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Another classic reread for me. It is as good as I remembered; I had forgotten just how much of the book is the set-up for the trial scene, which is actually only a fairly short chapter. It is a brilliant and brutal depiction of childhood in rural Alabama in the 1930s, when your father is the town's most visible liberal, and of the murder of a black man by racism.

I am bothered, though, about the complacency of the ending. Actually, Atticus Finch's morality suffers a serious defeat. Boo Radley is spared his day in court, for a crime which he committed but would certainly have been acquitted of; totally the opposite fate to Tom Robinson's. Yet I am left uncomfortably feeling that we are expected to consider this a happy ending. And what of the Ewell family, now fatherless and denied justice as they denied it to the Robinsons? Nobody wins, and I think the last chapter needed a bit more edge to be true to the rest of the book.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
girfan
Aug. 3rd, 2009 07:22 am (UTC)
I always wondered if part of this book was autobiographical. The friend who lived with his aunt during the summer was based on Truman Capote.
I've been to Baldwin County (my parents retired there) and it's very much like the book (in how it looks).
(no subject) - acesspadesdice - Aug. 3rd, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - acesspadesdice - Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:41 am (UTC) - Expand
nickbarnes
Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
Joe is reading this over the summer.
seawasp
Aug. 3rd, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
I guess I'll try rereading it. I've been afraid to, because my memories of it are so pleasant, which makes it utterly unique in the category of "assigned reading".
blueboxfever
Aug. 7th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC)
An American friend of mine bought me this book as a Christmas present, a few years ago. It's still one of my favourite novels, ever. I had just finished a course on American literature, and as such it perfectly complemented the information had gained that term.

It's really an interesting question, isn't it: though you are supposed to feel that injustice has condemned Tom Robinson, Boo Radley's actions sort of settle the score -- though they are not morally better than blaming a black man for a crime he didn't commit.

Edited at 2009-08-07 01:24 pm (UTC)
daewonblake
Nov. 25th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
Considered a classic, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is story of racism. It is set in the town of Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. The civil rights era was yet to come. The issues the book handles may not seem so relevant today as they were then. And that is why it is a good read as it allows us to go back in time 'when things were different'. All the characters in the book play significant roles in taking the story forward. But clearly, Atticus Finch, is the torch-bearer. I agree that in the end, nobody wins. The efforts that Atticus takes to give justice to Tom Robinson seem futile with Tom’s death. But somehow I think that seen from Scouts’ point of view, the whole process taught her and Jem some of the most important lessons in life. Among them is, to stand up for what you believe in. I really enjoyed the guidelines that Shmoop gave me in understanding the book. Great stuff.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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