It was adapted to film in 1962 as a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck.
Plot and Major Characters To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the small, rural town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early 1930s.
Atticus, however, proves Tom's innocence by demonstrating that while Mayella's face was beaten and bruised on her right side, Tom's left arm had been rendered completely useless by an earlier injury.
Therefore, Atticus concludes, Tom could not possibly be the left-handed assailant who struck Mayella on the right side of her face.
In the three years surrounding the trial, Scout and her older brother, Jem, witness the unjust consequences of prejudice and hate while at the same time witnessing the values of courage and integrity through their father's example.
Lee's first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was published during the Civil Rights movement, and was hailed as an exposé of Southern racist society.
Atticus further suggests that it was Bob, Mayella's father, who beat her, and that, in fact, no rape occurred.
Before the jury departs to deliberate, Atticus appeals to their sense of justice, imploring them not to allow racial prejudice to interfere with their deliberations.
Atticus consistently strives to instill moral values in his children, and hopes to counteract the influence of racial prejudice.
The children view their father as frustratingly staid and bookish, until he is asked by the sheriff to shoot a rabid dog that is roaming the street.