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Readers Respond: How Did "To Kill a Mockingbird" Influence You?

Responses: 10

By

From the article: All About Harper Lee
How did Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird influence your life? Celebrate the 50th anniversary of its publication by sharing your thoughts here. Share Your Thoughts

To kill a mocking bird

I read this book when I was at school, in Grade 11 - it stood out for the strength of the characters, including the children. It was an adult world as seen through the eyes of children, and so I connected with it immediately. The characters were heroes in their own rights - Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson and even Boo Radley! This is a book that has remained at the top of my list of reads!
—Guest Pumla

Forever Life-Relevent

I first read this book of immense compassion, courage and humanity for a GCSE course. Through the innocent, childish perspective of Scout and the prejudice within the deep south, black and white races, I saw that we forget to our own peril, when conveniently judging in a black and white fashion, the grey areas of complexity within another man's skin. I recently discovered a lawyer who ironically told me that, this also being his favourite read, is not a good reason to be in his profession! Atticus is unforgettable as the humane lawyer and father who is true to his own conscience and leading by example, enables his children to discover their own minds and learn that difference is not to be feared but respected and championed. Harper Lee sensitively depicted our narrow attitudes towards those who are social outcasts and misfits, reminding us that it begins with the young and is the responsibility of the mature to enlighten. Everyone should read and re-read this book.
—Guest Cindy

After a Second Read

I remember reading and enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a teenager. The novel is set in a small town Maycombe in Alabama in the southern states of America where the Whites largely viewed the Blacks as ill educated, with low morals and largely segregrated them from the Whites. Harper Lee having lived there accounted for the first time the racial prejudices, divisions and narrow mindedness that took place. Having read the book again recently I consider that apart from racial prejudice the novel covers a good degree of moral and courage. In fact Courage is a very prominent feature in this book. Atticus Finch, a principled white lawyer who is called a "nigger lover" by many people in Maycombe, has the moral courage to take up the Tom Robinsion case and defend him in the trial and tell the truth. Courage is also shown within the community when there is a fire at Miss Maudie's house and all come to help. Boo saves Jem and Scout's lives when Bob Ewell attacks them.
—Guest Sisir Kanjilal

Remembering to Kill a Mockingbird

I first read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 7th or 8th grade. It impressed me with its ability at subtle meanings beneath an interesting and involving story line. I loved the characters and how the main idea was presented through a scope.
—Guest marblewolf

Favorite book

I wish I could get a signed copy of Ms. Lee's book for my son Bill. For years I have been looking for a hard cover copy. I finally sent him a paperback when it came out. The story is so beautifully written. I would really like for us to meet this wonderful auther one day. What a great birthday present that would be for my Bill. Respectfully, Carole Bartlett Indianapolis NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Carole, have you tried Abebooks.com? It's probably no easy task to get your hands on a signed copy, but that's one place to check.
—Guest Carole Bartlett

To kill aMocking bird

When I read this book it reminded me of how good it felt to just help those who dont ask you -- just let them know you're thinking about them.
—Guest Wayne whiten

I am Scout

The first time I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ I was a student at school, and like anything else at school, it so wasn’t cool. The second time I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ I was again at school, but I was the teacher. And I loved it (the book, I mean). The third time I read this book I decided thta I would name my first-born child Scout. Because Scout is me when I was small. I grew up in a tiny town where everyone knew everyone else. Our very own Boo Radley was Mr Charleywood, whose flowers we destroyed to build a booby-trap, and who was rumoured to guard his chickens with a shotgun during the night. My brother was Gem and I was Scout and our maid was Calpurnia. And we spent many an hour running amok in the streets and getting up to no good. Fortunately my husband loves Scout as much as I do and so he’s fine with the naming suggestion. My mother is another story entirely. She may disown me. Quite obviously she has not read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
—Guest Simone Wessels-Bloom

To Kill A mocking Bird

First time the fact that color made such an impact on our lives was brought home to me. I fell in love with the characters, they were all so real. Even today its message is relevant and 'fair play' is desired by all of us. Today, too, the book has universal appeal.
—aquarita

Number One!

I first read "To Kill A Mockingbird" when I was in the sixth grade. Today, it is still my favorite book and movie. I credit this story for inspiring me to become a writer. It has been my measuring stick since I began writing. My goal as a writer is to evoke the same kind of emotions I felt when I first read "To Kill A Mockingbird". It was simply BRILLIANT!
—Michaelahone

To Kill a Mocking Bird

TKAMB was one of our study texts when I was at school. I remember thoroughly enjoying the story whilst loving the strong, well written characters. I picked the book up again a few years ago -- nearly twenty years since I had last had my hands on it. What a read! Still as true, honest and relevant today as it was then. Fantastic.
—Guest Lee Grant

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How Did "To Kill a Mockingbird" Influence You?

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