To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Where did I get the book and how many pages?
This is another Amazon kindle book I purchased for the challenge, clocking in at 376 pages. I get a lot of my books from Amazon, a habit from years of living in countries with a primary language that is not English.
Have I read this book before?
Yes, this was a book I read in high school as required reading.
What do I remember?
I remember is was about racism, and a trial where a man is obviously innocent but is still convicted due to his race. I remember Boo Radley, but only as a name.
What do I think now?
The story moved at a very different pace than I remember. There is a lot of slow background, which makes sense as it is being told by a child. In many ways this point of view makes things more powerful. All of the things she picks up, without completely understanding them. Yet, in spite of her limited understanding, she understands that things are not right. There is such an innocence to her clarity, a way of understanding how things should be with the idealism of youth. There is one scene specifically where this is shown. A mob of people are surrounding her father. In her innocence, Scout jumps into the middle, thinking that it is a joke. She starts talking with one of the men, discussing her relationship with his son. She has no idea what she is doing, but her innocent view of the situation helps to shock the men out of their darker actions. It is an amazing use of humanity to highlight inhumanity. This story may be hailed as a brilliant piece on racism, but it is more than that, it is a piece on people.
Should you read this book before you die?
I do recommend this book. It is slightly out of date. Racism is slightly different today than it was then, but the idea of mob mentality is still relevant. It is amazing what people will do when they are swept up in a moment of intense feeling.
Moving on to the next book, I selected The Lord of the Flies by William Golding, followed by The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
Happy reading everyone!