The presenter speculates on the ultimate meaning of the novel. He presents an opinion that the book is not about racism and discrimination, but about the power of tolerance and generosity. The book continues to have relevant messages to impart about society and humanity.
- This clip is from:
- To Kill a Mockingbird at 50
- First broadcast:
- 6 July 2010
Can be used to explore or revise the central themes of the book. Students can summarise Smith’s argument into an essay question (eg 'Smith says the book is primarily about tolerance', or 'the novel is timeless, discuss') and then work in groups to argue for or against his position. They can also explore his other contention that the tolerance is arguably in shorter supply today than it was when it was written. These exercises can help with essay writing and structuring arguments as well as assessing the relationship between historical context and universal theme.