It’s never an insult to be called what someone thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.
Unlike half the country, I was not forced to read To Kill a Mockingbird at school and with all the fanfare and kerfuffle going on around the publication of Go Set a Watchman, I thought I’d finally get round to reading it. And I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting it to me more focused on the court case rather than the life of a small, southern town through the eyes of a child. It is a charming book and not as dark as all the critical analysis would make it out to be.
My cluelessness regarding the book extended to the existence of Boo Radley. Clearly that’s where one hit wonder The Boo Radleys got their name from and consequentially I ended up with Wake Up Boo stuck in my head for half the book. The whole spooky house where the recluse lives thing has become a bit of a cliché over the years but things become clichés for a reason. I felt the lesson of prejudice Scout learns regarding Boo makes much more of an impression on her than her father’s court case.
Of course the central themes are injustice and racism, much explored and discussed in numerous places already. It’s hard to fathom such a world existed not all that long ago. I can imagine it having a greater impact when it was first published, but taking a more modern viewpoint, it doesn’t quite challenge enough. Atticus is a decent man doing his job, but everyone else just turns a blind eye to racism and it isn’t challenged. I guess it was a sign of the times…
I read this piece in The Guardian shortly after finishing Mockingbird and found myself nodding. I don’t think Atticus was ever perfect in the first place, the story is told through the rose tinted spectacles of youth after all. He is infuriatingly nice and respectful to everyone, even racist old drug addicts. It’s an admirable quality in a father to teach his children to respect everyone equally, but then some people don’t deserve that respect. I wanted to side with Scout and her desire to fight anyone who disparaged her father’s good nature.
I was also really saddened by Mayella, she is such a brief character but the poor girl. She’s “white trash” and a liar so we’re not meant to care in the confines of the story. Yet she was so lonely and a victim of abuse, not to mention the guilt she must have been burdened with. I would have liked to have known what happened to her.
I’m not particularly interested in reading Go Set a Watchman, but I can understand it’s a different perspective on a man who we only know through his loving daughter’s eyes. I’m more put off by the fact it was a book Harper apparently didn’t want published, that many people have said isn’t as polished and also that it’s lacking Scout’s innocent charm. Now if it were about Boo Radley’s life…
Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive
Book Source: Purchased
Subscribe via Email
If you happen to be reading articles about Kazuo Ishiguro/Klara and the Sun having not read (or watched) Never Let… https://t.co/Sql7aCHQ6VFollow
Forgot how hard fishing is at the start of Stardew Valley. At least they've added a training rod so I have some cha… https://t.co/3lOs92nZRmFollow
Today he would become a god. His mother had told him so. The opening line may seem like something any mother would tell her son, but in the case of Serapio, his mother truly believes he will become the Crow God reborn. She blinds him,…
The day Bree gets accepted into an early college placement at UNC, is the day her mother dies. The last words they spoke were of anger. Unable to deal with her dad’s grief on top of her own, Bree goes ahead with the placement. Once…
Alex Stern does not belong at Yale. When she awakes as the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, presumed a drug deal gone wrong, she is given an unlikely offer. Come to Yale, join the House of Lethe and oversee the rituals of the other…
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
Just let me dust off this blog thing, I have a review for you! One of my anticipated reads released during lockdown was the follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. If you read that, of course will will be dying to know what happened to…