I, much like Katherine C., somehow made it this far in life without having read this American classic. It has never been that I didn’t want to or didn’t intend to. Perhaps I was afraid of not liking a classic. Or perhaps, much like the concept of cleaning out my closet, eating more greens, and timely filing of taxes, reading To Kill a Mockingbird has had a permanent place on my back burner. Until now….thank you fellow Kathryns for pushing me over the edge.
As a reader I loathe introductions…Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.
I officially agree with Ms. Lee’s work being called a masterpiece. Now I fully realize that I have no right to determine what is a masterpiece and what is not. I am currently eating a box of Milk Duds that will likely turn out to be my dinner. That being said, the book, so beautifully written, allowed the imagery of a child’s vantage upon a sleepy town to jump out. I felt like the humidity of Maycomb was all encompassing. While the pace is slow, it was the poetic text that drew me into the book.
Scout is a beautiful character – rebellious and precocious, she is a perfect outlier for which this story can unfold about. The prototype, in a way, for a character arch that has somewhat become overdone. Except for Punky Brewster, that chick was everything. (And yes I just equated Scout to Punky Brewster). In fact, many of the characters serve as a prototype in subsequent works of art. Boo Radley is a dress up doll. A classic character shrouded in mystery – allowing him to be dressed up and made into whatever you wanted him to be – good, evil, afraid, scary. Its the characters and the vivid writing that allowed the book to assume its position as a classic before I ever had the chance to deem it such.
Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.
Perhaps we could all stand to listen to Atticus a little more. But I certainly hope to have a little fight in me, like Scout.