Why everyone should read To kill a mockingbird at least once in their life
Classics definitely bring about collective sighs and “oh god, why me?” moments in every student’s life (unless you’re a classics’ lover of course!). To Kill a Mockingbird has definitely seen its fair share of students opting for a quick summary read instead of going through the whole book but believe me when I say that no summary justifies the enlightenment that you’ll obtain once you finally read it.
Though it revolves primarily around the themes of societal injustice, racism and rape there are also various subtleties that show themselves as secondary themes of the plot, a major one being things aren’t always what they seem. The reader sees life through the innocence of the six-year-old narrator aka Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. As the other characters like her brother Jeremy “Jem” Finch and father Atticus Finch are revealed, the reader slowly becomes more and more engrossed in the lives of seemingly ‘nice’ people of Maycomb County.
Here’s some motivation to help you pick up that old paperback of To Kill a Mockingbird that’s been sitting on your bookshelf for years.
A cruel mirror of modern-day racism
Racism, as the world knows it today, has been around for a few hundred years now. Harper Lee has written a heart-wrenching tale of injustice and cruelty of racism. Not only does she reflect of the impact of racism on society and its approach to it, but she’s also one of the rare authors who write about the aftereffects of that racism on the life of victims. Besides the typical race centric approach to unjust violence, the book also reflects on themes of mob mentality and negative gender bias. No matter what race you belong to, your heart will clench painfully when you read about the trials of Tom Robbinson.
Arthur “Boo” Radley
To be brutally honest if I were to give you just one reason in the world to pick up this book it would be Arthur Radley. Didn’t we all grow up with grandma’s phantom stories to restrict us from harmful actions? Boo Radley is one of those nightmares that keep the kids in Maycomb county away from his residence. Without revealing much, Arthur is the kind of character who lives within you as long as you live, definitely the most invigorating fictional character that you’ll ever come across.
Lessons that will last you a lifetime
Lee’s portrayal of Atticus Finch is no doubt one of wisdom and maturity. Lessons like ‘not to judge a book by its cover’, ‘never to be ashamed of who you are’ and ‘violence isn’t the answer to all wars’ amongst several others are some of the most essential chapters of a fulfilling life. Lee has also pointed out several times that our own will is our savior in the harshest of situations. This very real connection to the world from a fictional land gives a satisfying sense of comfort and strength in hopeless situations
Memorable Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
“‘Atticus, he was real nice'.
'Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.'”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”
In a nutshell To Kill a Mockingbird will be of relevance as long as humans live up to their humanity. It’s much more than a summer project and will prove that if you would just pick up the book and start reading.
The literary champion Harper Lee will live in our hearts forever; truly, elite classic literature could not have found a better champion.
Author: Alefiya is currently a business student as well as a professional Content Writer and Copywriter. Her poetries have been published in several anthologies, one of them being "The Song of Peace", a noble initiative by The League of Poets. When she's not writing fearlessly unique pieces, she devotes her days to intensive reading. She can be reached at her Instagram @alefiya21 to discuss books, philosophy and whatever our souls are made of!
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