August Books 1) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

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.

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1 Response to August Books 1) To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

  1. nwhyte says:

    D’oh! I can only blame my streaming cold and partial jetlag.

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