To Kill a Mockingbird is written in the first person by the narrator of Jean-Louise Finch, known as scout in the book, who starts of as a six year old girl at the beggining of the novel and ends it at the age of eight.
There are many ways that the 1st person narrative benefits the book. As the novel is written in the 1st person, it uses pronouns such as i, me, mine, we, ours and us which makes the novel more personal and lets you know that she is always part of the events that occur or she is being told the events that have occured.For example, Scout doesnt know the truth about Boo Radley but she hears a lot of gossip from Miss Maudie and Stephanie Crawford that gives her and the reader a bad view on Boo Radley which turns out to be totally un-true.
The fact that To Kill a Mockingbird is written in the first person and by a child means that childish remarks, distortions and exagerrations will occur but Harper Lee, The Author, allows this to happen as we can often she past her childish remarks and see through to the serious point behind the exaggeration. We can also share Scout’s feelings and pain because it’s in the first person.For example, When Aunt Alexandra talks about how she doesnt think what Scout wears and does isnt lady like, we can feel Scouts anger that she portrays but we also manage to understand Aunt Alexandra’s point of view behind Scouts frustration. To Kill a Mockingbird is written from Scout’s point of view but there are two Scouts in the novel as there is the Scout doing the actions, aged around 6-8, and the Scout telling the story, Aged around 30. So it is actually the future Scout looking back on her childhood and the (at the time) unknown, Horrific events that occured.This is why there is occasionally a sentance such as “it wasnt until later that i knew what he meant”.
You can tell that Scout is not a child at other points in the book as she uses phrases that an eight year old would never use such as “everybody’s appetite was delicate this morning” and “radiated waves of dissaproval”. Through-out the book we, the reader, witness’ not just the physical growth of scout but the emotional and mental growth that leads to her understanding of the world around her.While Scout was a chlid she was very naive and didn’t understand what was going on around her most of the time.
This is very obvious in the scene where Atticus is sitting outside Tom Robinsons cell the day before his trial and Walter Cunningham and his friends come to try and kill Tom Robinson. Scout turns up and talks to Walter about his son. Walter Cunningham is a friend of Atticus’ so Scout didnt see why she shouldn’t be talking to Walter in a friendly way when she has in the past.In the end, Scouts naivety saves not only Atticus, Jem and Dill from being harmed but Tom Robinson for the time being. In Conclusion i think that To Kill a Mocking bird gains a lot from it being written in the 1st person as it makes the whole story more personal and doesnt make it easy to understand which makes it more intresting. I also think the way Harper Lee writes it from Scouts point of view but from her Future point of view talling of her Childhood as it shows Scouts growth more effectively.