To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

 Reviewed by Michelle Tjen

There were many expectations as I began to read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’,
recognizing it as one of the most popular books since its author, Harper Lee, wrote it for more than 5 decades ago. I must admit that I had judged the book from its title, expecting some mysteries; murders or perhaps thriller. The moment I started reading, I found myself devouring pages after pages, rushing to the very end; so eager to find out how the book would ended.

This is a story about a young boy and a young girl living in a small Southern town of Alabama, with their father (a local lawyer) and their cook, an Afro woman. It was in the 1940's, when WWI broke out and America’s society was deep in the conflicts of social difference between the White and the Negro.

There were few stages in the book that succeeded to bring me to an emotional point, finding myself afraid; thrilled; sad and angry. Among them,“Then I saw the shadow. It was the shadow of a man with a hat on. At first I thought itwas a tree, but there was no wind blowing, and tree trunks never walked. The back porch was bathed in moonlight, and the shadow, crisp as toast, moved across the porch towards Jem. The shadow stopped about a foot beyond Jem. Its arm came out from its side, dropped, and was still..”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
“Why did you run?” “I was scared, sir” “Why were you scared?” “Mr. Finch, if you were a Nigger like me, you’d be scared too”

Throughout reading the different characters of the people in the small town, each of them has his/her own character, I somehow find these characters familiar and some exist in our society: those who habitually accept that they were born to be hunted and victimized; those  who do their part of job wholeheartedly, and moral conscience but always feel helpless to change the way of the society; those who questioned the right and wrong of the society and  angered by it; those who enjoy pointing fingers to the faults and flaws of others in a way to  cover up themselves; those who see the society with their own eyes of innocence and never understand why or how evil things happened.

Anger and sadness fully occupied the train of thoughts in my mind, as I am sure it will remain there for a long time.

Comments

  1. I have a copy of this book, but I left it overseas. Thanks for the review. Hope can start reading it as soon as I get it back.

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