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What is an Analysis Essay?

First and foremost, an analysis essay is an in-depth look into some topics. Such an essay can only be written by analyzing something else, and usually, that is a piece of literature – fiction or non-fiction. Often, these analyses will focus on one part of the literary work – a theme – and discuss how that theme is developed by the author. Generally, the main point will be made in a thesis statement. And all of an analysis essay focuses solely on the text, no outside research or resources. Quotes and citations come from the text itself.

Synopsis of To Kill a Mockingbird

In the town of Maycomb, Alabama, live Jean Louise Finch (Scout), her brother Jeremy (Jem), and their widowed father, Atticus Finch. Atticus is a lawyer, and life is pretty comfortable. Across the street is the Radley residence where Arthur Radley (Boo) lives. He is a recluse and has never been seen by anyone in the town. Along with Dill, a boy who is visiting his aunt for the summer. 

The three kids are a bit terrified by Boo and make up imaginary tales about what he is like. At the same time, they are receiving small gifts, hidden in a tree outside Boo’s home. 

Atticus has been appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Atticus makes the decision to defend Tom as well as possible, gaining him taunts of “nigger-lover.” 

During the trial, Atticus exposes both Mayella and her father Bob as liars, and it is pretty much shown that Bob himself beat his daughter because she had flirted with Tom. Despite the truth having come out, Tom is convicted. This is, after all, Alabama in the 1930s. Atticus believes he can get the conviction overturned, but Tom is shot and killed as he attempts an escape.

Bob Ewell is furious that he was exposed and humiliated in front of the town and vows to get his revenge on Atticus. One night, he goes after Scout and Jem as they walk home from a school event. Ewell is ultimately stabbed with his own knife, and it is pretty clear that Boo had come to the rescue. He carries the injured Jem home, and then Scout walks him home. The sheriff decides to state that Ewell fell on his own knife. Scout never sees Boo again.

Sample To Kill a Mockingbird Analysis Essay

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And if you conduct a YouTube search, you will find many other videos from this same author on other themes and analyses of those themes. 

Your essay must follow the standard format – an introduction in which you introduce your topic and your thesis statement, body paragraphs with evidence from the novel, and a conclusion that may be a personal reflection on this theme.

Possible To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Topics

This novel is oozing with themes, any of which will make a great To Kill a Mockingbird theme essay of analysis. Those themes include:

  • Prejudice and racism
  • Family relationships
  • The unequal justice system
  • Human morality
  • Courage
  • Good vs. evil

Best To Kill a Mockingbird essay topics:

  1. Which characters seem to be proud of their ignorance? How does that ignorance support racism?
  2. How does Atticus Finch demonstrate courage in his defense of Tom Robinson?
  3. Is Mayella truly evil or is she acting out of fear?
  4. Write a To Kill a Mockingbird racism essay comparing prejudice of that time with racism and prejudice today. Have things changed or simply become less overt?
  5. What is the relationship between Scout and her father?
  6. Why did the jury vote to convict even though it was obvious that Robinson was innocent? Is unequal justice based only on race or other factors too?
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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Examples

You can find these all over the web, and you may gain some good insights and points to cover in your own essay. One note of caution, however:

plagiarism software has become quite sophisticated and some of it is now flagging more than just verbatim words.

If you think you can just rewrite sentences in an essay produced by someone else, think again. Take ideas, yes, but write your own original piece.

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