This is a classic book written in the 1960’s, that depicts the lifestyle and the time period of the 30’s in the United States. There’s an emphasis on the prevalent issue of racial discrimination and inequality throughout the novel, as the case of Tom Robinson ensues.
(I have this edition/cover of the novel however, I would love to have one with a more rare or antique cover so If I eventually come across a copy of the book with a more appealing cover, I will definitely repurchase it because this is my least favourite cover of this book however it was the only option available at my local bookstore.)
This book has deep and meaningful themes, and having just read the Lux series for the last two months, it was somewhat strange as a transition coming from a completely fictitious and imaginative world inclusive of aliens made of light, to one where there is very real and important themes to consider including racism and discrimination, and the justice system. However, after awhile of reading, the transition wasn’t as bad.
The beginning of the novel was somewhat slow in progressing the plot as it simply gave background information and contributed to the atmosphere and setting of the book, but nearing the middle of the novel, it really became quite interesting. The most intriguing aspect of this novel in my opinion, was the court case. Essentially, Atticus Finch is a defense lawyer who was put on the case of Tom Robinson – an accused raper. I was thoroughly fascinated by the politics and the court proceeding, and though many individuals have stated that it was a positive aspect having limited politics within the novel (as it was told from the perspective of a child – Scout), I would have preferred a little bit more politics! 🙂 The novel did a great job of accurately portraying U.S. history in regards to previous racial discrimination, and it was quite emotional at times. I just felt so bad for Tom Robinson because the readers can quickly recognize how genuine and sincere, and in general, a good man he was. It was really sad and even frustrating that a man like Tom Robinson would be accused of such a heinous criminal offense, when he had nothing but pure and kind intentions toward the supposed “victim.” Also, it was sad to see the hatred and negativity that Atticus was faced with, for just defending Tom Robinson (an African-American).
The story being told from the perspective of Atticus’ daughter, Scout, was quite interesting, and it allowed the reader to have a more simplistic and innocent outlook on the story. Usually I wouldn’t prefer this kind of emotional and deep story to be told from a child’s point of view, as it includes what one would assume to be topics and themes that children would not understand. However, even though Scout isn’t over the age 12 in the novel, it becomes clear that even as a six year old, she understands a lot of the discrimination and racism that is occurring.
However, I think it also would have been really interesting to read the story from the first person perspective of Atticus Finch, as perhaps there would be more background on his journey through law school, and maybe more of my questions about him would have been answered such as why and how did he get into law as a profession. I felt personally that there was a lot of emphasis on the children playing with one another, which may be preferable to many readers, however Atticus was the character that intrigued me the most. I felt like I knew Jem and Scout really well, but I would have liked to have gained more knowledge and felt a deeper connection with Atticus, as he seemed to be the most intriguing character in the story, being that he was the one who was defending the accused raper.
Atticus is really an inspirational character as he was brave and courageous, and he really was an amazing lawyer! The way he presented Tom Robinson in court was excellent, and though there was a lot of negativity surrounding his defense of this individual, he still gave Tom Robinson his best efforts as a defense attorney.
Atticus, though I feel somewhat disconnected from him in comparison to the children presented in the novel, was by far one of the most inspirational and influential characters that I have encountered in my reading experience so far, and I feel that everyone should take some sort of life lesson away from this character, as his strength and perseverance, and upholding of his fundamental morals and core values is essential and relevant for each individual.
Overall, To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely a classic that is a must read! I generally enjoy classics, but this one exceeded my expectations entirely! It included elements of suspense and mystery, as well as themes of the prevalent and ongoing issue of racism and prejudice. This novel should definitely be on your “To Be Read” lists because the characters were inspirational, the writing was fantastic, and it was overall a wonderful, insightful read!
I give To Kill a Mockingbird 4/5! 🙂