I have finished reading To Kill A Mocking Bird last year.
I know. I know.
This literature has been soooo populour that someone who claims he/she is a widely-read person should have read this book YEARS ago! HOWEVER….I have always been a skeptic about modern literature. It takes a certain tone, a certain story-line to entice me to read modern literature as opposed to classic literature.
Years before I got my hands on this book, I kind of know that this book was about racism. In my immaturity, I just could not see WHAT could be sooo interesting about THAT! I imagined this book MUST be filled with revolutionary sceneries, lots of tribulations and killings and what nots. I just hate depressing things like that!
Yeah, I had wanted to educate my taste in literature. I wanted to be interested in novels that actually have some messages in them….but I too, read because I wanted to spend my time pleasantly. So, as much as I wanted to read for intellectual enhancement, I wanted to do so while enjoying it! And I did not think To Kill A Mocking Bird could offer that to me.
Well, I was wrong!
It was really good. It was not gory, not depressing and not intellectually boring at all!! Jem and Scout are soooo funny in their childhood antics. And their father, Atticus, is this really intellectually superior persona ( a lawyer) who is trapped between justice and his community expectations.
What happened was, Atticus was in the middle of a very critical case where he found himself having to defend a black man, accused of raping a white girl. The black man was, of course, innocent. But in the Deep South in the mid-thirties, people are still racist….the (mostly White) community condemned the black man of his supposedly heinous crime without bothering to wait for the trials. Atticus too, was caught in the middle of the racist conflict because his community could not understand why a white man would want to defend a black man.
But what makes the story sooo good is the children; Jem and Scout! The struggle of their widowed father was narrated through their eyes. So, they have all these childish (so funny, rofl!) description of what was happening at that time, but you can still kind of get the idea of how tensed the situation was. It was tensed, yet it was light. It was serious, yet it was humourous. The injustice infuriates you, yet you keep clinging to hope.
And I am telling you…the ONE THING that makes this book sooo good is because this very serious theme was narrated through Scout’s and Jem’s eyes. If it were told in a very lectur-ish, preachy, manner (in a very adult manner, I mean)…To Kill A Mocking Bird would lose its charm.
I mean, THIS IS IT! This is how modern literature should be! Yes, literature is meant to have lots of meaningful messages behind them…still, you don’t have to make it sad, preachy and depressing! And Harper Lee was brilliant when she decided to make the children the narrator, even though it was Atticus who was the hero.
So the bottom line is: I Love this book! If you are a reader who has always loved populour fiction and just about to start reading literature…then go for this one first! It’s great!
Some excerpt on the funny parts of the story:
…I asked Dill where his father was: “You ain’t said anything about him”
“I haven’t got one.”
“Is he dead?”
“Then, if he’s not dead you’ve got one haven’t you?”
Dill blushed and Jem told me to hush, a sure sign that Dill had been studied and found acceptable.
(see…we got the idea that Dill is this very unfortunate person. We kind of suspect that he might have never met his father, or he might be someone who was born out of wedlock, or his father might be a criminal who was locked up and thus Dill has never had the occasion to meet his father or whatever. But we got that idea through Scout’s childish interrogation.)
And my goodness…I love the court scene! If you love John Grisham, you would know that his best scene is always the courtroom scene during the trials! You just love the dangerous dance of courtroom interrogation, the cunning intelligence, the quick wit that comes with being a lawyer. That’s John Grisham….but I am telling you that in any books revolving on a criminal case, the court room is always the best scene! And Harper Lee made Atticus very, very good! Love it!
So, book readers, go to your bookstore now, and read this very good book! You won’t regret it, insya-Allah. But if you do, just put the book on e-bay! Hahhaa. However, I suggest that you just keep that book for when you are more mature to read it again…it could be that your taste is just about to develop, and is too young to appreciate the great book.
What I mean is, some books are worth buying because they are what you like, what your personal taste it. But some books are worth buying because it’s a book that you MUST keep on your bookshelf for being so populour, you would be labelled ignorant if you have never heard of it let alone know what it is about. And some books are worth buying because they are both; and that’s what To Kill A Mocking Bird is for me.
So, if you can’t like To Kill A Mocking Bird as a matter of taste, you should at least know that the book is regarded as outstanding in the world of modern literature, that you must at least have a general idea of what it is about. You must! I mean even though I only started reading that book last year, I knew what it was about even before then. Or else, you’ll be regarded plain ignorant!
So guys, it would be worth reading, regardless of whether or not you will like it! So, buy it!
P/S: This post is an import from my ‘other’ blog. I thought It would be better to transfer all my specific writings regarding books into one particular post.