I’ve recently finished To Kill a Mockingbird and I must say, it’s easily become one of my top 5. For whatever reason, this book was not part of my high school or college curriculum and I’m thankful it wasn’t because I think being forced to read it in school would’ve ruined my love of turning each page. The style in which it’s written, the plot, and the imagery are fantastic. I didn’t know the story behind the book until I read it and I could easily see why it’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.
Harper Lee allows her characters to develop throughout the story through tiny actions and statements that build upon each other to form who we know the character to be. She doesn’t just give you a long expositional background and go from there. You learn more and more about Scout, Jem, Atticus, and others who develop as the story goes on as all humans do with time. I will not give the plot away as there are sure to be many out there who, like me, waited until their adult years to tackle this amazing story but it’s definitely one that must be read. It gives a hard look into why things are the way they are (or were) through the innocent lens of a child with child-like thoughts along with the adult thoughts one can have as a child beyond their years.
I was not a big fan of the end as I would’ve liked it to end differently, but I completely understand why it ended the way it did. There are reasons to the ending of the novel and I can’t say I understand them all but I can understand the main ones. One small theme throughout is growing up as Scout and Jem go from toddlers to adolescence and how their thoughts and actions change. Your eyes fly over the page you’re reading so fast because you can’t wait to read what happens in the next chapter, even if it’s just a few kids playing a made-up game about their mysterious recluse of a neighbor.
If you haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird, you must. The style, the plot, and the characters alone are enough to make want more and although there’s no second book, I’m sure to read Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman because I’m sure it’s going to be just as good as her first. I wish my schools’ curriculums included more classic novels that shaped literature. We also never read Catcher in the Rye so I may have to tackle that one soon as well.
What are your thoughts on To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you enjoy it your first time through? What did you think of the plot? How did you like Harper Lee’s style of storytelling and character development? Share your thoughts in a comment!