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To Kill a Mockingbird
'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.'
Scout's father Atticus is a lawyer, defending a black man charged with a terrible crime. The trial will shake the town of Macomb and the lives of Scout and her family.
It is a book with a great flow. It has very good control by jumping back and forth through time and it really reveals how the composer felt throughout the text.
OMG i love this book, it is one of the best books ever. it has a deep insight of the working class life of jem and scout finch with their farther working as a lawer and lawering for a african american man. it is about the unfairness of the white race in 1930s i would reccomend it for 14+ as it has some dificult words.
I really enjoyed reading this book:
- it was one of those important novels that you have to read before you die and one thing I particularly found amazing and utterly inspiring is how Harper Lee - who grew up in the times this book was set in - was able to challenge the racist beliefs and ideas that the majority of the people in that day and age believed to be true and right.
- The book does linger - it makes you think.
- I really like the concepts of mockingbirds symbolising innocence and that within every person good and bad does exist and that one is not necessarily good or evil. Those sort of philosophies were pretty eye-opening and very smart of Harper Lee to come up with.
- I loved Atticus - he was possibly the best father anyone could ever have and he was wise, compassionate, understanding and completely respectful to everyone.
The only issues I had with this book were:
- It took far too long to finish. Normally I'd be able to read a book of the same thickness in a matter of hours but this book was a bit slow paced... I don't really know how to explain it. It took me days to finish it and there were occasional points where I just couldn't stay focused on what I was reading.
- The way Scout talks or thinks is nothing at all close to what ANY 6 year old thinks AT ALL - that realllyyyyy bugged me firstly because of the continuous use of complicated vocabulary, secondly because of the way Scout was so aware of everything happenning around her and constantly thinking through what was happenning and forming her own ideas and opinion on things (all 6 year olds want to do is play and they're not aware of things occuring around them THAT much), and thirdly because of how much she read: she'd read quote "anything i could get my hands on" I doubt that six year olds would be THAT enthusiastic about reading anything other than picture books - unless they're genuises or prodigies.
Overall, it was very enjoyable and thought-provoking but there were just a few things that stopped me from giving it a full five stars.
American author Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on the 28th of April 1926. Growing up Harper was an adventurous and largely opinionated tomboy. She was the youngest of four children to local newspaper writer and lawyer and stay at home mother.
One of Harpers closest childhood friends was another writer-to-be Truman Pearson. Truman was often picked on for being nerdy and a little quirky. The 2 had a strong bond and were both experiencing tough times at home with Mrs Lee suffering from bipolar disorder. Harper would always stick up for him and he later returned the favour helping her get signed with a publisher of whom she published her first and final book with. Harper Lee is currently 88 and lives alone in New York and loves her several cats. To Kill A Mockingbird is a novel close to her heart as many of the characters and background settings are based on her early life.
To Kill A Mockingbird is from a 6 year old girl Scouts point on the view on the strong segregation between the black and white during the great depression era (1930s). The conflict arises when Scout and Jem’s father Atticus Finch defends a black man (Tom Robinson) in court who was accused of raping a white girl. As a result of their fathers “*** Loving” actions the children are stalked, abused and mobbed at midnight.
To begin with To Kill A Mockingbird started off slow and I didn't connect to Scout as a character until the interest with Boo Radley (neighbourhood psychopath). After a while I felt my self grow to love the characters as they develop from ignorant children to well established caring characters. My favourite character how ever was Atticus Finch as many of his sayings were wise and relatable.
One of my favourite quotes of his is when Jem gets his first gun he say; “ I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Over all I would recommend this book to readers 14 and above. To Kill A Mockingbird can be difficult to read at times with large words like ; apothecary, diminutive or philippic. The book is suitable for anyone who is interested in racism, human rights or equality from a child's point of view. I rate this book 3.5/5 stars.
REVIEW | TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 21/11/2013
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a splendid novel written by American author Nelle Harper Lee and published in 1960. Lee’s sole published novel, it sold over 15,000,000 copies and became the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a U.S award that bestows acknowledgement of excellence towards a writing piece. Lee’s book is loosely written upon the author’s observations of her family and neighbours and appeals to the serious concerns in society (such as racial inequality and the topic of rape). The chief character’s father, ‘Atticus Finch’, serves as a symbolic moral hero on the behalf of all lawyers, and is written upon a majority of traits that Nelle Harper Lee’s father was said to possess. The story follows the narrator ‘Jean Louise Finch’.
