SHARING A CHAIR | Book Club

-Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird-

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by HARPER LEE

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Book Peak: The morals and hidden lessons that Harper Lee weaves so eloquently into her storytelling.

Book Pit: The writing is so important, and written so well that you do need to take the time to really soak in the story, and what lies beyond it. 

Favourite Quote: 'Atticus...he was real nice...' 'Most people are Scout, when you finally see them.'

Read if you liked: 'A Tree Grows' by Betty Smith or 'Adventures Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain.

FULL REVIEW BELOW | NO SPOILERS 

 
 

Unlike most people I had never read this book before, I mistakenly thought I had done during my secondary school years but turns out I would most definitely remember if I had. There's no forgetting this book. 

Though the story is told by Jean Louise Finch, as an adult looking back on several years of her childhood; it becomes inherently clear that the character at the focus of the story is her father, Atticus Finch. 

Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.

A single Father, Atticus represents a steadfast character, consistently true to his morals in a novel full of changing attitudes and changing times. He guides his children as if they are adults, at first you think he is a little distant but as the story unfolds his parenting style becomes apparent, and relevant. 

Though he treats his children with maturity he is not quick to anger and realises they will make childish mistakes and have child like ideas. This is where his wisdom and morality comes into its own. He teaches the children, and those around him, to see people as equals and that to truly understand others we must walk a mile in their shoes. 

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 book explores themes of Morality, Change, Race, Class and Relationships. It is no wonder this novel is studied in schools the world over, as there are so many layers of meaning which leave readers truly inspired. I don't personally believe that every reader will extract the same messages, but there is a consistent thread throughout which begs us to think before we judge, and regardless of race, religion or stature we are all human. 

There is a lot of mirroring in the story, characters who differ in race or status, yet united in their experience of being on the fringes of society. Atticus represents the central point amongst the differing 'folks' and it is through him that the children and other characters begin to see what he sees, and learn how we are not so different after all.  

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5/5 Rating

They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

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