Way back in high school, I was required to read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Most kids were probably required to in the United States because it captured a piece of our history that defines our present day. With the announcement of its sequel, Go Set a Watchman, combined with numerous current events, I thought it was time to revisit this classic.
For those of you who may be living an isolated life and are not familiar with the story, To Kill a Mockingbird captures an unforgettable trial of a white lawyer defending an African-American man charged with the rape of a white girl. The lawyer is none other than Atticus Finch and we (the reader) learn of his story through the innocent eyes of his young daughter, Scout.
I remember this book being one of my favorite required reads in high school, but those were honestly few and far between. This time around, I found myself not only enjoying the story, but appreciating its poignancy. The importance of this story, the relations among races, was crucial at the time of its release. Its message is just as significant today.
This re-read has made me very excited to revisit some of the much beloved characters in Lee's sequel. More importantly, it has reminded me to not only tolerate differences, but to appreciate them. Afterall, "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them." (p. 321) Atticus cannot be more right, and I look forward to walking around in other's shoes.
I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes, courtesy of Scout . . .
"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing." (p, 20)
Scout appears to be following in Atticus's shoes, and I look forward to seeing what I will discover about her in Go Set a Watchman. (UPDATE: I still have not read this book, but am determined to make 2017 the year to. Please do not share any spoilers!)
What are your thoughts on Lee's classic? Have you found yourself appreciating it more on a re-read? Do you intend to read, or have you read the sequel?