Before reading it, I didn’t exactly know what to expect from To Kill a Mockingbird.
My wife doesn’t like it. My mother-in-law doesn’t like it. Uncle Steve doesn’t like it. Frankly, I’m not sure if anybody on my wife’s side of the family likes it.
But I knew it was a book that has been – at least in the past – assigned to students in middle school and high school as an essential read. I also knew that it had won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and that it is considered to be an incredibly influential book.
For some reason, however, I had never been assigned to read the book in school. I don’t remember it if I had.
As far as I remember, this was my first time reading it. And I must say that I feel differently about it than my in-laws.
In an attempt to stop digging my own grave, I can at least understand and accept why some people may not like the book.
It’s written about a difficult situation in a difficult time. I know many people don’t like reading about bad or evil things happening to good people. Some people don’t like reading about people being treated unfairly. Others don’t like reading about children who are in danger or who are being abused.
Some people don’t like reading about racism, and, if you are one of those people, reading about the South in the 30s would be more than uncomfortable.
As far as my opinion is concerned, I found To Kill a Mockingbird to be both inspirational and thought-provoking.
Reading about a lifestyle that was considered acceptable in the past – that would so widely be considered offensive and unacceptable today – made me think about what things might be acceptable now that shouldn’t be.
Reading about people in the past who felt that the “acceptable” lifestyle shouldn’t, in fact, be accepted was inspiring for me because it made me look at myself to see if I’m being loving and accepting to those who currently aren’t loved and accepted.
This book does cover racism, rape, murder, and other serious topics. But it does so from the eyes of a little girl around 9 years old.
As the reader, you’re able to understand what’s happening while she doesn’t always understand. And, while that might be even more difficult for some to handle emotionally, I appreciated the way these topics were covered.