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Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

book-review-to-kill-mockingbird-by-harper-lee

Introduction: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. 

The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man's struggle for justice—but the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

One of the best-loved classics of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960.

It has won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. It was also named the best novel of the twentieth century by librarians across the country.

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About the author 

Nelle Harper Lee is known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, her only major work. In 1999, it was voted "Best Novel of the Century" in a poll by Library Journal. Ms. Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature in 2007. 

Her father was a lawyer who served in the Alabama state legislature from 1926 to 1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and enjoyed the friendship of her schoolmate, Truman Capote. After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee accompanied Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to assist him in researching his bestselling book, 

In Cold Blood. Since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee has granted very few requests for interviews or public appearances. Her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, is scheduled to be released in July 2015.

Excerpts from the original text

There is no need to say everything you know. That's not a lady-besides, people don't like people around them who know more than they do. That will annoy them. No matter how correct you are, you can't change these people. Unless they want to learn, there is no way. You either close your mouth or use their language.—— Quoted from page 153

Short Comment

Harper Lee wrote only one book in her life. It was a beautiful beautiful masterpiece. | Repeatedly read the author's Wikipedia page. The story of this young woman who failed to complete her law degree in New York and supported her writing by doing odd jobs in accordance with her father's wishes is as moving as her deep south childhood story.


book-review-to-kill-mockingbird-by-harper-lee

To Kill a Mockingbird's Book Review

Today I would like to recommend a book called "To Killing a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. I regret that I didn't read it carefully and understand it earlier. To quote the reader, "The life that has not read this book is really different from the life after reading it." 

And the reason I highly recommend it to you is that this is a book that can really help us improve. 

Emotional Intelligence Book: 
  • How to get along with others? 
  • How to handle complex interpersonal relationships in an honest manner? 
  • How to be a friendly but self-persistent person? 
This book can give the answer.

Main storyline

In a small southern town called Maycomb during the Great Depression in the United States in the 1930s, a 6-year-old girl, Scout, lost her mother when she was young, and lived with her father Atticus, who was a lawyer, and her brother Jem. The boy Deer came to his aunt's house for summer vacation, and Jim and Scout became friends with him.

The three children were deeply attracted by their reclusive neighbor. That neighbor was called Arthur Radley. It was daunting to talk about. He kept himself in the house for more than 20 years. The first part of the story revolved around the three children facing each other. 

The curiosity of the weird Radley unfolded. People in Maycomb didn't want to talk about Radley, and no one had seen him for years. The children used rumors to fabricate various stories, speculate about the mystery behind them, and devised plans one after another to lead him out. 

In the following two summer vacations, the three children found out that someone kept small gifts for them on the tree outside Radley's house. Later they learned that this man was actually Arthur.

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The second part revolves around a case in which his father Atticus defended a black man.

Atticus was appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white girl, Majella Ewell. Although many people in Maycomb objected, Atticus agreed to defend Tom. Some children laughed at Jim and Scout for Atticus, calling their father a "nigger-loving guy." Scout was even provoked to fight for her father's honor, and his father told him not to do it.

Scout, Jim, and Deer secretly listened to the trial of Tom Robinson from the black viewing platform. Atticus exposed the lie of the plaintiff Majella and her alcoholic father Bob. It was Mayella who took the initiative to seduce Tom, and her father fought her for it. Although Tom's innocence was obvious, the jury still found him guilty. 

When the desperate Tom escaped from prison and was killed, Jim and Atticus' faith in judicial justice was greatly affected. Although Bob won the case, his reputation was discredited, and he swore revenge in despair. Bob hardened Atticus's face in the street.

Finally, one night, when Jim and Scout came home from the school’s Halloween party, Bob suddenly attacked them. Jim's arm broke in the fight, but in the chaos, a stranger rescued the children. The mysterious man carried Jim home, and Scout recognized him as Arthur Radley.

In the small town of Maycomb, everyone knows everyone. The stubborn and conservative Aunt Alexandra, the sensible neighbor Miss Modi, the tricky neighbor Miss Finks, the educated black nanny Capone, the paranoid and perverse Mrs. Du Bos, the upright and righteous white employer Link Diss, Judge Taylor with a mirror-like heart, Miss Gates, a self-contradictory teacher...

Although there is a big gap between time, region, and culture, from the perspective of human nature, the town of Maycomb is in The environment is the same. We can recognize people with personalities similar to the various roles in the book in our work, school, and extended family. 

