To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

 

This book was incredibly powerful and impactful. I hadn’t realized what exactly ‘book hangover’ was until I finished this book, but now I know what it is; It took me a while to bring myself back to earth.

Although I said ‘powerful,’ it doesn’t mean literally, but figuratively.
The story is narrated by Scout’s perspective and her voice is rather calm and tranquil, giving off an impression that Scout is calm and collected; she doesn’t fret about trifles. Yet, it also has a power to suck me in and I couldn’t help but amazed how it could be so powerful with its narration being that calm.

It doesn’t mean there aren’t any dynamic, drastic events happening in the story- there actually are and they are quite unforgettable; the story development literally kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book.

What happens in Maycomb, Alabama in the summer 1930 is just poignant and unforgettable. This book deals with a very controversial issue that’s been deeply entrenched and reading this book brought the issue even closer to home for me. Gosh, I don’t know what to think about it. 

The story development is absolutely stunning and the characters are all so strong and well fleshed out. Particularly Atticus’s characterization is just amazing. He is compassionate, level-minded and fair and square. He doesn’t let what others say get to him; he just holds his head high and does what he believes is right and then he tells Jem and Scout to do the same. Hold your head high.  What a precept. I wish I had a father like Atticus.

I also find the author uses the characters tactfully to reflect what things were like in those days. For instance, I thought Aunt Alexandra’s words and deeds are used to reflect what people expect for a ‘lady’? or How Scout is supposed to be like (but fails?) , What is ‘norm’ back then?
I found the time (1930s) very claustrophobic, even shallow and I also thought it must have been difficult for people like Atticus to live through.

I thought the Part one, particularly the whole Boo Radley thing a bit slow and wondered if it was absolutely necessary in terms of the story development, but I now know it was necessary; in other words, every scene in this book serves for the other scenes later in the story; each scene is effectively used to reflect and emphasize the transition that Scout and Jem go through and it was done beautifully. Everything rolls into one amazingly beautifully in the end. Beyond reproach.

I initially couldn’t relate to Scout, she appeared to be too straightforward and impudent, precocious for her age. But on the flip side, she is incredibly clever and is a staunch believer of justice. She is far from your average 8-year old kid. It seems as if she already knew fatcs of life.
Through the trial and the ensuing events, I could see Scout go through a transition phase – from childhood to adulthood, gradually becoming a ‘lady’ she used to despise and I love this transition. It was described beautifully and even mesmerizing.

All in all, although I was kind of hesitant to pick up this book wrongly assumed it would be a stifling, your-average Classics, this book proved me wrong. I’m glad I finally read it.

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