Ishita's Reviews > To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favs, gr-1001-books-list, 500-great-book-by-women, genius

5 Effortless, No-brainer stars!

Usually a good book is one that gets you hooked onto it, doesn't let you put it down and makes you pull all-nighters but this was different. Not once, not twice, not even thrice. A lot of times I found myself reaching a point in the book (sometimes even the middle of a sentence!) where it only needed one dialogue (or word!) to make me stop. And I didn't stop coz I wanted to, I stopped coz I had to! It wasn't that I didn't want to read further, it was that I couldn't! These were the times where I just knew I had to put the book down if I really want to savor it. I had to put the book down so as to let it all sink in and let it take over me. And it was at that moment that I knew it was one of the best books I'd ever read..

To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of two kids, Scout and Jem, who live in an age where blasphemous practices such as class, caste, rank, racism exist. The way people saw the Blacks and the way they treated them was ridiculous. And they taught their kids the same. Yet what makes this story so touching is how these kids, in-spite of living amongst such people, their Aunt amongst them, were far from it. Their minds were as innocent as naive. To a large extend that should be accredited to their father, the county judicial Atticus Finch. The book is better for being narrated from Jean Louise a.k.a Scout's POV. She is the right age for the narrator. An age where everything around us is what our dads tells us is like. An age where we only see people and no Colored.

'Naw, Jem, I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.'

Their childlike minds are still protected from the blasphemies around her. Ironic, how these stupid kids understood the most significant truth of life that even the most educated adults in the society failed to.

'Well, Dill, after all he's just a Negro.'
'I don't care one speck. It ain't right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way. Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that- it just makes me sick.'

It's funny how these kids, being as young as they are, are somehow more mature, more humane, more sensible than the so-called adults of the society.

'Yes sir, a clown,' he said. 'There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off.'

In the beginning on the book Atticus told the kids 'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.'
At first you don't quite get the context of the quote or the title of the book itself but once you read it, you just know! You just know how apt the title was. Here Mockingbird, I reckon, means innocence and coherence. But also, I think it means just and honesty of people. It basically signifies all that is good in a person and it is indeed a sin to kill a good person! This was beautifully justified towards the end where Mr. Tate, the sheriff, wouldn't give in to the fact that Jem actually killed Ewell. He testifies that he fell on the knife himself.
This signifies that the book does not work on the pessimistic side only, it uncovers with perfect felicity that people are often wise as they are prejudiced.

There were two incidences in the book that touched me. Once was when during the court hearing Dill started crying because all of it just "made him sick". The innocence of the age is portrayed beautifully. And the second was Mr. Tate taking a stand for Jem. It somehow contradicts himself as a character- from being so prejudiced so as to testify against Robinson in the court, to defending Jem against the murder of Ewell. The contradiction between vice and wise was incomparable!

The best character for me was Atticus Finch. He was the epitome of morality. And not only that, he perseveres in passing on his humanity and honesty to his kids. He was just and kind. He seeked good in every person in the world and taught his kids to do the same. He wasn't prejudiced, he fought for the rights of everyone and believed in giving everyone a fair chance..
For some reason, I also liked Miss Maudie. She was unconstrained but I think it was mostly a facade for the society. She was a hypocrite! As, I suppose, was everyone else in Maycomb! She believed in Atticus and supported him alright. She was just afraid she'd become a "target" for the society if she supported Atticus overtly. Again, an epitome example of the hypocrisy of the people of that era!

The writing was beautiful. After a while, you find yourself reading the dialogues of the people in their unique dialects. You start understanding what they mean and even pick up the tone (I know I did!). And for a modern-day writer to capture the language, the thoughts, the mentality of such a era wit such elegance and grace. It is worth all the appreciation it gets. The book was indeed better for being narrated by Scout's POV. And I reckon the author accomplished what he wanted to making it that way. He wanted to convey to the world the incorruptibility of a child's mind. The innocence of childhood, the righteousness of the in-corrupt minds.

This is one book everyone must read atleast once in their lives. IDK why I never picked it up until the day I did. But now that I have, I feel I am that much more wise.
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Reading Progress

April 24, 2014 – Shelved
April 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
September 27, 2014 – Started Reading
October 16, 2014 – Shelved as: all-time-favs
October 16, 2014 – Shelved as: gr-1001-books-list
October 16, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2015 – Shelved as: 500-great-book-by-women
August 6, 2016 – Shelved as: genius

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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~~Poulomi Sylphrena Tonk$~~ Great review, Ishu. Totally agree with you on all those statements you mentioned. :) :)

This book surely is a must-read. :)

Ishita Thanks Polo :)

Skye Wonderful review for one of our greatest books!

Ishita It is a great book, indeed. Thanks Skye :)

beingsilent You review is indeed lovely. You are a magic, when it comes to interpret and convince the implicit things. :)

Ishita I wouldn't quite put it that way but you're very kind to say that. Thank you :)

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