It is precisely in this way that readers can follow the perspective of the little girl Scout, under the guidance of his father Atticus, to get to know these people with the utmost kindness, insisting on their own propositions and getting along with them with empathy.

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How to get along with others?

"After you finally get to know them, you will find that the vast majority of people are good people"

Father Atticus told Scout: "If you can learn a simple trick, you can get along well with all these people. Unless you consider the problem from someone else's point of view before you get into someone else's body You will never really know him before wandering around here."

Arthur Radley locked himself in the house for more than 20 years and never stepped out of the house. In the chattering rumors of the neighbors, Radley was imagined as a scary man who "eats dead mice, will walk out at night, and always holds a pair of scissors in his hand", but in the end, he learned that Arthur is actually One of the kindest people, he secretly gave gifts to the children, and also saved the Scout brothers and sisters in a critical moment. He locked himself in the house because he had a catastrophe 20 years ago, and now he just wants to stay in the house.

The white Raymond was regarded as an alcoholic by the residents. He put whiskey in a bag and drank it with two straws all day long, looking drunk. Later, the three children discovered that Raymond drank Coke from the bag. He didn't drink at all. The reason why he always pretended to be "drunk" was that he thought this was the "lifestyle" he wanted.

Mrs. Du Boss insulted the Atticus family for Atticus's defense of the blacks and angered his brother Jem. He smashed Mrs. Du Bos's beloved camellia in a rage. Atticus asked Jem to read to Mrs. Du Bos every night to make amends. Mrs. Du Bos always ridiculed Jem from time to time when Jem was studying and attacked Atticus with bad words. After the death of Mrs. Du Boss, Atticus told the brothers and sisters that Mrs. Du Bos was enduring the torture of quitting morphine addiction.

book-review-to-kill-mockingbird-by-harper-lee

There are a lot of plots of this kind in the book, centering on the theme of "empathy". What it teaches us is:
  1. The reason why we don't get along well with a certain person (or a certain type of person) is that we disagree with this person's behavior style, and thus produce an overall negation of this person.
  2. If we always look at others from our own perspective, it is difficult to understand why others have such "weird" behavior;
  3. "Standing from the point of view of others": It is not simply imagining yourself as the other party, and guessing based on your own experience. It is to "get into someone else's body and wander around", which means that you have to really understand the person's past background and experience. If you still use your own experience to judge what this person is doing, you will not be able to achieve true transposition.
  4. If you have not been able to "get into someone else's body and wander around", at least, you should have such a belief in others: "After you finally understand them, you will find that most people are good people. ". This sentence is the last sentence that father Atticus told Scott in the book. I think it is simply a well-known saying. Before we did not understand other people, at least we can first understand the "other people's actions are justified".

How to deal with dissent?

The way you deal with "dissidents" reflects a true upbringing

Since Atticus became a black Tom defense lawyer, he has been opposed and ridiculed by many people in the town. Even his sister Alexandra, according to Scout, Aunt Alexandra is old-fashioned, not only forcing herself to be a lady but also making irresponsible remarks to her father Atticus along with outsiders. 

Scout fought against Aunt Alexandra angrily. But Atticus said: "You can choose your friends, but you should not and cannot choose your own family. Whether you are grateful to your family or not, your family is always your bondage. And when you lose your family When gratitude makes you look stupid."

Another fiercely opposed defense of the black Atticus was Mrs. Du Bos. She always looked for opportunities to abuse the lawyers' family. Later, her brother Jem erupted like a volcano and interrupted all the camellia heads in the Du Bos courtyard. Atticus was not angry but insisted on asking him to apologize to Mrs. Du Bos and to compensate her by reading for her two hours a day for a month. 

After more than a month, Mrs. Du Bos died naturally. Atticus told the children that Mrs. Du Bos suffered from great pain every day in order to quit morphine, but she persisted until the end, so as she wished At the time of her death, she had nothing to rely on and was completely free. Then Atticus said to his son:

"Even if you didn't do those pranks, I would still let you read to Mrs. Du Boss to accompany her because I want you to take a good look at her. This is the bravest person I have ever seen. What did she explain? called the real courage. courage gas on hand is not a man with a gun. courage is when you embark on the field before you know you will be Tongzou meal, but you still on the field, and no matter what happens, you Persevere till the end. Most of the time you will fail, but sometimes, you will also succeed."

