Tuesday, 28 October 2014

To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

I only started this book because I was studying it for my GCSE, but I'm so glad I did. In fact putting it down was always a bigger battle than picking it up. Harper Lee has an incredible talent for weaving multiple levels into her story, not only are we intrigued by the 'actual' activities in which Scout and her  neighbours are caught up, but also the layers of symbolism underneath. Every childhood memory, game or incident has meaning far above what we would at first imagine- part of the reason I have been able to read it so many times without the story fading in significance.

Having 'To Kill a Mockingbird' on the GCSE English Literature syllabus only encourages me to read the rest of the list, and I am so glad, that despite the rest of my class studying 'Of Mice and Men', I choose to do Harper Lee's famous classic. Don't get me wrong, 'Of Mice and Men' is an incredible book as well, but in terms of studying 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is that bit more challenging, and. therefore, more rewarding in the end.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' has amazing historical significance within the plot itself as well as in Harper Lee's own experiences before and after she published her book. She uses the experiences of three young children, narrated by Scout, the youngest, to bring to light the racism and injustice that was going on in America and around the world at the time. Scout's development from innocence and curiosity to the firm assurance that all men are created equal by God is incredible and heart warming,

One thing that I would say is, don't spend the whole first half of the book waiting for the climax. Enjoy the stories' growth and the development of the characters and setting. It is in the beginning that you find the most symbolism, and this is where most of the story's eventual climax is explained. This story isn't a fast paced novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it is the amazing story of a town's prejudices fought against, sometimes unintentionally, by a nine year old girl.

The truth is that sometimes it takes a child's unwavering belief to make adults understand.

NB. If you are studying this book for GCSE don't make the mistake of just reading the study notes- they might get you through the exam but they won't give the essence of what this story is about.

No comments:

Post a Comment