To Kill A Mockingbird Post #1

Going into To Kill a Mockingbird, I had some previous knowledge as to what the book was about.  I had started to read this back in 7th grade, based off of a recommendation from my English teacher at the time.  She knew that I really enjoyed reading and made me a list of books that would widen my perspectives.  My first time reading the book, I was a little confused and from what I remember, I didn’t really get the whole idea and general concepts in the book.  Because of this, I was put off by the book for the longest time, and when we began reading this, I tried to come in with an open mind, and I am sure glad that I did.  I really got into the book this time around.  

The setting and story were so new to me, it captivated me so much that I had to stop myself from reading on into the book. I love reading from Scout’s point of view, as many of the books that I read are from an older sibling or adult perspective, and the way Scout thinks is truly reflected in the language of the novel. This book is very different from anything I’ve read in so many ways, but one of the main ways for me is the southern language it uses.  The general feeling of the piece as the family is from Alabama is unique, as the characters speak in a Southern accent.  This is really new to me as I haven’t had the exposure to reading the accent before, and it makes the book more interesting.

One major part of the first 9 chapters is when Atticus said the line, “You never really understand a person unless you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  This is sort of related to the idea of secret lives that we had talked about before in class, as you never know exactly what is going on with someone unless you live their entire life, including any secret lives the person may have.  A person could be completely fine on the outside but actually extremely upset and going through a lot that most people don’t know about.  I think that James and Staples would also offer some insight into this quote.  Staples would most likely say that people don’t see the side of the African American community, and that they cannot truly understand the day to day struggle that they go through with all of the smallest discriminations. James would agree with Atticus here, as he talked about how people can’t understand the rationale for why they do things unless they really get that the person has passion.

Image result for maycomb alabama

I’m going to be following Atticus throughout the rest of the book, and if you’ve read TKAM, Atticus is the father of Scout and Jem.  He is a single father, and a lawyer in Alabama.  Atticus has conflicts throughout the first few chapters, many of which go along with raising children.  The main conflicts that he has have to do with the trials that he has and the beliefs that he has regarding African Americans.  Atticus is a man that is for civil rights and treating black people better that they are in their time period, as seen by his trial, where he is working to defend a black man for a crime that he believes he is innocent for. I don’t see too much change with Atticus through the first chapters, as we don’t see too much of him, but he does tell more about his trial here. On page 88, Atticus talks with Scout’s Uncle Jack after Jack breaks up the fight between Scout and her cousin Francis.  The quote says, “You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray that I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s disease.  Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up is something I don’t pretend to understand…”  Atticus shows that he is not just one of the stereotypical Alabama residents at that time and illustrates that he has clear opinions of his own.  This resistance of the status quo is interesting to me, and I’d like to continue to see as I read if this trend continues.

Image result for atticus finch 

The lit circle from last week was interesting, as we talked a lot about Atticus overall.  We thought that Atticus was really fascinating, as he seems like such a standout character in this small town in Alabama.  I thought that the trial would come into more focus as the story moved onward, and would become an issue for the children at school.  I was really intrigued by the idea that someone brought up of if Boo Radley was just a normal person, and just reclusive.  This would shake up the book and lead more into the idea of how Boo has a “secret life” that outsiders don’t understand. In our next discussion, I want to talk more about Miss Maudie, as there seems to be a lot of focus on this relationship between Scout and Miss Maudie, and I can only wonder how this will end up connecting back to the original plotline of the Boo Radley mystery.

 

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