A Cursed Novel: To Kill A Mockingbird.

Hi, Nerdies!

I don’t often enjoy classics very much, but To Kill A Mockingbird is such an exemplary piece. Thereby I am hoping to persuade another person to enjoy this heart-breaking narrative through this post.  

So, no spoiler ahead.


The theme is racism, and the story takes place in Alabama in 1930s. The story teller is a six-year-old girl named Scout Finch. Scout lives with her brother Jem and their lawyer father, Atticus. 1930s is a period when people are still in many ways deeply affected by cotton days, hence there is an apparent schism between white and black population in their neighbourhood.

One day, a girl from a white riff-raff family reports to the town sheriff that a black man rapes her. The only witness is the girl’s father. Predictably enough, prevalent predilection in the neighbourhood is to believe the white statement despite the other conflicting facts. Meanwhile, Atticus is appointed to be the defendant’s attorney. And he begs to differ from the victim’s report.


There’s nothing new in both slavery and post-slavery inequity to be weaved in a narrative. But as much as slavery is such a common subject, this novel however is nowhere near common.

Also common is that through the subject of injustice, an author hopes to let people feel a glimpse of the rage, to break people’s hearts, to shift people’s perspectives and perhaps even to inspire people to do something consequently.  

What’s uncommon is that these wishes are impeccably materialized in To Kill A Mockingbird.

The Curse

If I were to pick one word to describe the novel, the word would be perfect. And I don’t use that word loosely. It’s the kind of perfection which will send you right into a reading slump after finishing the book.  

And the crazy thing is, I don’t think the readers would be the only party affected, I honestly think the perfection of the book cursed the author herself. In fact, To Kill A Mockingbird is the only novel the late Harper Lee ever published to this day. Go Set A Watchman was published in 2015, but later was admitted as the first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird. Lee worked on several different drafts in between 1960 ( the year To Kill A Mockingbird was published in ) and 2015, but ended up discarding the drafts as not satisfying enough.

It’s like the first book was so great, she felt people would expect more from her. Which was probably felt overwhelming to her. She was so worried of not being able to create another quite the same perfection that she kept trying while doubting herself too much along the way that she ended up failing to finish any new book. Doesn’t that seem like a curse to you?  

That probably wasn’t what happened with Lee at all, but well, it seems like a plausible scenario to me. #smilingsheephisly

Anyway, this book is that intense.


Among all the great things in the book, I love, I adore, and I dream to be Atticus.


Atticus Finch is a father.

“Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.”

Scout Finch

He is simple and honest.

Atticus Finch is a wise father.

“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.”

Atticus Finch

He is sensible and intelligent.

And the most important thing is, he is kind.

“An’ they chased him ‘n’ never could catch him ‘cause they didn’t know what he looked like, an’ Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things … Atticus, he was real nice….”

Scout Finch

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

Atticus Finch

The final message is that to simply be kind to others requires courage. But still, it’s important to be kind anyway.

Thank you for reading.  

No Comments

  1. I loved this post!! I’m not into classics and don’t feel like this would be the book for me but your thoughts were so interesting. I loved the part about the author and didn’t know that the other book published was a draft of this one!

  2. I saw this book in my fathers collect when i was young…i tried to read it and my brain got fried….now that i am ”grown” i hope to revisit it. Maybe an audio book would help

  3. Great post. I wanted to read this book for a long time now. But couldn’t get my hands on it yet. You have given a meticulous review so I want to buy the book even more now.

  4. Your comment about why Lee didn’t publish another novel has also been suggested of J.D. Salinger when no further works were forthcoming after “The Catcher in the Rye”. However, I think I read somewhere that Salinger’s family is preparing to publish some of his previously unseen works. I would certainly be interested.

  5. I have to agree completely with you Carissa, this book is an absolute gem! I’d also recommend Catcher In The Rye if you’ve not yet read it as a sole publication. 1984 is another timeless classic that I always mention when discussing books!

  6. This book is one of the few books that I really enjoyed as a teenager, but didn’t feel the need to re-read to death (like The Catcher in the Rye, The Diary of Anne Frank, Pride and Prejudice, The Lord of the Flies, and a million other classics), because it was so simple but well written and emotive, that my teenage brain actually managed to ‘get’ most of it within two reads. BUT your most has made me feel like re-visiting it for the first time in a decade.

    On another note, Catcher in the Rye is a good book, like everyone else as said, BUT it might be difficult to read it for the first time as an adult, since it is pretty self-indulgent and full of adolescent angst. Again though, I haven’t read it in close to a decade.

    1. Hi, the other day i tried to find the catcher in the rye on amazon, but as it turned out it wasn’t easy to find? Is it a hard to find book?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: