Sunday, March 20, 2016
Thoughts on a Classic: To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
I read Go Set a Watchman back in August without remembering anything about the original book. I really enjoyed Go Set a Watchman, but it seemed that so many people disliked it. I decided that I needed to go back and read Mockingbird to see what all the fuss was about.
I'm sorry. I have to say it. I just don't really get why this book is such a classic. Similar to Little House on the Prairie, it's a slow chronicle of life in the South in the 1930s. I found the trial interesting, and, yes, Atticus was a great father and a good man for the time, although he is not without his faults. I enjoyed the ending, but I guess maybe coming-of-age type stories aren't really for me. I'm not a fan of classic literature, and sadly this book was not an exception.
I found Jem to be an exceptional older brother. And Harper Lee brought tears to my eyes several times as Scout learned some hard truths of the world, but I really felt that it was Jem and Dill who were experiencing the truth much more vividly than Jean Louise was. I could relate to their cruelty with regards to Boo Radley, and despite that I rejoiced in his appearance at the end of the book.
However, for most of the book I was a little bored and wondering what everyone finds so wonderful about this story. Please feel free to enlighten in the comments.
My Rating: 3 stars
Understand my ratings.