Top positive review
Read it again for the first time
on March 19, 2015
I read or rather reread To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of the newly discovered manuscript by Harper Lee. I also watched the movie again. I was amazed how tightly the screen play stuck to the book, including the best known speeches by Atticus and Scout. But there is no proper critique of To Kill a Mockingbird except to acknowledge Harper Lee's genius and writing skills and move on. Though it has been over fifty years since she wrote this story, the subject matter is totally current today. The story is about two young children, a girl named Scout and a boy named Jem, living in a southern town with their widowed father, Atticus Finch, in the 1930's. Atticus is a small town lawyer who defends a black man of raping a white woman. The townspeople are outraged. And some of them become very threatening not just to Tom, but to Atticus and his family. Tom Robinson, the accused, takes the stand in his own defense. The evidence proves that he could not have committed the crime. The woman who claims she was the victim, is caught in her lies. And yet, Tom is convicted by the all white, all male jury. If that was a spoiler I'm sorry, but I won't write any further about Tom's fate. The children are caught up in the racial hatred. The childish innocent games they play are never the same.
Although Harper Lee wrote this book in 1962, during the civil rights movement, To Kill a Mockingbird, is as current today in some ways. I think of
Rodney King, Trevon Martin, and the recent events in Ferguson. The disparity between black men and white men in U.S. prisons, this is still with us some fifty years later.. We now say the N word instead of the offensive word used in the book but just because we don`t utter it doesn`t mean the sentiments are gone. No wonder this is a classic.