To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In the following excerpt, May looks at the history of censorship attempts on To Kill a Mockingbird, which came in two onslaughts—the first from conservatives, the second from liberals.

The critical career of To Kill a Mockingbird is a late-twentieth-century case study of censorship. When Harper Lee's novel about a small southern town and its prejudices was published in 1960, the book received favorable reviews in professional journals and the popular press. Typical of that opinion, Booklist's reviewer called the book "melodramatic" and noted "traces of sermonizing," but the book was recommended for library purchase, commending its "rare blend of wit and compassion." Reviewers did not suggest that the book was young adult literature, or that it belonged in adolescent collections; perhaps that is why no one mentioned the book's language or violence. In any event, reviewers seemed inclined to agree that To Kill a Mockingbird was...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 3,314 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To Kill a Mockingbird Study Guide
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To Kill a Mockingbird from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.