Friday, December 31, 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

I really couldn't let this day or year pass without noting that my most favorite book was published 50 years ago, 1960.
To Kill a Mockingbird
It was the only book written by Harper Lee.  She tried to write another novel, but ended up destroying the copy and giving up.  Critics have said that it was the best thing she did.  It allowed her one and only book to stand alone and not be compared to her other works.  After 41 weeks on the best seller list, it won the Pulitzer Prize.
Harper never married.  She still works part time in the law profession in Alabama.  Her given name is Nelle Harper Lee and likes to be addressed by her friends as "Nelle".  She keeps out of the spotlight and a few years ago responded to a request to give a speech by saying, "it's better to keep silent than to be thought a fool."  Good Advice.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." Atticus Finch to Scout, Chapter 3.

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."  Attitus Finch to daughter Scout, Chapter 10.

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."  spoken by Atticus Finch, chapter 11.

"I think there's just one kind of folks.  Folks."   Scout, Chapter 23.

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."  Miss Maudie Atkinson to Scout, Chapter 10.

"Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad."  Scout, Chapter 31.

That last quote was the one that I used to name my blog.  I didn't think it out too heavily.  I just picked a book and looked up some quotes.
One time I was talking with some friends about blogging.  One of my neighbors said, "Oh, I know your blog, I looked at it once.  It's called 'the Neighborhood Boo'."  kind of.  not really.  the neighborhood boo is more of a Halloween thing.  But, I didn't want to confuse anyone, so I just let it go.
The first time I read this book I was 30 and pregnant with Sierra.  I almost named her Scout.  Sometimes I wish I had.  But her middle name is Jean and Scouts real name in the book is Jean Louise so I thought that was close enough.  
It's one of those books that makes you think of different things each time you read it.  I read it in a different light once I moved to Mississippi.  I think it is time to read it again.
And the movie is pretty darn good, too.  It came out in 1962.  I read a review once of the top 5 movies that are as good or better than the book and this was Numero Uno.  I agree.

1 comment:

Amara said...

One of my favorites --but then, you knew that. Maybe critics feel like tearing it up is the best thing she ever did, but I sigh and pine over that lost manuscript.