To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in eighth grade English. It was my favorite book we read that year, and I just remember how good it was. It was a book that made me think, that made me feel all the things. It's the book that made me want to start reading more mature, modern classic novels. And reading it for a second time made, I got so much more out of it than the first time around.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a compelling piece of literature written during such a horrible yet fascinating time period in American history. To me, racism is so mind boggling. I've never understood it, and I never will. And to think that it is still an issue today just horrifies me. This book is such a powerful lesson about acceptance and just basic right and wrong/good and bad. To think that the color of one's skin had such an influence... that they weren't considered as people, just... RAGE RAGE RAGE. To Kill a Mockingbird teaches a powerful lesson about people and just society as a whole, about how it's not just skin deep. 

Scout Finch is the embodiment of childhood innocence. To her good is good and bad is bad. It's clear cut, and everyone should be able to see that. The idea of setting a story like this from the perspective of an eight-year-old was just perfect, because it really conveys what the story is trying to get across. Children aren't born racists. We're products of our environment. Scout grew up with Atticus for a father and Calpurnia, the help, as a sort of mother figure. The thing I did notice about Scout was that she was rather inteligent for an eight-year-old. But then she would be immature and a child at times as well, so it was a great balance.

Atticus Finch. I love him. He is one of my favorite literary character's of all time. He's just so good. And smart. He does the right thing, even when it's the hard thing, something most people do not have the courage to do. He didn't see people as black or white, he saw them as human beings. Atticus is an example to every person and parent out there. The things he says, just the way he is, is amazing. And you can tell that he'd be one of those people who doesn't know just how great they are. Seriously, if I ever get a dog I'm naming him Atticus... haha!

The Tom Robinson case just... gah! I don't want to say anything, I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't read the book... I don't want to say much more plot wise in general, but I really feel that this is a book you need to immerse yourself in and fully experience.

This story is just such a memorable book. As I was reading it over, more often than not I'd read passages and be like "I remember this!" And I don't mean the general plot stuff, I mean the word for word quotes. It has a special place in my heart and I know it's a forever favorite. The characters are all so meaningful, the story is chalk full of metaphors and symbolism that really make you think, and the writing is gorgeous. Alabama dialect and all.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a must read. Not a typical must read. THE must read. 

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
- Atticus Finch” 



russeldewey said...

Loved reading your review! It makes me want to read it even more (I am one of those people who hasn't read it yet).

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