Name: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Drama, Coming-of-age Story, Classic, Southern Gothic
Setting: Maycomb, Alabama; the 1930s
Opening Lines: “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
I finally read one of the most iconic novels of all time as known as To Kill a Mockingbird. This novel shows the point of view a white Southern girl living in the 1930s, Scout Finch. Scout lives with her sibling, Jem, and their solitary father, Atticus, in the languid Southern town of Maycomb. In To Kill a Mockingbird, we see three important years of Scout’s life; we see childhood innocence transform to corrupted adulthood.
Lee explores significant themes such as the coexistence of good and evil, significance of moral education, existence of social inequality, and how appearances can be deceiving. Lee shows these themes in just one court case: a young white woman, Mayella Ewell, accuses a young black man, Tom Robinson, of rape. This is where the novel gets intense. Atticus is called on to defend the defendant, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout, Jem, and their friend Dill find themselves caught up in events outside their ability to grasp.
The way Harper Lee wrote the trial was just outstanding. Lee did not leave out any details of what happened that day between Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson. *SPOILER* Atticus gives clear confirmation that the informers, Mayella and Bob Ewell are lying: truth be told, Mayella propositioned Tom Robinson, was caught by her dad, and afterward blamed Tom for assault to cover her disgrace and blame. Lee shows this by making Atticus state that the person who abused Mayella was a person that was left-handed since she had bruises on her right side of her face. The funny thing is that Tom Robinson was a crippled man; he couldn’t use his left arm at all because he got his arm caught in a cotton gin. The only person that is responsible for Mayella’s bruises is actually Bob Ewell because he is left-handed, has an abusive personality, and is also an alcoholic. Even though all the evidence verifies that Tom Robinson is actually innocent and Bob Ewell is guilty, the all-white jury convicts Tom. This is why To Kill a Mockingbird is so famous. This novel shows how justice is mainly on white people’s side. It shows how the laws only protect white people. It was relevant when Harper Lee released this and it’s sad that we still see this happening fifty-five years later.
I must say that To Kill a Mockingbird was a brutal novel from beginning to end. Beyond everything that happens in it, the novel proposes a principle that unfolds all course of the novel. The first principle is what gives its name to the novel. The fact that killing a mockingbird becomes an act that embodies the absolute vileness, an act that diminishes the dignity of the person who does it, is because the mockingbird is a bird that sings to give satisfaction to the man, nothing more and nothing less. We see a couple of mockingbirds in this novel, innocent characters that have been harmed or ruined by corruption such as Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, Jem, Dill, and Mr. Raymond. Killing a mockingbird brings a manifestation of absolute cruelty.
The only thing that I didn’t like about this novel is that it’s little bit boring for me since the story takes place in a small town and there is not a lot of action going on. Having the story told from Scout’s perspective made the novel more genuine and energetic and I think, in spite of the fact that I have a true weakness for Atticus, had it been told from his point of view, I would not have delighted in the book as much. For me, what made the story into the bona fide work it is was the way that it is told from the point of view of innocence. With Scout telling the story and thinking about her sibling Jem’s perspective of things a considerable measure of the time, we have and get the opportunity to witness the trustworthiness and immaculateness and funniness which just originates from children.
Another thing that makes this novel memorable is the characters. We have met or known a person that is just like Scout, Jem, Atticus, Calpurnia, Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, Miss Maudie, Mrs. Dubose, and definitely a Miss Stephanie. These characters are just so relatable that it makes readers love the novel. The plot line is just amazing, as previously stated, I think the guiltlessness of Scout’s perspective is the thing that made this novel prominent. To Kill a Mockingbird is a wise, innocent, relevant, and exceptional novel that will still be read in future generations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird in the summer of 1959. The novel was a quick blockbuster and won overwhelming basic recognition, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. It remains a smash hit with more than 30 million duplicates in print. In 2015, Harper Lee released Go Set a Watchman, the sequel of Lee’s prodigious novel.