So yesterday, while thinking about what to write in the review of To Kill Mockingbird, I seriously considered taking my average review word count (600 words) and writing perfect perfect perfect perfect… you get the idea.
Because really, what can I say about this masterpiece? It’s an amazing book that I think everyone should read at least once. It’s tender and beautiful, heartbreaking and joyful, hopeful and thought-provoking. Aka, everything a book should be.
Instead of doing a proper review, I’ll recount the lessons I learned after reading this book and share some of my favorite quotes. Here goes…
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
The most important lesson in the book, in our lives, in the multiverse. I’m guilty of often being stubborn and unable to view things from other people’s perspectives (I need a lesson from Tyrion Lannister, it seems) though I’m working to improve on that. The book opened my eyes to how this is, essentially, the core of all interpersonal relations. If you lack this understanding, it inevitably leads to conflict.
And we have far too much conflict in our world already so we can’t afford to disregard others’ feelings.
Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
In my view, Tom Robinson was a mockingbird who was killed for no reason. He wasn’t guilty, that much is clear. All he did was feel sorry for a white woman and helped her practically every day, he literally sang his heart out like a mockingbird, and what did he get in return? Hate, anger and death all because he was unfortunate enough to be born black in a segregated society.
The sheriff points out that dragging the reclusive Arthur Radley into the limelight after he killed Bob Ewell would be a sin, and he is, of course, right. Arthur, too, did nothing but care for the kids, saved their lives in the end and as Scout points out in the end of the book, “We had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” But they did give him something—the opportunity to be part of their family, if only for a few minutes as he acquaints himself with Scout and says goodbye to Jem. His storyline in the book ends on a happier note that Tom Robinson’s, yet he returns to his isolated existence. Which brings me to another point…
I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.
Let’s look around. Orlando. Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas. Nice. That’s not all of the tragedies that took place and that’s, what, only the two past months?
Hate and anger surround us, creating a nightmare out of what can be a happy world. Discrimination still persists although it’s the twenty-first century. AD. After thousands of years, we still cling to prejudice and refuse to see things from others’ perspective. If Jem is right and Arthur isn’t inclined to be social because the bigotry, segregation and injustice in Maycomb County is too much to bear, who’d blame him? It’s a scary planet, a scary country, a scary city, etc. to live in.
But let’s hope. I’ll never get tired of saying this, even when things are downright terrible. Let’s hope that someday, discrimination will be eliminated and nothing close to what happened to Tom Robinson will take place in the real world. Let’s hope that people learn to be kinder to each other. Let’s hope that those innocent souls who do nothing but good won’t become victims of injustice. Through all the tears and laughs this book evoked, I retained this feeling of hopefulness and serenity, that not all is lost and humanity will change.
I did a review of the movie To Kill a Mockingbird yesterday, and I’d like to thank everyone who commented on the post. I loved reading your insight on both the book and the film!
Feel free to comment below and share your favorite quotes from this book.
Till next time!
Next Sunday Review: Paradise Lost by John Milton