â€˜To Kill a Mockingbirdâ€™ is a famed novel written by Harper Lee. It is no lightweight paperback that we pick up for fun, it is a serious novel with thematic concerns ranging from racial discrimination to prejudice to courage. With a plot that weaves around these weighty issues, this novel could have either confused or bored its reader to bits. However, it does not, and it is probably due to the skills and techniques by which Lee used to tell her story.
The narrative technique employed by Lee in this novel is the first person narrator stance with Jean Louise Finchâ€™s (the protagonistâ€™s) point of view. By definition, the first-person narrator technique refers to the method that is applied by having a major character relating his or her story. In this case, Jean Louise Finch, hereafter known as Scout, narrates of her experience during a particularly tumultuous time in her hometown, Maycomb. Point of view refers to the voice used by the author to tell the story and in this novel, Lee uses Scoutâ€™s voice.
This is actually a very unique because Scout was just a child for most parts of the novel. To have such a weighty story told through the voice of a child presents a whole new perspective to us jaded (maybe) readers and in many ways, it actually me understand the story better as the following essay will explain. It is also worth mentioning that the voice of Scout the adult sometimes take a turn at the narration. This provides the opportunity for the author to insert important information that is obviously beyond the comprehension of Scout the child to fathom, into the story.
One of the best things about having a childâ€™s voice narrating the story is that the reader is assured of the use of simple language. By simple, I mean that Scout rarely dwells on long, bombastic words that so many novels out there employ to sound serious and important. In contrast, Scout tells the story in a way that a child might; with very descriptive and commonly used words to explain something that she might not comprehend herself.