As hinted before, one of the key issues that is stated in the novel is ‘racial inequity’. Throughout the book, Atticus Finch defends a black man in court regarding a serious offence of ‘rape’. A young woman by the name of ‘Mayella Ewell’ accuses the allegedly innocent Negro ‘Tom Robinson’ of raping and beating her. Harper Lee uses Atticus to convey the moral that ‘humans, regardless of their colour, have equal rights’. Harper Lee even displays an instance of the after effects of condemning an allegedly innocent Negro. Tom Robinson’s death follows a short time after the jury’s biased decision; his death does little to change the majority of people in Maycomb, though some people are swayed towards Atticus’s side. Harper Lee gradually expresses her opinion further through proving that even though Tom Robinson lay dead, he was indeed innocent. Harper Lee unravels the story’s mysteries further near the end of the book, where Bob Ewell, unhappy with everything that has occurred, attempts to take the lives of ‘Jeane Louise Finch’ and her brother, ‘Jeremy Finch’. Circumstances are incorrigible for Mr Bob Ewell for the blade he intended to use to murder Atticus’s children ends up causing his own death; a symbol of the justice in the form of ‘punishment’. Harper Lee conveys the generalisation and ‘created-truth’ that ‘the criminal will always be brought to justice, within, or outside of the court of law’.
Harper Lee has fashioned the book with an interesting style of writing. The story is written in first person form of ‘Jeane Louise Finch’. Jeane is eight years old, yet contains the thoughts of an individual with a very high capacity of intellect. The words used in the story are of an intermediate level and one cannot help but notice the old-style of the colloquial words and phrases. Harper Lee has cleverly constructed Jeane, the narrator of the book, as not only a main character, but also the chief symbol in the story which revolves around her. Jeane is still learning at her current age, but possesses a somewhat higher intellect than what one would assume. When describing things, Harper Lee does so with immersive detail; not too descriptive, but not overly descriptive so that ‘imagination’ is ‘cut out’. The tone of the book is reasonable enough; Jeane and her brother go to school so the factor of education is added towards the vocabulary and comprehension skills that they possess. Harper Lee also mentioned in the story though the use of Atticus Finch that he was home schooled. We see lawyers today as successful money-makers of (obviously) high intellect, and so that particular connection is one thing that helps the reader depict Atticus, in addition to all the information that Harper Lee feeds the reader.
The story itself seemingly revolves a lot around Atticus, Jeane’s father, the lawyer who defends an innocent Negro. Atticus is seen as a moral hero because he follows what is morally correct. He has many traits that Harper Lee’s father was suspected to possess; dignity, honour and honesty are just a few examples of the myriad of qualities that are clearly seen in the novel. Atticus is not just a lawyer though; his duty as Jeane and Jem’s father is something he appears to hold very closely to his heart. The fact that he speaks on the same tone to his children as he does to others is another thing that differentiates him from many others in the book and shows his true morals. Atticus is seen to regularly teach his children about life and conveys the message to readers that "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus is further seen as a moral hero from the way he is regarded from the period of time after the trial towards the end of the book; people leave food on his doorstep to show their respect for how hard he tried, regardless of the fact that he indeed ‘failed’. It is this failure that shapes the reader’s opinions; by showing a failed outcome of a great lawyer, Harper Lee directly appeals to the reader’s morals. Through this method, Harper Lee lets readers choose what is morally ‘just’.
Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is such a successful book due to the messages that are contained within. Not only does she appeal to insight that readers may or may not have been exposed to, but she demonstrates what it was like for an allegedly excellent lawyer to have lost in a biased courtroom that showed callousness for ‘coloured people’. The use of ‘old’ colloquial phrases helps indicate the levels of education amongst the people of Maycomb County. Atticus being a moral-hero of the story persuades readers into understanding his point of view, which in turn, is a belief that Harper Lee herself is suspected to believe. It is, of course, up to the reader to decide whether ‘racial inequality’ is wrong in addition to the truth behind Atticus’s phrase "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
To Kill A Mockingbird is a novel known the world over, winning multiple awards and accolades. It has won The Pulitzer Prize, and is part of classic American Literature and has sold over 30,000,000 copies. Within its pages, there lies a coming-of-age story filled with an abundance of themes. The themes of racism, gender roles and class structure is heavily referenced, and given a different perspective through a young girl’s eyes.
The main character is a young girl named Scout, and is written in first-person. Other prominent characters include her older brother Jem, best friend and possible future husband Dill, mother-like Calpurnia and her wise father Atticus. To Kill A Mockingbird is often divided into two parts, with sometimes limited connection between the two. In the beginning, it follows the children’s attempt to make Boo Radley, a crazy recluse who hasn’t left his house in years, come out. This part of the novel moves quickly, sometimes skipping over winter, fall and summer. Later, Atticus is tasked with defending a black man who is charged with rape and assault. The children see the effects of racism during this trial, as well as class structure.
Personally, I loved this book, its simple to read, but still very enjoyable. I recommend it to everyone.