There are many classics that I love and recommend to my dear fellow readers. I’ve usually found people to be a bit shy and scared when it comes to picking up a classic. Perhaps, it’s because of their preconceived notion that all classics are eternally boring, long, and difficult. But that’s not really the case. In fact, there are so many classics that will make you feel like you are reading contemporary (if that suits your reading taste).
I feel everyone should read at least one classic in their lifetime, and if you are going to pick one, then let that be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. You see, there are some things that you’ll only find in classics. That’s the reason they are celebrated, you know. They are meant to be read no matter which generation you are come from. They are intergenerational. You may end up finding some stark relevance and resonance as well. And most importantly, you get to learn about the culture, traditions, and conventions of a particular period of time. Especially, if you are a literature enthusiast you have to invest a hell lot of time in reading classics from different eras to enhance your knowledge of the world of words. I promise it’s going to be an enchanting and captivating experience.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Review)
However, after reading a bunch of classics myself, I feel if there is one classic that will continue to be the greatest classic ever, at least in my opinion, it has to be Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It was published in the year 1960 and turned into an instant success. In the United States, this book is widely read in high schools and middle schools. Although very recently, there were talks of removing this novel from the curriculum because of its disturbing elements, the literature enthusiasts didn’t take the news quite well.
When it comes to modern American literature, “To Kill a Mockingbird” brings new dimensions to the genre in itself. This book is an inseparable part of the overall American literature. And the fact that the book also has a Pulitzer Prize to its name makes it even more enticing. Honestly, there are plenty of reasons that make “To Kill a Mockingbird” great and irreplaceable, but one of the most important reasons why you should definitely pick this book is its relevance to our world today. The book deals with many serious issues including rape and racial inequality in America. However, the narrator is a six-year-old girl Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout. It’s quite fascinating how a child narrates a book that maneuvers through such disturbing and sensitive issues. And in my opinion, this shows the brilliance of Harper Lee as an author and writer. I feel it must have been a very well-thought and conscious decision on the author’s part to give this dimension to the book. When you listen to a child narrate something, you are automatically more considerate, sensitive, and soft."When you listen to a child narrate something, you are automatically more considerate, sensitive, and soft." Do you agree?
The lead character, or shall we say, the hero of the book Atticus Finch, father of Scout, is one of the most loved book characters in the world of literature. Atticus is a widowed middle-aged lawyer who was appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a Black man accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. And even after the people of Maycomb disapprove of Atticus taking up the case, he goes ahead and fights till the end. His character serves to be an inspiration for so many lawyers, even in today’s world. Atticus is an example of how a man should stand up for those in need. He sets standards for lawyers across the globe.
However, the two children Scout and her brother Jeremy, nicknamed Jem, end up suffering the most. Their neighbors start treating them differently. They glare at them and say unpleasant things regarding their father. And although Atticus asks Scout to not fight with anyone or try to save his name, Scout loses her patience every time anyone says anything outrageous about her father. Other children in the neighborhood and school call him ‘nigger-lover’ that infuriates Scout and her brother Jem. The book starts a bit slow, as it was important on the writer’s part to show the injustice and inequality that the two children faced, especially from people who loved them and always treated them with affection. The plot essentially revolves around the issue of racism, and classism. And even though Atticus is a white man, he suffers because he is fighting for an innocent black man. In fact, not only him, but his children are hurled with abuse as well. The book shows its readers the uncomfortable truths of the then American society. It shows that racism makes people blind. It’s no more about the color of a person’s skin; rather, it’s the racist glasses that people see the world through.
The book is bound to make you uncomfortable. It’s not a light read that you pick when you want to chill. Reading this book is a conscious decision. And I want you to make this decision – to read the greatest classic ever, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’