To Kill a Mockingbird: Book Reflection

mockingbird

I believe the last time I read this book was middle school or early in high school. I didn’t retain much except for “something about Boo Radley and a tree.” Not quite the paradigm shifting human dignity message Mrs. Lee was trying to get across. What really prompted me to read it again was Paige Benton Brown’s “In the Temple” message (start listening around 13:00). The context is the cloud of God’s glory in the Old Testament: how it is both revealing and covering who God is and although Israel was His chosen people, they needed to be reminded of His complete holiness. She quotes the portion where Scout is reminded to stand up upon Atticus Finch’s exit from the court room. Paige says of Scout and her father: “He was already her father and she already loved him a lot, but she needed to be reminded of who. He. Was.” Just like the Israelites in the desert and at Sinai. I love this analogy. So I dusted off the book and put it in my “to read” pile.

Since it’s a classic and a favorite of almost everyone I know, I will just give a few of my favorite quotes and themes. I tweeted several of these as I was reading:

Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.
-Scout

People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.
-Miss Maudie

It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike.
-Calpurnia

Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.
-Atticus Finch

I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.
-Scout

(On the injustice of Tom Robinson’s conviction): They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again–seems only the children weep.
-Atticus Finch

And perhaps my favorite quote of all, which occurs several times throughout the book:

It’s not time to worry yet.
-Atticus Finch

That last quote captures the essence of the story because I agree with Miss Brown: this story is ultimately about a little girl’s relationship with her father. Even though she and her brother respect him from the very beginning, their relationship deepens throughout the book. As a father, Atticus is like God in that He sees a bigger picture than his kids. He’s constantly reassuring them, telling them he’ll let them know when it’s “time to worry.” Of course he never actually says this because when danger finally arrives, he’s present to handle it with them. Turns out there is never a time to worry.

If you’ve never read Harper Lee’s classic novel, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Clicking the picture at the top will take you to Amazon so you can order yourself a copy (and if you order from my website, I get a little tip!) It’s a fantastic read for young and old.

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3 thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingbird: Book Reflection

  1. I’ll be honest, I have listened to the beginning of that lecture 3 or 4 times and I always cry when she starts talking about Atticus. What a book. And what a message from Paige Benton Brown, actually. The Lord has used it greatly in my heart. Thanks for these thoughts!

    • Yes! Paige’s message really affected me. I’ve listened to it probably 4 or 5 times as well. She covers so much ground; I wish she would write a book 🙂

  2. Thank you for this post! Atticus is wrong. I weep.
    At the risk of sounding nearly blasphemous, there is so much scripture in this book, I sometimes quote it like it is. There is also a lot of good parenting advice in there, btw! My little girl is a LOT like Scout (I was too, but my daddy never made my big brother let me tagalong). My whole family is from Alabama (though we’re mostly Texans now), and my dad says the story is so true to life. He knew families just like the Cunninghams and Ewells (unfortunately) and the Finches (fortunately).
    Anyway, thanks for this. I’ll go listen to the speech you linked now 🙂

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