In this month’s blog I am going to be going all literary on you to talk about what I have gained from the great novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee! If you have not read the novel yet (why not?), I highly encourage you to read it. It’s one of the greatest ever!
Although it is a compulsory to read this book at school, I have LOVED reading it. To Kill A Mockingbird is not only compelling and emotive, but it is also funny (always a bonus) as it is told in the voice – and from – the perspective of a young girl called Scout, the protagonist.
Throughout the novel we are able to see through Scout’s eyes. We watch her grow up and see how she deals with all kinds of situations. We gain an understanding of what life is like for her in small-town America in the Thirties, what she thinks about racism and prejudice – a recurring motif in the novel. I got a clearer idea how children are conditioned by their parents regarding their attitudes towards racism and prejudice. This is highlighted especially when Scout is at school and the children make fun of Atticus (her father) because he is a lawyer defending Tom Robinson, a member of the black community. At such a young age, it’s doubtful the children would have views of their own on racism, nor really understand what it is, but their parents’ views have influenced theirs.
I also learnt about the racism that is not only heavily evident in Maycomb (where the novel is set) but also across all the southern states of America. We learn about the Jim Crow laws and the idea of the white and black communities being separate, but equal. This idea is visibly untrue as the black and white communities have segregated schools and different living standards. We are also able to recognize that the most cruel and vulgar people from the white community are still seen as superior to the black community and have better living standards. This is regardless of how kind or caring somebody may be from the black community. Superiority in town and in society depends on the colour of your skin. Some people, of course, may argue this is still the case in some parts of the world!
Finally, the most important lesson I’ve learnt is to ‘walk in somebody else’s shoes’. This is a key quote from To Kill A Mockingbird and it means that you should always consider situations from different perspectives. This is not only relevant when considering the hardship and oppression of 1930s America, but also to many situations faced in society today.
So, folks, I’m going to leave you with that thought. It’s a bit ‘heavy’, I know, but in my view, it’s worth considering.
Daisy Adams, 11C