Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.
Oh my gosh, is my short response to this book. I kinda wanna smack myself for not reading this years ago. On the other hand, I'm glad I read it now with my literature class because I better understood it at this age and was able to ask my teacher questions. 

I don't think I've read a story told from the POV of an eight year old since I myself was that age. And yet, I was so REFRESHED by Scout's perspective on things. The issues in the novel were so simple to her- she and her brother (and children in general) are able to cut through all the prejudice and rumors her community has drowned itself in and see things clearly. The candidness in which she describes things and her matter-of-fact way of life was so beautiful and so FUNNY. I'm beginning to understand why adults laugh at many things kids say. 

There were multiple wonderful themes in this book. My favorite was how growing up is slowly sewing your mind shut (you can see this especially when Jem and Scout are talking about different types of people and Jem says something along the lines of 'I used to think like you, when I was your age..'). Another was the theme of family- Atticus' strict but loving education, the childrens' respect of Aunt Alexandra although being opposed to her views. Not to mention Jem and Scout's relationship. Another, obviously, is criticism of society who is blinded by racism. About that, I liked how the author showed us (through Atticus pointing it out a few times) how even the prejudiced were very good people sometimes. There was even a little bit of a feminist statement. Scout remarks on how the women of Maycomb are hypocrites and gossipers, but when it really came down to it, they're each hiding the secrets. In the end, you see how their little parties are really them putting on a brave face for each other. 

Also, I developed a little crush on Jem(:
All in all, I was totally blown away by this book. I loved every minute of it and plan to revisit the novel every once in awhile. Rating:

In other news, Kayla has won my giveaway for the signed copy of Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mylnowski! Congratulations, Kayla! I have sent her an email and she has 48 hours to get back to me, at which time I'll choose another winner. Thank you all for participating!!

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