To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper lee
To Kill a Mockingbird
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 Mockingbirdtakes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos.
To Kill A Mockingbird was my book club book for this month. I had never read it before and I see now why it is such a classic. It was a great read. It is simple and easy to follow, but written in such a way that it entertained me from the first word until the last. Just a really great story.
I was surprised that the story was not as much about black vs white as I had thought going into it. Before reading it I had heard of it of course, but didn't really know the story. I knew there was some talk about race, but I thought that would be most of the story and I didn't think it was. I felt like it was more about people in general and how we treat each other based on various different things, one of them being the color of your skin. Really there is all of the hierarchy of people that everyone is in within their groups. Like Scout couldn't befriend Walter Cunningham because her aunt wouldn't let her. Why? Because he is a Cunningham and Cunningham's are beneath them. They are trash. It was really interesting how it was more about how we treat people in general. Yes, there is the black guy Tom and his trial and that whole racial tension part to it, but it is more than just that. I loved the story.
It was interesting as the one lady in book club felt like nothing really happened in the book, nothing really changed. I found that not to be true. This book was written at that time when the people are on the cusp of change. It shows how change happens slowly, it doesn't happen overnight. You keep fighting and you can change things. The jurors took hours to come back with a guilty conviction instead of minutes like it would have been. Sure it is not perfect yet, but it is setting up for the next time when maybe it won't be that they will convict just based on the color of the skin even if the person is obviously not guilty. Feelings are slowly changing and people are starting to think more about the way they are looking at things. Change doesn't happen overnight, but this showed how you can slowly start to influence people and their ways of doing things.
Atticus was of course the perfect moral compass. He was always level headed and kind to everyone. He didn't hold grudges and just wanted everyone to be treated equally. He didn't think less of the Cunninghams because they didn't have money, or the black people, or anyone really. He was just a great influence on everyone. He is just that all around good person in the story that if you needed to know if something was right or wrong you could look to him and what he thought. Not that he was really perfect, he did have some slight flaws that I don't even know were supposed to be there. Like his views on women are not 100% equal which I found interesting. Still for the most part he is the person to look to for right and wrong.
I am glad it was written in the point of view of a child. It was nice to see how she grew and was influenced by everyone around her. It was nice watching her try and figure out what is right and wrong, how to fit in someone else's skin and see it from their point of view. Really a great read and no wonder it is such a classic. Even though it was written some time ago it still feels relevant today. It is not one of those books where you just can't identify with what is happening and the people of the time because everything is so different. It still works today. Really loved this book and I am glad it was chosen for our book club read this month.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2