Wednesday, May 21, 2014

[Review] To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Rating: 4 stars
Genre: YA, classics, Southern Lit
Synopsis: The story takes place during three years (1933–35) of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama, the seat of Maycomb County. It focuses on six-year-old Scout Finch, who lives with her older brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer. Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill, who visits Maycomb to stay with his aunt each summer. The three children are terrified of, and fascinated by, their neighbor, the reclusive "Boo" Radley. The story goes on to delve deeper into the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman whom Atticus is appointed to defend.

Another one of those books I should've already read in high school but didn't. It does live up to its reputation. The characters are memorable, and despite their flaws, relatable and likable.

So why four stars instead of five? That's a matter of personal taste. I was just sort of tired of reading these kind of stories about the negro who can't defend himself so the benevolent white man steps in, with his reputation and safety at stake, to defend him. I completely support Atticus and even admire him for being so clear-headed and wise, but I just find it distasteful that this book was so "life-changing" for people. In a way, that's a good thing right? The book teaches you about respecting others, and treating them with how you want to be treated-all that good stuff, but if this story was told from the perspective of the black man, it would be nowhere near as widely read as this. Somehow, learning about racism and equality from the white man rubs me the wrong way. Now the lesson is a good one no matter where it comes from, and I'm glad that it was able to teach people a little perspective, but personally, from where I'm coming from, it didn't move me or touch my heart the way it would others.

That's really all I have to say about this book. I'm sure most people have read it, so I don't think I need to say more about it than I already have.

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