Why I love To Kill A Mockingbird

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“Why I love To Kill A Mockingbird”
By Mary Beth Broussard
Lafayette, Louisiana
Date: 6/12/12

To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite book. I first read this book by Harper Lee in high school and I liked it. But I read it again when I turned 40, and it revealed itself to me as another book entirely. A book with beautiful rich language, that exposes poverty and racism at a very volatile time, that offers no answers but strives for integrity.
I appreciate it for the compelling plot and wonderful characters but I LOVE it for an entirely different reason.
I love the honesty of the book. Scout sees the world through the open eyes of a child. She looks to Atticus for her moral compass and attempts to navigate through a confusing and often contradictory world. A world in which adults are teaching children to follow the teaching of the bible, but expressing opinions that are unkind and unjust.
I love the fight Atticus faces to live a life of integrity and honor, in spite of the pressure of the town. Scout and Jim watch Atticus, the town watches Atticus and I as a reader watch and learn from Atticus’ quiet dignity in his pursuit for justice.
I love the grey of the book. Atticus is aware that Tom Robinson will most likely be convicted, because of the racism of the town. But he continues to fight for him and fight for change that is to come.
I love Boo. So scary and mysterious to the children at first, and then later revealed as a kind but lost soul. He is different ..yes. but not bad. He needs acceptance and not ridicule.
I love the language. So lyrical and southern . It stays with you in images after the book has been put away. The words hang in the air like a humid summer day.
I love Scouts struggle to find who she is. She’s a feisty tom boy and a young girl being groomed by her aunt to be a southern lady.
I especially love the mission church ladies who raise money for the poor people of Africa, but do not recognize need and oppression in their own town.
I could go on and on.
You should read To Kill a Mockingbird first for plot. Get a feel for the characters and fall in love with the language. But then reread it and let is slowly reveal itself to you as the masterpiece it is.


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