Saturday, August 21, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

     I'm sure many of you have heard of this book. I read it in eighth grade, just to see what it was all about and then again in tenth grade for English class. I think I was just as impressed by Lee's writing the second time as I was the first time.

     To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930's. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem and her father Atticus. In the beginning of the novel Scout is just like any other child at that age. She plays make-believe games with her friend Dill and Jem. She gets in trouble and generally has a good time.
     When Tom Robinson is accused of rape, Atticus is appointed as his lawyer. This changes Scout's life forever thereafter. The book follows her, Jem and the rest of Maycomb as the trial progresses.
     There are very few books that have ever made me cry; this was one of them. Lee is just an amazing writer. She makes you see everything in detail. There were a few slow spots, especially the first few chapters as Lee sets up the book, but that's alright.
     I love that the story is told in the eyes of Scout. She's hilarious, I'm telling you! The tomboy of Maycomb, Scout is quick to anger and get into a fight. She defends her father when the trial starts. Her antics concerning Boo Radley (poor Boo!) are funny but at the same time a bit mean. Of course you can't blame her, she's just a curious child. It makes me proud how wonderfully she grows up throughout the book. At first she is a naive child, but by the end she is wizened little girl.
     Atticus is absolutely wonderful. Somehow he always knows exactly what to do and what to say. Scout is beyond lucky to have a father like him. He is an honorable character. There are a few moments in the book where Atticus is vulnerable and it makes me weep. The way some of Maycomb's residents treated  him during the trial is just despicable! Despite everything, Atticus works tirelessly for Tom.
     I feel so sorry for Tom Robinson. He didn't deserve the treatment he got, simply because he wasn't a white man. I wanted more for him, but of course life just isn't fair.
     Mayella Ewell makes me sick. I realize that her father is horrible and she's known nothing else, but accusing Tom of raping her is just plain wrong. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't feel anything for her. I don't hate her, but I most certainly do not like her either.
     Lee handles the racial issues in this book beautifully. Even this many years after the fact, racial tensions still do arise. None the less, it is at times difficult to understand just how horrible people were to each other, until I walk outside, at least, and then it all comes rushing back. I think Harper Lee did a great job about explaining things though. I can understand why because of the way she words things and how she shows us what is going on. It just makes me so sad, so very disappointed in how we treat each other.
     To Kill a Mockingbird is fantastic. If you haven't read this yet, you need to! I'm sure you will be just as awed by the writing style as I was.
     Rating: 10
     To Kill a Mockingbird can be found in most bookstores and Amazon.


Madigan McGillicuddy said...

Did you re-read this because of the 50th anniversary?

FYI: I noticed a typo in your blog entry title: "brid" = "bird"

@lex said...

No, I actually read it last year for school. I just never had a chance to review it, plus I didn't have this blog at the time.

Thank you! I'll go fix that now. :)

Christina said...

I hated this one! We read it my sophomore year and maybe it was just Morrow, but it drove me crazy.

I need to reread it so I can do so without him.

@lex said...

Yes, Morrow probably had something to do with you disliking it... missing finger and all. haha I liked how Picone taught it. Of course, the whole premise of the book and all the racial tension in it may have turned you off. I read it before sophmore year, so I didn't have to listen to a teacher talk about it the first time I read it. ;D