dill came to his aunt's house for summer vacation and befriended the Finches. All summer the new friends tried to lure Scarecrow out of the house, but their attempts were unsuccessful.
In the fall, Eyeball went to school. Now she had to walk past the "cursed house" every day. Tall virgin oaks grew near the house. One day Glazastyk found in the hollow of one of the oaks a bag of gum, and a little later - a box with two "lucky" pennies. From whom these gifts, the children only guessed.
The next summer, Dill arrived again, and the children returned to their favorite pastime: luring the Scarecrow out of the house. This went on until Atticus forbade the children to pester their neighbors and act out scenes from their lives. Despite the ban, the children still managed to get caught up in the story. Before he left, Dill was drawn to the Scarecrow's house again. He tried to creep up to it in the dark and peek through the window. Of course, he was not alone. The group of kids had been caught by Radley Sr. He mistook them for thieves and started firing his gun. Running away, Jim got stuck under the barbed wire fence and came home without his pants. When he came to the hedge to get his clothes, he found the pants neatly folded and clumsily patched.
In the fall, the children found presents in the hollow again, until Mr. Radley caulked the stash with cement. It had been a very cold winter that year. The houses had to be heated, and one night the house next door to the Finches caught fire. Atticus took the children outside. While Glasatticus watched the fire, someone carefully covered her with a blanket. The children guessed it was Scarecrow.
Shortly after the fire, Atticus was assigned to defend a black guy who allegedly raped a white girl. Atticus could not drop the case because he believed his client was innocent. The townspeople and residents of the county disliked blacks and condemned Atticus. This affected the children as well. They could not hear their father being insulted and came home bruised.
Spring came and the Finch family increased by one person - Aunt Alexandra came to live with them. She used to live on the family farm near town, but Eyeball was growing up, and Alexandra decided to move in with her brother and support him. Her aunt set her own house in order and even tried to fire Calpurnia, the dark-skinned maid, but Atticus wouldn't let her.
After a while, Dill rejoined the company of children. He ran away from his mother and stepfather. A week later Tom Robinson, whom Atticus protected, was transferred to the city jail. The first night the prison doors were guarded by Atticus himself. Farmers from all over the county intended to lynch the unfortunate man. The situation was saved by the children, who wanted to know where their father had gone. Glasgow recognized one of the farmers, and they could not do what they wanted in front of the child.
Almost all of the county's residents attended the trial. During the trial, Atticus proved that Tom was innocent. In fact, the girl was seeking Tom's affections. Bob Euel caught his daughter in the act and beat her, pinning the blame on the black boy. Despite circumstantial evidence of innocence, the jury did not acquit Tom. Until now, Maycomb has yet to acquit a black man if he confronted a white man. Traditionally, the white man is always right, so Tom was sentenced to death and sent to a prison farm. Normally such verdicts are handed down in minutes, but this time the jury deliberated for hours and struggled to come to an agreement. Atticus considered it his small victory and was sure he could save Tom from the electric chair. Unfortunately, Tom died trying to escape from prison.
Euel, whom Atticus had made a fool of himself at the trial, threatened everyone in the session. He molested Tom's widow and broke into the judge's house. The children were afraid for their father, but he didn't take it seriously.
For All Saints' Day, the school had a party and a costume show. Eyeball represented a ham in it. On the way home, the children were attacked by Bob Euel. Only the wire-frame costume saved the girl from death. That's when Jim broke his arm. The kids wouldn't have made it home if a stranger hadn't helped them. He killed Euel and carried home Jim, who was unconscious from the pain. That man turned out to be Scarecrow Radley, a shy, timid, and sickly man. The sheriff ruled Ewell's death a suicide. He could not expose Radley, for that would be the same as killing a mockingbird, a defenseless songbird.