Monday, September 1, 2014

To Kill a Mockingbird

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Today’s post is on To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is 323 pages long and is published by Harper Collins. I have the 40th anniversary edition. The cover is dark gray with a tree in the center. The intended reader is everyone; I personally believe that everyone needs to read this novel, I think that the youngest age to try and read this for the first time is about 10 that is the first time I read it. There is some strong language, talk of rape, and threat violence in this novel. The story is told from the first person prespective of Scout Finch. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- “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 is 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.

Review- I do not know where to start with this review. To Kill a Mockingbird is considered one of most important novels of the 20th century. I guess the I only that I can really add to the discussion of this novel is not something very unique. I live in the Deep South. I grew up two miles from a paved road and I drank well water until I moved out on my own. Harper Lee was writing about fictional Monroeville, Al 1936 but she was still describing Alabama 1993. My personal southern life was not too different from hers. I had to be a lady when I was/am not. I had to be polite to people who were not to me because I was raised that way. I get her frustration with relations, school teachers, and having to wait for the too short, blazing hot summers. She gives her childhood and in doing that she give me mine. I think that this book is really about the hard issues of living the Deep South but the reflections of childhood was what really resounded with me. When I finished this novel I felt connected to my southern past and I hope, I think that Harper Lee herself, for a better future. The other thing that I was thinking about as I was reading this was about the first editor who read it. I could not imagine being the first person who finished this novel and just sat there. With all that Lee gives with this novel. I would have been speechless just like I was when I finished it myself 60 years forward from the first person. I think that the first editor cried.

I give this novel a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.