The trial of the black Tom rape case was held in public in the small town, and the three children secretly mingled with the viewing platform to watch the trial. The prosecution lawyer Gilmer cross-examined Tom viciously, which made Deere very sad. He cried on the spot. 

His brother Jim had to take Deer out. Jim told Deere: "That's his job! There is no prosecutor.", We won't have a defense lawyer. He naturally has to speak with that kind of air, Dill, he is interrogating... " Jem, at a young age, already knows how to distinguish things from people.

How many years do we need to learn to be right and wrong? The way a person handles "dissidents" and how he treats people with different views can truly reflect education.

How to stick to yourself?

Before you learn to get along with others, you must first learn to get along with yourself

Atticus decided to defend Tom, a black man and encountered huge criticism in the small town at the time. Atticus knew that Tom was wronged. He told his brother Heck this way: "Sometimes, I feel that I am a failure to be a parent, but I am everything they have. When Jim looks up to others, he looks up first. It’s me, I want to live upright so that I can face him calmly..."

book-review-to-kill-mockingbird-by-harper-lee


Atticus also educated the two siblings in this way:

"You may hear some bad comments in school, but please do one thing for me: raise your head and lower your fists. No matter what others say to you, don't get angry. Try to fight with your head. Don't because We had already failed for a hundred years before that, and though we had no reason to fight for victory."

"Be sensible about despicable things, and when things pass, you can look back with sympathy and understanding, and be grateful for not disappointing people at the time. When most people think they are right and you are wrong Of course, they have the right to think so, and their views are also entitled to be fully respected. But before they can get along with others, they must first get along. There is one thing that cannot follow the principle of conformity, and that is the conscience of people."

Due to the late marriage of Atticus, his father is considered too old (50 years old) among the students of the Scout brothers and sisters. The two brothers and sisters always felt that their father was nothing good, but the father who got inadvertently turned out to be a famous sharpshooter in the town. 

Scout was anxious to tell his classmates, but Jem said: "If he wanted to let us know, or be proud of this, he would have told us. Atticus is indeed old, but... Even if he doesn't know how to do anything, I don't care-Atticus is an educated man, a true gentleman.

After experiencing a series of incidents, Jem finally understood what his father said: "Being brave is not about holding a gun in one’s hand, but knowing that you will lose before you start, but you still have to do it. , And stick to it no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

Self-portrait

Miss Gates, the teacher of Scout at the school, told them about Hitler’s brutal behavior towards Jews, and said that “everyone is equal and has no privileges.” However, Scout remembered what happened on the day of the black Tom’s guilt, she told Jie Hm:

"Uh, coming out of the court that night, Miss Gates-she walked in front of us when she descended the steps, you must have not seen her-she was talking to Miss Stephenson. I heard her say: It's time to teach them. They are becoming less and less aware of their identities. Will they think that they can marry us in the next step. Jim, a man who hates Hitler so much, is so vicious to the people of his hometown when he turns his face?"

Reading this paragraph, I feel that the author is really sharp. Taking a self-portrait, I often make the same mistakes as Miss Gates, adopting multiple self-contradictory standards. However, when our behavior is inconsistent with our values, we will be caught by children. See-through at a glance.

book-review-to-kill-mockingbird-by-harper-lee

If you don’t have the time to read, then watch a movie! The movie of the same name is starred the famous Gregory Parker (the one starring in "Roman Holiday"). He played his father Atticus. Because of his brilliant performance, he won the Oscar for Best Actor.

No one is an individual who exists independently in this world, and wonderful interpersonal relationships fill every corner of your life. Even in the dead of night, when you were lying alone in bed, don’t you ever think about whether the neighbor slammed the door violently this morning is aimed at you? 

During your lunch break, your colleague helped you make a cup of hot tea. You forgot to thank me, and you are on the way from getting off work. It's rude to a girl who accidentally bumped into you but didn't apologize... You must have remembered all of these! And these later doubts, annoyances, and brooding are the manifestations of interpersonal management ability!

There are not so many mountains and rivers meeting friends in this world. Everything with a heart and soul is the end of getting along. The neighbor did not slam the door, just because of the strong wind; the colleague would not think of you just because you didn’t say thank you; I hit your girl’s house and went out. 

Urgent matters have caused her to be so flustered...Have better interpersonal awareness and understanding, and really make herself comfortable, and make others comfortable. Never talk badly, never secretly consider, never let go of perversion, never stop growing...

May you have friends everywhere in this city, every time you knock on a door, you will be greeted with a warm smile!
 


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