I didn’t know where to go with this #Blogtober17 prompt, Novels. I love to read. It’s one thing I can’t remember learning. It just feels like I’ve always been reading. The first novel I remember really having an impact on me was Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
I was brought up in a small village. Ethnic diversity was not something I came across often. I had a friend who was Chinese but differences in skin colour weren’t really something I thought about. It wasn’t until I went to secondary school that I saw a black person on a regular basis… and even then it wasn’t an issue at all. He became one of my closest friends as the years went on.
It was before secondary school, however, that I read To Kill a Mockingbird. It was a time before I knew of Martin Luther King; a time before I understood exactly what racial discrimination was. My eyes were opened and I was given a new sense of identity. I suppose it was then that I formed my opinions on racism and discrimination.
The story of the Finch family and Atticus’ decision to defend a black man falsely accused of rape despite the prevalence of racial discrimination and prejudice has followed me into adulthood. To Kill a Mockingbird was so far ahead of it’s time that it’s still very relevant now.
I learned so many lessons from Harper Lee’s incredible story. I learned about tolerance, acceptance, responsibility, empathy. I discovered the meanings behind phrases I had never paid much heed to – prejudice, discrimination, racism, ethnic superiority, inferiority. My eyes were opened to the hate that has been, is and always will be in this world.
I wanted to know if I was alone in this, so asked others what they took from To Kill a Mockingbird… this is what they said.
To Kill a Mockingbird was ahead of its time it was but yet for many years afterwards there was still racial segregation in the US and even now it feels like a divided country in parts. jibberjabberuk.co.uk
How important it is to stand up for what you believe in. Atticus Finch is probably my favourite book character of all time. householdmoneysaving.com
Compassion. I read it again as an adult and fell in love with it a over again. Despite being introduced to it in school it’s probably one of my favourite books themammafairy.com
How unfair life is. The book was waaay ahead of it’s time & still is in many ways… crummymummy.co.uk
Always stick to your beliefs and never let anyone change them justaveragejen.com
That doing the right thing is always right, even when everyone tells you that you are wrong for doing it. allaboutamummy.co.uk
You should remain true to yourself and what you believe, even when times are tough. autumnsmummyblog.com
How doing right is important even when it makes you unpopular. Still my favourite book. chaosandconversation.com
That sometimes you need to stand in another person’s shoes – look at things from another perspective to really understand. My favourite book. bettertogetherhome.com
To make your own opinions of people & not listen to gossip. People are not always as they seem. theunnaturalmother.co.uk
The main thing I took from it was the importance of tolerance & equality – of treating everyone equally and never judging someone before getting to know them. welshmum.co.uk
That people we don’t necessarily like can surprise us and that you should never judge a book by its covers. wavetomummy.com
This is one of my all time favourite books. I’ve read it loads and it never loses it’s appeal. Every time I read it I am reminded of how ahead of its time it was, how you should always stand up for what you believe and never judge people until you know them better, as they may surprise you. mychaoticallyeclecticlife.com
I remember being really moved by the way Atticus sees beyond skin colour despite society’s prejudice. He sees people as people and he’s fair and just. I remembwr wanting to be a lawyer just like him, helping people who are in unjust situations and treating rooks with dignity and fairness. He is so kind, fearless and wise and I still to this day admire that. It definitely shaped how I see the world and how I treat people. kellyallenwriter.com
I can safely say I’m not alone in my thoughts on To Kill a Mockingbird. It really was ahead of it’s time and an amazingly thought provoking novel that is more than worthy of a mention.