To Kill a Mockingbird

After reading this book I knew I had to start reading To Kill a Mockingbird again. It is my favorite novel, and I felt that it was just right for an introduction to that famous Southern writer, Harper Lee. When I first read the novel, it made me think about how my childhood memories may have been different if I had grown up in the South. I could relate to her experiences.

As I mentioned I grew up in the North of Alabama. But while in school I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is written by a white man. And even though the novel was published before I was born I read it at a young age and found myself feeling a kinship with the novel.

So when I read this book after graduating from college I found myself having a hard time because I did not know what I was doing. As I read through the novel, I found myself also am wondering how I would feel if I had grown up in the South.

It is not a memoir but rather a novel that is based on the life of Harper Lee who was born in Monroeville, Alabama and became a lawyer. While at school she was close friends with Robert Blake who had studied under Harper Lee and she knew him well.

Her daughter, Jemima was born in October of 1941. I loved the fact that her father was already writing The Silver Chalice when Jemima was born. The novel is considered one of the best of all time. It is one of the best novels written in the 20th century.

In the story a nine-year-old boy named Scout Finch discovers The American Civil War in a book called To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a “crazedfan” of the novel and when a friend asks if he wants to join the book club he says he does. Then in a club meeting his friend makes him a proposition.

“Once we get to see The Mockingbird, can you please give us a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird? We’re crazy about it, and we want to read it with you.” The rest of the story unfolds in these chapters.

Harper Lee was not born during the Civil War. She did not have a brother or sister and she had a black slave as a younger sister.

In the beginning of the book when Scout finds The American Civil War he cannot understand the events that are taking place. In fact he can not even write about them because he does not know the language.

One has to understand that there were no movies back then, so they were not able to show the American Civil War in any form. So they had to invent words like “Interrogation”Shoot the Messenger”. Harper Lee knew of the Civil War but it is the world around her that was different.

I wondered about what it would be like if the Civil War was still going on and her ancestors were still fighting. Of course she knew that they were winning because the North won the war and freed the slaves.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a great read that makes the reader re-examine her own childhood memories. We learn about the moral and ethical principles that Harper Lee believed in. And if we cannot feel the same way about her childhood friend Robert Blake then there is nothing to compare him to.