To Kill A Mockingbird
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is an odd mix of racial commentary, humor, a love story, and just a tad of action. It’s satisfying to get through it for me, because it’s so famous and has so many layers. On the surface, it’s a tale of a girl growing up. Dig a little deeper, and the racial commentary is right in front of you. And I didn’t really get the love story part; I only know it’s supposed to be one because the back (in “this is such a classic” cursive) says that Harper thought it was a “simple love story”. Okaaaaay then.
The plot of To Kill A Mockingbird either creeps or goes incredibly quickly, depending on the time. It’s done well, because the boring parts fly by, while the more interesting parts are slow. It sometimes backfires, though, because I get bored of the interesting topic. For instance, Harper takes a long time on the great trial. Granted, it’s important and interesting, but I felt bored a few times. It’s still a great scene, despite its problems. And I feel horrible when they lose the trial. The rest of the book is peppered with humor in all the dark spots. There are ordinary spots that are the calm before the storm. And then there’s the storm itself. Either violence or racism, they seem to be better written than the boring-instead-of-happy calm. It’s a great plot.
The main character in To Kill A Mockingbird is a young girl named Scout who grows up throughout the story. She’s ultra-mature for her age, and a great narrator. She responds to everything like a girl her age, but much more wise. She’s a wonderful character. The other characters in the book are as real as she is. Emotional and completely realistic, these are the characters of a master.
What makes me crazy about this book (or, rather, what the reviewers said about it) is that it was banned from some schools for using the word nigger. Sure, it’s a horrible word, but couldn’t the banners have actually read the book, instead of skimming it and coming across that word? The book is all against racism. Apparently, it’s all about the word that’s used. It doesn’t seem to matter what the context is. (Yes, I know it was banned for two other reasons, but I needed to rant about this.)
What else can I say about To Kill A Mockingbird that hasn’t been said by other people? It’s a strange-but-true mix of humor and evil. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time, and it’s also a young girl’s story of growing up, though that part isn’t nearly as great. Read it, because it’s a great story that demonstrates how horrible racism is.
There’s some hinted-at rape and strong language, but you can deal with it if you’re a true reader. Lalalalala.