Saturday, May 14, 2011
"To Kill A Mockingbird," by Harper Lee
I'm glad I reread this as an adult because I can appreciate the social commentary and message better. The story incorporates class struggles as much as racism, told by a young girl trying to figure out what keeps everyone separated. What a clever way to explore these themes without being preachy. After all, who can blame a child for her innocence and questioning?
Just as compelling is the mystery of Arthur "Boo" Radley. We meet him only once, at the end, yet his presence is missed throughout the novel.
It was difficult to read the "N" word at all, let alone as frequently as it was used in the book. But I stand by the author's use to show the times, the location, and the ugliness of those using it.
These admirable characters--Atticus, Jem, Scout, Boo, Calpurnia, Tom Robinson, etc.--will stick with me. Already I wonder what lives they led after the book's closing. That's the mark of fine craftsmanship.