Author: Harper Lee
Series: None (but soon to be!)
Publish Date: July 11, 1960
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
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.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
I don’t know about you, but I read To Kill a Mockingbird in 8th grade for the first time. We spent the whole year reading it. At the time, I thought that this was an unnecessary amount of time to spend on it, but having recently re-read it, I can see why we spent so long analyzing it.
Scout and her brother, Jem, are the two main characters. The setting is Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. The children’s father, Atticus, is a well-respected, popular lawyer. The book’s plot centers around the trial of Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. The Ewell family consists of the local drunks, all of which have a poor reputation. Atticus does his best to defend his client, Tom, but justice does not prevail due to Tom’s ethnicity. Tom is convicted and attempts to escape prison, resulting in his untimely death. Throughout the novel, Jem and Scout witness first hand the discrimination and prejudice of their town.
To be honest, I didn’t really like this book in the beginning. I thought the plot was predictable and was annoyed when my fellow classmates were so surprised about the ending. I might have liked this book more if I hadn’t read ahead of where my teacher was in class (I have that nasty habit). I did, however, like the characters. I think Atticus is the strongest literary character I have ever read. He goes against all of the stereotypes set in his society. Even though he is a white lawyer, he defends a black man and feels obligated to do so. He knows that he won’t get very far with defending Tom, but he tries his best. That attitude proves that he is an amazing character.
Lee’s writing style is really unique. She wrote To Kill a Mockingbird from Scout’s point of view. We see a child’s perspective on how racism can affect a society. Scout and Jem do not know why everyone does not like Tom. They don’t care if he has different color skin than they do. Scout and Jem both get taunted at school because of Tom and is affects them greatly. However Atticus ,being the great father that he is, says in a nutshell don’t listen to them, they’re fools for saying that.
I guess the major theme of this book is prejudice and I can even say lost of innocence. Scout is only 8 and Jem is 12 at the time of this novel. They experienced what no child should have. I do have to say, during the climax of the book I was so nervous for the kids and was revealed when Boo Radly came to the resuce. Radly is probably my favorite no-Atticus character in the book. He is able to break Jem and Scout’s image of him, and proves himself worthy of their trust.
I think To Kill a Mockingbird is One of those books that you can pick of something different each time you read. It also a good timeless book. No matter what you are when read this, the main theme still applies.
I am supper excited to here about the sequel that is going to be published soon. (either at the end of the year or sometime next). Even though there is much controversy surrounding this novel, I’m still going to read it. What are your thoughts about this book, I would love to hear it!