Today is day four of Banned Books Week, and today’s blog entry is dedicated to To Kill a Mockingbird.
“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.”
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged due to offensive language and racism. While there are arguably issues with Mockingbird (such as white savior themes and the lack of agency of black characters) it was a story about the injustices of racism and can provide a teaching moment and a starting point to talk about privilege.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
The publication of Go Set a Watchman in 2015 sparked new controversy around To Kill a Mockingbird. Does Atticus Finch’s racism in Watchman impact your views on Mockingbird? Discuss in the comments.