For the first time, I read To Kill a Mockingbird exactly 5 years ago, and now, I decided to reread it because I don’t remember anything. And I can say that the book is perceived differently.
The book To Kill a Mockingbird is devoted to the relationship between white and African-American people. But most importantly, the problem is shown by the eyes of a child. The girl is growing up and her perception of life and relationships between people are so vividly shown that it is easy to read. But the author very often interferes with the story and, of course, we start perceiving the surrounding reality not only through the eyes of a child.
So, we have the Great Depression, the south of America and the small town in Alabama, which is famous for its dislike for the African-American population of the state. At the center of the story, there is the Finch family: Atticus, a fifty-year-old lawyer, widower, and father of two children, a little girl Jean Louise and her brother Jim. I like the two things in this book especially – the first-person narrative. I’m not tired of repeating that authors rarely manage to tell a true and authentic story on behalf of a child when you get the feeling that you have a child’s voice inside you that whispers secrets to you. Secondly, there is honesty without embellishment. Now, in our time of hypertrophied tolerance, this book is like a breath of fresh air despite the cynicism and hypocrisy that the main characters have to endure and experience. And if you combine the first and second, you get a story told in a simple and such intelligible language but through the prism of childhood memories that touched on very serious topics.
The general atmosphere of the book.
I understand why this book is so popular in America and why it is included in the compulsory school curriculum of most American schools. This book is very deep. After all, all those questions that are asked by Jean-Louise are in fact very important, both for understanding society and one’s place in this society. And I immediately respond to her next “why”: why, indeed? And I like Atticus’s wise and, at the same time, simple answers to these questions. Actually, I wish I could answer questions as he did. It is a very useful trait. In general, Atticus Finch is probably the ideal, to which everyone should strive. He is an ordinary person who tries to live in harmony with his conscience, self-respecting and wants to be respected by his children. A small fictional town in the South of America, and the life of the 30s of the last century, the house next door, and the neighbors themselves – all this is firmly deposited in the memory and causes emotions. Children’s games, pranks, and not the safest adventures – it awakened memories of my own childhood that was happy in spite of any adversity and sadness. The problems raised in the book and the ways to solve them give us hope that our society is not so hopeless as long as there are people like Atticus Finch (and not only him).