Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Release Date: December, 1982
Publisher: Warner Books
Content: PG/PG-13 
Hardcover, 281 pages
Obtain a Copy:
       B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Summary: 
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view .. until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Tomboy Scout Finch comes of age in a small Alabama town during a crisis in 1935. She admires her father Atticus, how he deals with issues of racism, injustice, intolerance and bigotry, his courage and his love.

Cindy's Review:
At First Glance/The Cover:
My first thoughts were, 'Hmmm. A classic. *searches up on Goodreads* Nice reviews. Hmmm. Okay. Let's read.' The cover, well, I totally know what the cover means now. And of course, after we analyzed and talked about things in class, I really begin to realize what deep meaning this book really has. And guys, it's a classic. Being a classic is not a book that kids don't want to read because it's boring. Like I had always thought it was. Being a classic is being book with really deep meaning that can change one person's way of viewing something. Anything. History. Life. Future.

The Characters/My Thoughts:
Okay. I spent a lot of time analyzing the characters in class, through homework, and worksheets so let's move on to that later. It might be way long. 
  
The beginning literally bored me to death. The first chapter made no sense. I had no idea how this book started. I mean. Like I was on Chapter 14 and literally stopped reading for a month because it was that boring. All it kept mentioning was Scout and her life at school. At home. With Atticus. With Jem. With Dick. With Boo. Repeat. Next year comes. And next year comes again. 

Then of course, I pushed myself to read because was starting in two weeks and I still have to finish the book, answer the questions, answer the essay paragraphs, etc. That was finally when things started going uphill. About the last ten chapters was when I couldn't put down the book. It was full of suspense. Every character was nervous. Waiting. Seeing what was going to happen next. That was during the Tom Robinson trial. 

Okay. Onto the characters.
Scout 'Jean Louise' Finch - who I consider the narrator of the story. The story is in her point of view. She talks about her family. Her friends. Jem. The neighborhood. Her teacher. We learn about how her everyday life was. About Atticus. Etc. Scout was a really chirpy, perky tomboy. If that even makes any sense at all. She doesn't like to stay still at all. She likes to run around. Be naughty. Get into fights. What you expect from naughty boys. But she does kind of get along her brother.

Jem FinchDespite how we can see into Scout's thoughts, I find Jem the real main character. Sure, we don't know what Jem's thoughts are and everything is Scout POV, but we see the most character improvement from Jem. More importantly, we see Jem grow up. Have his own thoughts. And really know how unfair the world he lives in. And what a racist neighborhood he lives in. We see him go from a boy who plays around to a boy who can learn how to protect his sister, to a boy who finally sees clearly at the environment around him.

Atticus FinchHe is a real hero. At least to me. And I must say, he's definitely really wise. Everyone around him thinks that he's not teaching his kids right. They've grown up around an African American housekeeper and he lets them be. But to me, I think it was the best way he could have taught his kids. He taught his kids how to read. How to look another person's POV. How to stand up for others. I really would have been really proud. This dear ol' dad. I can cry. He shows leadership. And he most certainly know how to be an ally, not just a standby or a bully like everybody else.

Boo Radley - Boo Radley is such an important character. There is like two sides to this story. One is the Tom Robinson court case. Very important. Teaches us so much about our unfair history. From this side, Jem learns about the world around him. Jem learns his lessons. But Boo Radley was the one that made Scout grow up. A bit. He was the one that had really thought Scout to step in someone else's shoes and look around. And really know how they see the world.
Calpurnia - The strict housekeeper. The one that had kept the children from being a bully. And I think Cal was a really good influence on the children. 

Of course, there are many more important characters such as Tom Robinson, Heck Tate, Aunt Alexandra, etc, but yannoe, 

Overall Thoughts:
When you finally reach the end, you really, then realize, 'Ohmygod. This book.' The end wasn't a really sad, dying, dead end, no good ending. But you still have this feeling in your heart that it's breaking. Like a breath of  'Wow. All that had just happened.' In a way, it's like graduating high school. Like seeing all your fellow students and all be going to different colleges. And be like, wow. High passed. We're moving on with life. 

All this took place in four years, but I think this was a really deep classic. The title definitely made more sense. Mockingbirds are such innocent little birds that sings to us. Why shoot them? Why make them fall?
Rating: (1-10): 9

Happy Reading. 

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