To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an undisputed classic. It is not this way because of the writing style or the genre, but because of the underlying messages that Lee weaves into the fabric of the book. It tackles racism, sexism, PTSD, and the unjust justice system in a recollection of a woman, Scout, of her childhood.
Most of you, although, probably already have read this book, and know this. It is taught in many high schools across the country, and whether you read the book or the SparkNotes summary, it has an impact on everyone who it comes upon.
I was no different. I read the book for the first time in the 7th grade, and I didn’t fully grasp the true meaning of the book… I just thought it was about a court case, which I loved reading about. The next time I read the book, it was with a class my freshman year of high school, where I picked up on the racism and bigotry that the novel called attention to. I then read it again my senior year as a “personal read” for my AP Literature class, where my eyes were again opened to a deeper and truer meaning along with components of PTSD and sexism.
Each time I read the book, I learn more… it grows with me and my understanding. This book is timeless. I’m reading it for the fourth time now, and am still picking up on things I didn’t before. This is why if we lived in a world where all books were burned and I had to become a book, like in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, I would memorize and become To Kill a Mockingbird. Each time I’d repeat a quote, I’d analyze it further, I’d watch everyone’s understanding of the book change as they grow, and continue to see mine do the same.
Our perspectives are ever changing, and thus we are ever learning.