To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird discussion


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Harper Lee, Jane Austen of the South

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Kressel Housman I've just gotten a copy of the DVD biography of Harper Lee, "Hey Boo." I haven't seen it yet, but the blurb on the package says that Harper Lee dreamed of being the Jane Austen of the South. I think she achieved her dream, and it really is a fascinating comparison. After all, both writers were social critics addressing class injustices. Lee addressed a much bigger injustice of course, but that was the world she came from. Any other thoughts?


Susan Eisenberg I adored that film, and I fell in love with her sister Alice, age 99. I honestly don't think of Lee as a Jane Austen figure, though, because Austen had a comic touch at times. You're right that there is the social commentary aspect. May I recommend the Lee biography MOCKINGBIRD by Charles J. Shields? I read it during the Christmas holidays and I was blown away. It was the perfect companion to seeing the film last fall. My one regret is that Lee didn't continue writing, but I guess when your first book is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, it would be difficult to top.


Emanuel Landeholm I'm so much in love with Scout. I wish she were my kid to protect...


message 4: by JB (new) - rated it 4 stars

JB Rowley Because I am not a Jane Austen fan I would not like to think of Harper Lee as a Jane Austen equivalent. My lack of enthusiasm for Jane Austen novels has nothing to do with her writing ability, it is more about the tediousness of the world she writes about. To Kill A Mocking Bird, on the other hand, takes the reader into a world rich in interesting characters, colloquial language and intrigue, plus the story focuses on a ‘main event’ which arrests my attention. JB


Kressel Housman Regardless of your opinion of Jane Austen, that is what Harper Lee said she aspired to be.


message 6: by JB (new) - rated it 4 stars

JB Rowley Kressel wrote: "Regardless of your opinion of Jane Austen, that is what Harper Lee said she aspired to be."

I did not mean my comments to suggest otherwise and I hope they were not interpreted that way. I was merely adding my thoughts re the comparison. My apologies if I have inadvertently gone off topic. JB :-)


Kressel Housman No biggie. BTW, you're not alone in disliking Jane Austen. Mark Twain, Charlotte Bronte, and Ralph Waldo Emerson didn't seem to like her work. But apparently, Harper Lee is a fan.


message 8: by JB (new) - rated it 4 stars

JB Rowley Thanks, Kressel. Happy to know I am 'in good company'; I especially adore the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain. JB :-)


Shelley I agree, JB. Emerson is still shocking.

And one of the most shocking (and laudatory) things about Mockingbird is that its politics were daring at the time it was written.

Good for Harper Lee.

Shelley
Rain: A Dust Bowl Story
http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Harper Lee is nothing like Jane Austen. Harper Lee is interesting.


message 11: by Mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Heyne I agree with those who do not find Jane Austen's world interesting, though she is a witty writer. I could say the same about Proust...great style, but who cares about his bourgeois lifestyle? Harper Lee only wrote that one book, but hey, it's a classic! She accompanied Truman Capote researching 'in Cold Blood' and is ably played by Sandra Bullock in the movie 'Infamous'.


Delia Colvin Susan wrote: "I adored that film, and I fell in love with her sister Alice, age 99. I honestly don't think of Lee as a Jane Austen figure, though, because Austen had a comic touch at times. You're right that the..."

I'll have to get the book Mockingbird! Thanks!


Kressel Housman Delia wrote: "I'll have to get the book Mockingbird! Thanks!"

Mockingbird is awesome! But to really appreciate it, you should read In Cold Blood first.


Delia Colvin Kressel wrote: "Delia wrote: "I'll have to get the book Mockingbird! Thanks!"

Mockingbird is awesome! But to really appreciate it, you should read In Cold Blood first."


That's interesting! I knew Truman Capote mentored Harper Lee. But, not sure I can read something that dark.


Victoria Personally I love Jane Austen. Harper Lee most known for just To Kill a Mockingbird successfully writes a period piece that speaks on issues of that day. No doubt a beautiful piece! But otherwise I wouldn't compare the two. Ever.


Courtney Jill Ellen wrote: "Harper Lee is nothing like Jane Austen. Harper Lee is interesting."

YES! It is so good to find people who don't like Jane Austen. I sometimes feel I am the only one.

I don't want to read about the tedious upper and middle class of Regency England! I don't care that your only goal in life is to marry some creeper!

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Not Interesting


Courtney Also, Why are the two being compared? They are not even the same genre. I suppose they are both viewed as portraits of their eras... but they really shouldn't be compared.


Kressel Housman Courtney wrote: "Also, Why are the two being compared? They are not even the same genre. I suppose they are both viewed as portraits of their eras... but they really shouldn't be compared."

Harper Lee herself was a Jane Austen fan, and she said she wanted to be "Jane Austen of the Deep South."


Courtney Kressel wrote: "Courtney wrote: "Also, Why are the two being compared? They are not even the same genre. I suppose they are both viewed as portraits of their eras... but they really shouldn't be compared."

Harper..."


OH I see. Sorry I was half asleep when I read this discussion, I must have skimmed over that.
That is interesting though. Because in retrospect you wouldn't try to compare the two. At first glance the only thing they seem to have in common is both being apart of the classical cannon. Perhaps if Harper Lee had written more, the comparison might be more apparent.
hmmmmmmm.....


Kressel Housman As I said at the very beginning, both were social critics addressing class injustice. Both were satirical, too.


Courtney Then I bid you good day.


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