To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960. It was a success and it had meant to be so. However, let me be blunt about it that I don’t see any reason for this to be a ‘classic’! It is as usual as anything in that time could be and it addressed the issues which Harper Lee thought worthy to be addressed. There no issues as such alive today. And most importantly, the novel is boring – tad boring! It’s all about a delusion – a boo radley – an atticus – a scout and a jem and a dill. In the name of plot, there is a slow beginning and then a little abrupt turns and twists and then a usual ending.
Novels like To Kill a Mockingbird will not enthrall the readers today if they are not from a ‘compulsion background’. By compulsion background, I mean the people who have to read it anyhow – just to assure themselves that they have read it. The boring stuff is swallowed and then they don’t know where to omit it and eventually end up reading some quick-heals like Bram Stoker or the modern paranormals or some young adult even.
Still, as To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee bears the stamp of a modern classic, I have read it. I did not gallop the text; I read it carefully in a hope to find something for me. However, as an Indian, I did not see anything except a storytelling there. I can find more than that in my Indian superhero, Chetan Bhagat (just kidding). This novel has gone out of context today and by contrasting it with something written before, say 1984, you will find more relevance in George Orwell today. Orwell produced almost an evergreen literature while Lee fails to do so. She was well within her rights to write whatever she wished, but, to be honest, I did not like her work!
As a reader of novels, I show my ‘unlike’ towards To Kill a Mockingbird. However, as it is a classic (which I emphasise), a reader should read it himself to know better. I cannot tell others not to read it. However, I can warn others that they will soon stop reading it after browsing three or four chapters, I am sure about that! The racial hatred has almost gone away (except in the USA where its always there). Therefore, the better readers for this novel are to be found there only! Happy reading guys! Enjoy the Mockingbird!