Quote: “If you learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (To Kill A Mockingbird, page 39)
Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
Title: To Kill A Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
I first read To Kill A Mockingbird in high school. Like most kids during that age, I didn’t absorb the full impact and importance of this literature and why it was chosen for the curriculum. Everyone was more caught up in the fact that the n-word was used throughout the book. Now older and wiser (at least I like to think so), I understand why the book was written the way it was and can appreciate it.
Now reading this book post graduate school and in my late 20’s I can say I loved it! I found myself with unexpected tears in my eyes on a couple of occasions. I loved that the story was told from the point of view of Scout. Her being the youngest, there was an innocence and curiosity in her that makes the reader really delve into that time period.
The story took place during the 1930’s in Maycomb, Alabama. Now, as many know race relations are still a problem in our society and were an even bigger problem back then. I love that Atticus and the people that he surrounded his children with were against discrimination. Although she was not taught to, Scout often followed and believed the prejudices that she heard. It was not until her maturing that she began to see things differently.
Scout matured in the book from beginning to end. As the story went on you see people correcting her less as well as her understanding the way of the world she lived in. Through her, you can really see how children learn their prejudices. Without an adult to correct them differently, they will eventually grow up to be prejudiced adults.
I think the hardest thing for me to read in this story was the trial of Tom Robinson. The unfairness was enough to set my teeth on end. Jem’s reaction to the trial was the most heartbreaking. I think for a child to see that the people they grew up with in a new and negative light is likely to take its toll on them. After the trial, Jem was unable to talk about it and found himself angry. It is unfortunate that his coming of age came at such a tumultuous time. He and Scout were forced to grow up quickly to keep up with their prejudiced society. As the story explains, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, and in their eyes it is a sin to try and kill the spirit of those who are different then the majority.
For those who have not read the work, I would highly suggest that you do. For those who have, which I am sure there are many, what did you think of this book? Is it one of your favorites?