1. Education

Crawl Into Another Person's Skin... & Walk Around...

By July 3, 2012

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To Kill a MockingbirdI guess it's fair to say that Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books. I've read (and LOVED) so many great classics, but this book still makes me pause to think when the characters and/or plot crosses my mind. And, I often think about that famous image--of crawling into another person's skin and walking and walking around. For me, it's the eye altering. That change of perspective is what we all desperately need some days!

I want to see. I want to understand--not only myself, but others as well. And, literature helps me to do that. I'm immersed in the plots and stories of other people, places and experiences--all drawn from that enduring universality we all want to understand. Literature (books, poems, stories & all) gives me voices--they call, laugh, cry & scream out at me in words. And, some books stay with us beyond the first or second reading; they stay with us, and make us rethink our own actions/reactions. How well do we ever really try to understand? How does literature help you to see (or learn or feel or open your mind and heart)?

Harper Lee writes: "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." Experience the quotes, from To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, take a look at questions, a review, and related books.

What do you think about the novel? When you first read it, what struck you about the book? Has it stayed with you? Have you read it more than once?

Cover Art HarperCollins.

Comments

July 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm
(1) Ally says:

“To Kill A Mockingbird” is onve of my favorites. I looked at my world differently after reading this book. Being a Southerner, it isn’t always easy to admit there are things in our collective past which brought shame upon us. We look to Miss Nell Lee for hope we can make a better future. We take, in the words of Miss Maudie, “baby steps”, and sometimes we step backwards. But thank God, we aren’t where we were, even if we aren’t where we ought to be. Thanks, Miss Nell.

July 7, 2009 at 11:40 am
(2) Gina Smith says:

When my 4 children were in their preteens I asked them to watch To Kill a Mockingbird. The two boys were just mildly interested but like me my two girls found it life altering. It is not only a great story it has all those questions about who YOU are. I have reread it several times in my life as I have reread Lord of the Rings about every 10 yrs. It caused me to decide what I want in life and who I want to be. My relationship with God and people was profoundly influenced by these two books. Another one that is a reread candidate for influencing one’s heart is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Life without books is a barren desert and a recipe for a wooden heart. Gina

July 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(3) Robin says:

To Kill a Mockingbird has long been one of my favorite books…right up there in my top-five list. I bought my first copy of it over 40 years ago (yikes!) and have owned numerous copies since. Every time I read it, I pick up something new. I was about to say that “one of my favorite quotes is…”, but there are so many! There’s the passage you quoted, Ester; it is so telling and fits in with Atticus’s decision to defend Tom Robinson.

Great book…I could go on and on. I just finished rereading it last week. One last word: Wow!

July 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm
(4) Kathy says:

Every time I revisit To Kill a Mockingbird, it takes me back to summers in the “tired old” Central Texas town where I was a child in the 1950s. I’ve read it aloud to classes of high school students who I knew wouldn’t read it on their own. That was a joy. Every character is real. Every word rings true.

July 7, 2009 at 9:50 pm
(5) Joe says:

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of my all time favorites. I have read it at least twice. The movie was also superb. I know a lot of lawyers, who compare themselves to Atticus Finch, and get real puffed up. I had the pleasure of meeting Gregory Peck, and we chatted about the movie. He said that the book was one of his real favorites.

July 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(6) Scott Presnall says:

I’m a high school English teacher and have taught TKAM for seven years. Like other readers, I still find new things about the story that make me appreciate it even more. I can’t imaging going through a school year without sharing it with my students.

July 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm
(7) mike says:

the book is brilliant

July 12, 2009 at 7:29 am
(8) Surja Gain says:

I read the book about 15 years ago, having borrowed it from a friend. I remember having loved it very much (who can’t really?). It does influence one to look at the world differently, with a little more intellect and soul. I hope soon I will go out and buy a copy of it for myself and read it again.

July 18, 2009 at 8:00 am
(9) bouchaib ben-thamou says:

i am glad that i get a copy of the book, that i bought at second hand/ usedbooks store down town c, and i undestand why MS Harper Lee did not write other books becaues in “to kill a moking bird” is too many books at once, it has first hand: education racism justice government authority presnted by Mr Tate the sheriff of Maycomb county.while Mr Finch, the father and a lawyer faced a delimma saying: if this thing’s hushed up it’ll be a simple denial to Jem of the way i tried to raise him.sometime i think i’m a total failure as a parent… When mr Tate spoke again…:Mr Finch
i hate to fight you when you like this. you under a strain tonight…I really enjoyed reading this book ;it’s a good book full of
wisdom and good sincere advice, thanks to the writer

July 3, 2012 at 6:05 am
(10) Cherie says:

To Kill a Mockingbird has stayed with me since I was a kid. Harper Lee did an amazing job of creating all the characters, but Atticus really stands out. As a kid I didn’t have a lot of great male role models, and I’ve held on to Atticus as a true gentlemen who was down to earth yet courageous as well.

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