Why you should read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

Credit goes to: knighthead

Synopsis: In Alabama during the 1930’s, the routine of eight-year-old Scout and her brother Jem consists of going to school and making up stories about their favourite local bogeyman Boo Radley.But when their lawyer father takes on the case of a Black man accused of raping a White woman,both children soon realise that there are evils far greater than Boo Radley that lurk in Alabama.

What you will like in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ :

1.Atticus Finch
Prior to Victoria Beckham naming her daughter ‘Harper’,‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was best known as the only book to have ranked ahead of the Bible in the British librarians’ must-read list.The book is also regularly featured in the top ten of any list trying to determine the best novels of all time.In fact Harper Lee owes much of her books’s success to the unforgettable Atticus Finch.He is a character full of virtues and in virtually every scene he is,he teaches us something.Meet Atticus once and your life won’t be the same any more! (At least mine changed!)

2.The kids!
Amidst the racial turmoil that took Alabama by storm,Scout,Dill and Jem are always here to relieve the tension.Who can ever forget their countless attempts to lure Boo Radley away from his house?Besides their innocence is omnipresent in the book: the questions they ask and their delusion upon finding that truth doesn’t always prevail have touched the hearts of millions of readers.

3.The narration
It was a master-stroke from Lee to hand the narration of her story to Scout.Through the latter’s eyes,we experience once again the innocence and fantasy of childhood.More importantly,Scout commits the same mistakes as us when we were kids,and when she is consequently lectured by Atticus,we are reminded of some life lessons which we might have forgotten while growing up.Also being only an innocent child,Scout is able to distinguish the wrong from the good and thus,questions the indifference of adults to injustice-as people grow up,they forget that ”it is a sin to kill a mockingbird”.In this respect,Scout’s narration gives the book the perfect equilibrium between humour and poignancy.

4.The humour
Let alone the children whose adventures are incredibly funny,the adults in the book too contribute much to the humour of the book.Maycomb being a small town,rumours spread quickly from one habitant to another.As a result,everyone has a usually-funny anecdote about everyone.For instance,rumours have it that Miss Rachel has whiskey as breakfast everyday.(Why?Go figure yourself!I won’t spoil the surprise!).All in all,the humour in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is light-hearted and makes our reading of the book a very pleasant experience.

5.The moral
The moral is not what you might have expected when reading the plot.As the story progresses,Harper Lee gives us the impression that the moral we initially thought about will emerge;however shortly after the anticlimax,this very moral fades away and gives place to the real one.It is only then that we realise that the true lesson of the story has been relevant to every character’s life since the beginning.It is said that reading fiction makes one empathetic.Whenever I hear ,To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the first books which spring to mind!

Verdict: This novel is beautifully written.Scout is perhaps the friendliest character you will come across in literature and is thus the appropriate one to narrate this story which touches upon such a sensitive and serious subject.Her innocence pervades in every scene of the book and for a little more than 300 pages (that depends on which edition you have),you are taken back to your childhood and rediscover its magic.After reading this book,you will feel very good about yourself,as you will have gone on an unforgettable journey with unforgettable characters.A flawless,heartening and must-read novel!

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10 thoughts on “Why you should read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’”

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird s is one of my favorite novels of all time. Anna Karenina, however, was a novel that disappointed me in sooo many ways. I read it over 20 years ago. I’ve considered re-reading it, to see if my perspective changes (and thus my disappoint with the book), but I am reluctant to invest another several days in the effort. Tell me why Anna Karenina was so great again?

    1. You read Anna Karenina over 20 years ago? Funny,today it’s my birthday and I’m turning 20!! 🙂

      Old Russian novels have always been terribly classic.I mean,in the 1800s,the very fact that Dostoevsky and Tolstoy could write such books was a little feat in itself.You should not expect to see in those novels techniques used in contemporary books such as To Kill a Mockingbird,Lord of the Flies or virtually all Booker Prize Winners.

      However,if you wish to appreciate Anna Karenina,be on the lookout for Tolstoy’s ‘grandeur’.Note by which means the effect of jealousy is achieved,note the quotes he uses (e.g Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way),and most importantly,note how he evokes pathos. (in the Golden Age of Russian literature,pathos was incredibly important)

      I advise you to read more classics before re-reading Anna Karenina.When you read them,try to look for the techniques used and effects achieved,while considering the time in which the author lived.Of course,the message/moral of the books is equally important.Afterwards,try reading Russian books from Dostoevsky,Turgenev or Pasternak( Dr Zhivago).I think by then you’ll be ready. 🙂

      Considering your age,I guess that you’ve pretty much read all classics,but that was only a piece of advice. 😉

      1. As an English Lit major, I think I’ve read plenty of classics, lol! However, I find it difficult to read some authors – Dickens, Tolkien, and most Russian authors included, but I love Nathaniel Hawthorne. I may give Anna another try – as I said, my perspective is likely (guaranteed) to be different now! Thanks for the idea!

  2. I have tried to read it couple of times but could not go beyond 50ish pages! After reading your post, I feel like giving it one more try.

  3. I love To Kill A Mockingbird 🙂
    Have you read “Go Set a Watchman”? I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail, but been seeing a lot of criticism about it :/

    1. Same,same.
      In Mauritius we don’t have many bookshops,and even they tend to only bring commercial books (John Greene,John Grisham).The few classics they bring tend not to be in any fancy edition,so I’m like you in that respect – when you’re in Bangkok.I’ve noticed they are selling Go Set a Watchman,but the price is a bit steep.

      To be honest,To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my absolute favourites,so I’d have bought Go Set a Watchman for any price,but…with the criticism I got,I guess I should wait and buy it for a cheaper price in UK.

      1. I’m envious of those that are in English-speaking countries with lots of English bookstores and all 🙂 But then it might be better for my wallet and my time this way haha—I don’t think I’d be able to focus on anything else other than bookstore trips if I were living in the UK! 🙂

        I pre-ordered Go Set a Watchman from Book Depository, but…it always takes around 3 weeks to get to Thailand too. :/ Pre-ordering was pretty pointless, haha. The bookstore I go to often stocks them on the premiere day so… I was annoyed haha but not so much anymore after seeing all the criticism… Fingers crossed I’ll still find it enjoyable 🙂

        I love To Kill a Mockingbird 🙂 It’s a masterpiece.

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