The Relevance of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Today


(Image via Pop Sugar)

Aubrie Sandoval, Writer

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was written by Harper Lee in the 1960s about racism in a small Alabama town in the 1930s. It highlights the disparity of how society treats different races and the negativity that surrounded defending a black person in and out of court. The story is not limited to just one controversial topic, but several. Bringing poverty, ignorance, intolerance into the light and making it a topic of discussion. The story is narrated by Jean Louise ‘Scout” Finch. Some have said that Lee making Scout the narrator is because childhood innocence and perspectives, adds to the weight of the story and hazy child confusion when it comes to the treatment of black and brown bodies. It brings a heaviness that would have been missed if an adult was used.


‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is still relevant because social structures are still the same. We are still not welcoming to the idea that black and brown bodies are human beings. We are extra sensitive to bitter, prejudiced people. White people, we don’t have to think about it because it’s not happening to us, but it is happening to someone and we should take action against that treatment. As human beings, we are against the idea of changing ideals and fighting against something we don’t believe in. I am guilty of the same, we are creatures of habit. We do as we see, hear, feel, and experience. However, we, the people, should attempt to steer very clear of those habits because the changes we make to ourselves can save others. 


To go another step forward in making you uncomfortable, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird” is still relevant today because it forces you to discuss hard-to-talk-about topics and makes you think about things you normally wouldn’t have to. To add to my point, the book is supposed to push some kind of thought, some kind of movement of mind, something, anything at all. TKAM is supposed to provoke an epiphany, although, that isn’t the react the book gets from everyone. Some people think it’s an unnecessary read, that their time is being wasted and that it is nothing but words on paper. 


Personally, I think that the book is very important, but I think it’s more than just important if the whole world had no issues, no injustice and was completely at peace with itself. Then it would simply be a what-if, a story that reminds us of why we wouldn’t go back. TKAM is a story that I believe shoves issues right in front of us in a way that makes it unavoidable. 


The story forces conversation, but we need to start forcing conversation all by ourselves. People need to pay less attention to what he said-she said and pay more attention to getting the truth. When someone tells you that something is bad, research, make your own opinion, grow your own thoughts. We quite literally are the future, I’d like the children I might bring into the world to grow up knowing it’s equal and fair and that they owe no one anything. 


‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is still relevant today because society’s structure has not changed, the world is still broken, and at the moment, there aren’t many willing to fix it. TKAM is still relevant because, despite no one saying it, those in a position of privilege are going to inevitably have a position of power. It won’t change unless we want it to.