June Book of the Month: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Modbert, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    The first book for book of the month I figured had to mean something special. Since it will be fifty years since the release of this classic novel in July, what better way to celebrate literature by choosing a literary masterpiece.

    $tokillamockingbird.jpg

    To Kill A Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee and published in 1960. In 1961, it was chosen for the Pulitzer Prize. The book has many themes that still resonate with us today in 2010 America. Which is what helps make this book such a timeless classic. Themes ranging from race, class, to gender, to poverty, and of course law itself with several other themes as well.

    Most of us who have read the book have no doubtingly seen Atticus Finch be brought to life on the big screen by legendary actor Gregory Peck.

    $atticus-finch_l1224079499.jpg

    There is no doubt as to why in 2003, the AFI named Atticus Finch as the greatest movie hero of 20th century. Many would argue, the greatest literary hero as well.

    Some of my favorite quotes from the novel:

    So we'll be discussing this book all month here at USMB for the very least. If you've read the book, feel free to join in! If not, pick it up and you won't regret reading it.

    If you have any books that you would like to recommend to be read for the month of June, other months, or discuss other books in general, feel free to post here:

    http://www.usmessageboard.com/general-discussion/118911-usmb-book-club.html
     
  2. strollingbones
    Online

    strollingbones Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Messages:
    65,643
    Thanks Received:
    15,621
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Location:
    chicken farm
    Ratings:
    +31,939
    harper lee was given money by her friends....so that she could take the time off to write to this book.
     
  3. boedicca
    Offline

    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    41,789
    Thanks Received:
    12,771
    Trophy Points:
    2,250
    Location:
    The Land of Funk
    Ratings:
    +22,766
    Excellent selection.
     
  4. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    I'll start off with a few questions to startup the discussion and see where it goes from there.

    What do you think the overall message of the book is about race?

    Who is your favorite character and why?

    Do you agree with Atticus's assessment that most people are nice once you are able to see them for what they are? Going further with that line of questioning, what quality of Atticus do you think makes him most like a hero? If any, that is.

    What lessons in 2010 do you think we can gather from this book?
     
  5. Granny
    Offline

    Granny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,121
    Thanks Received:
    785
    Trophy Points:
    200
    Location:
    Rocky Top, TN
    Ratings:
    +1,255
    Great choice! I've read the book and have a VCR tape of the movie. (Sorry folks, I got my tape before DVDs came into fashion.) That's one movie that should stay B&W - I think colorization would take away from it. I've heard that Dill was based upon Truman Capote - a cousin of Harper Lee.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  6. JakeStarkey
    Offline

    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    137,093
    Thanks Received:
    12,322
    Trophy Points:
    2,165
    Ratings:
    +32,448
    What do you think the overall message of the book is about race? Race is nothing more than a social, not a biological, construct. First, Tom Robinson, the wrongfully accused suspect, is a greater man than Bob Ewell, the lying father who beats his daughter. Second, the Judge is corrupted by the issue of race in his court. He knows the jury was wrong, but he refused to overrule its decision: sheer moral cowardice.

    Who is your favorite character and why? Heck Tate, the sheriff, who is able to grow morally as a human being.

    Do you agree with Atticus's assessment that most people are nice once you are able to see them for what they are? Going further with that line of questioning, what quality of Atticus do you think makes him most like a hero? If any, that is. I disagree with the first comment: Bob Ewell, when understood, is still a lousy human being. Atticus is a hero because he is the one in his community who does the job of heavy lifting.

    What lessons in 2010 do you think we can gather from this book? Despicable people, like many of the far right reactionaries, will always exist. Every community needs an Atticus Finch to face the cowards down.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  7. Barb
    Offline

    Barb Carpe Scrotum

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5,717
    Thanks Received:
    1,568
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Location:
    in a house.
    Ratings:
    +1,586
    I liked Atticus best, because of this:

    I also appreciate the quote about popular opinion not being predicative of conscience.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  8. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    Indeed. Atticus Finch is definitely someone who one can look to as a role model of sorts. What I also find important about him is how, at the end of the day, despite all the hardships and everything he's seen, he is still able to find the good in most people. That is such a important thing, especially when it comes to giving humanity to others, and still being able to look at them as a fellow human being.
     
  9. Granny
    Offline

    Granny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,121
    Thanks Received:
    785
    Trophy Points:
    200
    Location:
    Rocky Top, TN
    Ratings:
    +1,255
    There were so many great characters. Boo Radley can certainly not be overlooked. For all his "issues" and poor home life, he had a great heart. He tried, in his own way, to communicate with the Finch children, he looked out for them and rescued them from harm. In some ways he was like a child in a man's body, but he had a very good sense of good and evil.
     
  10. Woyzeck
    Offline

    Woyzeck Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,501
    Thanks Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    A-Io
    Ratings:
    +222
    Racism is wrong. But a lot of it the racism is more or less institutionalized in the book. People are racist because society expects it of them, hence much of the plot of the book.

    Atticus, but that's probably because Gregory Peck amplified his awesomeness in the movie.

    Partly yes, partly no. People are people underneath, and bit I believe is in treating them all equally, unless they have proven to you that they deserve otherwise.

    Atticus is a hero for various reasons, you could take your pick. He's a hero because he stands up for the more obvious notion of equality, against discrimination. He's a hero because he sticks by his principles in the face of great adversity. He's a hero because he's a model father, he's a hero because he tries to give people equal chances, etc. It goes on.

    Almost anything listed above of what Atticus does, if you'd like. More or less, whatever lessons could be gleaned from when it first came out, could apply for today easily.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1

Share This Page