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  • Awesome Music: Terrific masterpiece composed by Elmer Bernstein.
  • attempted child murdererMayella definitely implies that that he sexually abuses her. She's never kissed a grown man before, because what Papa does to her don't count?
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: According to an apocryphal tale, Harper Lee was once giving a speech on the book at a high school where the students asked a lot of questions about its symbolism. Lee replied that there was none, and that she was merely a starving writer trying to make a buck. Nevertheless the questions continued and she got more and more irritated until finally, someone asked why so many characters were named after Confederate generals. She responded, "they were white trash. At the time, all white trash who lived in the South were named after Confederate generals." No more questions were asked; the audience was too busy thinking about whether their classmates were named after Confederate generals.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Boo Radley.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mayella is not a likable person at all, but it's extremely difficult not to feel bad for her and understand why she's a less-than-pleasant person, and hope she can grow up and somehow turn her sad life around once her father gets what he deserves. And of course, there's Mrs. Dubose, who though racist is struggling from a morphine addiction and days are numbered.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: A Young Adult Coming of Age Story about a Tomboy growing up in a Quirky Town in the Deep South during the Civil Rights Movement, and her heroic Hot Dad who braves communal scorn to help the oppressed black man. Sounds like a Cliché Storm from The Nineties, but was groundbreaking when first published in 1960.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Treating people unfairly because they have a different skin color from you is wrong. A similar moral in empathy is dropped with Boo Radley, who is shunned for being different.
    • Also Consider The Source. I mean, anyone thinking rationally would take a second look at the accusation of Tom Robinson.
    • It's hypocritical to defend one group from persecution and then persecute another, as shown when Scout is utterly confused when her teacher talks about how horrible Hitler is for his mistreatment of the Jews, but had cheered on Tom Robinson's death sentence and then insulted the African American community at large.
    • Scout's Aunt's church group sneering at the African-Americans while bemoaning how the native Africans live in "sin and squalor" and need to be evangelized.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Lee avoided this trope by never writing another book.
    • She was often accused of not writing this one (especially since her "childhood friend" was a bestselling author in his own right).
  • Values Dissonance: Examined. The teacher Miss Caroline is quite displeased that Scout learned reading at a young age because it goes against the school system.
  • The Woobie: Tom Robinson. He's a nice quiet family man who minded his own business, and occasionally helped Mayella.
    • Also, Tom's wife. She does her best to make ends meet for her children after her husband is framed and killed, only to be endlessly harassed by Bob Ewell and considered to be living in "sin and squalor" by the local white women.
    • As noted above, Mayella could be considered a Jerkass Woobie. Yes, she caused the court case, but she tried to seduce Tom because he was the only person who ever showed her any sort of affection or kindness and it's implied that she only goes along with the rape story because she's terrified of her father and because she just wants some kind of acceptance in the community.
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