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To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

von Franzi S.
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„To Kill A Mockingbird“ tells the story of the siblings Jean Louise, called Scout, and Jem. They grow up in Maycomb county in Alabama in the 1930s. Atticus Finch, lawyer and representative, is their father and looks after them since the death of his wife. The story is told completely from Scouts point of view. The book is about courage and childhood dreams but also about the prejudices at that time and racism. „To Kill A Mockingbrid“ received the Pulitzerpreis in 1961, which is the highest honor for an author in the USA.

I particularly liked the fact, that the complete story is told from Scouts point of view. You can experience the story throughout the eyes of a child. In the first part of the book, the everyday live of Jem and Scout ist still idyllic. They play together with their summer friend Dill. Their lives exists of building tree-houses and going to school. The father Atticus plays an important role as a friend, confidant and teacher. Harper Lee formed the characters of the book after people from her childhood. This makes the book very special and realistic.

I got to know every single character throughout the book. Sometimes I formed a different picture of the characters in my head, then what really applied in the end. It was like true life, because you always need some time and background informations to really get to know someone. Thus I was under the impression, that Scout is a boy for the first chapters of the book. Boo Radley, the neighbor, also plays an important role in the children’s lives. I didn’t got to know him until the very last pages of the book. I imagined him throughout out the book and was really surprise in the end. My curiosity rose constantly from page to page and chapter to chapter.

The story plays at a time, when racism and racial segregation were still common in the south states. As a lawyer Atticus was obliged to defend the black farm worker Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson was accused of violating a white, young woman. From this time, the life of Scout and Jem became more and more complicated, because many town people turned their back at Atticus. Despite all the tumult, Atticus tries to teach Jem and Scout that racism is bad and that every person is a good person and all people should be treated equally. This message alone made me fall in love with the book. Harper lee speaks up for tolerance and against racism and gives a deep impression of this difficult years. The book captured me from the beginning to the end. I laughed, cried and shouted out with fury while reading To Kill A Mockingbird. That’s is all I can tell you, because to should be able to experience this roller coaster of feelings and form your own opinion about the characters of the book. Because I think, that this is exactly whats makes the book so special and wonderful.

I particularly liked the role of the father. Atticus stands for all what is good. He is unprejudiced and respects every person despite of her or his background. The book stands for bravery, civil courage and tolerance and I’m still deeply moved by it and I intend to read it all over again.

I was also deeply moved by the symbol of the mockingbird. The mockingbird ist mentioned only once or twice but I kept this symbol in mind while reading the book. A Mockingbird only wants to sing for people and doesn’t want to harm anyone. That’s why everyone who kills a mockingbird commits a mortal sin. With the last pages of the book, I could really understand the meaning of the mockingbird.

About the Book:

Verlag: Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group
Erscheinungsjahr: 1960
Autor: Harper Lee
Seiten:  377


Harper lee, born in 1926, is the daughter of a lawyer and grew up in Alabama. She  was a good friend of the author Truman Capote and spent her summer holidays with him during her childhood. Lee began to study law, but had the opportunity to write her first stories during her studies. Finally, in 1949, she dropped out of college and devoted herself to her career as an author. To Kill A Mockingbird is the elaboration of some short stories about the provincial town life in Alabama and Lee’s first and only novel.

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