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I READ "TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD" IN 1964. YOU?

 
 
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 11:52 am
I was 13 and in the eighth grade. I read it in the summer before school and finished the book in less than 2 days and then read it again. I knew my dad Wasnt Atticus, he was military and still wsnt ready for "equal rights". I compared Atticus to my dad and came to a conclusion that stuff like tolerance and brotherhood takes several generations .

I recall sitting on my parents back patio reading the book and being asked questions about it (As a second generation AMerican, it was our family tradition to share learning by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of something I just read). It was one year before my own sister died in a car crash with her boyfriend, so I was allowed the priviledge of having her feelings and insight to "Scouts" worldview.

Not since I read "Roy Chapman Andrews " memoirs was I affected by a book like Ms Lees.
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 11:54 am
@farmerman,
I only the the movie ten years ago, maybe on TV. I missed a lot of movies. I read Gene With the Wind as a teenager.
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djjd62
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 11:56 am
in Canada we read To Mock a Kilogram in 1974
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 11:57 am
@farmerman,
this weeks BBC podcast Americana features a story about To Kill a Mockingbird
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engineer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:14 pm
I read it last weekend. What a phenomenal book. I think Atticus is one of the most balanced presentations of fatherhood I have ever seen. I could clearly see my grandmother is the depictions of the southern ladies.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:16 pm
Pre 1965. Not certain exactly beyond that.
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:19 pm
@farmerman,
Do you subscribe to the belief/critical view /rumor that Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was in part ghost-written by Truman Capote. Personally, I I think this rumor is the result of misconception by some who aren't familiar with their relationship as they were childhood/lifelong friends. Truman inspiration to Lee was biographical in Mockingbird as Lee patterned character Dill after him. Also, later in their lives, she collaborated closely with him in researching his 4-yr-effort while writing of 'In Cold Blood'. Any thoughts on that?
George
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:21 pm
I read it in high school and then again when my son Rhys was in high school.
Reading literature was not Rhys's long suit so we read the book together
and discussed it as we went along.
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Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:35 pm
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal recently published this brief appraisal of the book, saying in not so many words that it remains one of the most overrated books in English and criticizing adults who "don't know they are reading a children's book."

Quote:
In all great novels there is some quality of moral ambiguity, some potentially controversial element that keeps the book from being easily grasped or explained.

...There is no ambiguity in "To Kill a Mockingbird"; at the end of the book, we know exactly what we knew at the beginning: that Atticus Finch is a good man, that Tom Robinson was an innocent victim of racism, and that lynching is bad.
talk72000
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 12:41 pm
@Shapeless,
There is the 'Oxbow Incident' which is about lynching.
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hingehead
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 05:44 pm
I didn't read it until 2003. I liked it. In fact it made me think that I should probably work my way through the Pulitzer prize winners. But I haven't.

There was a Guardian opinion piece about the current trend for criticising TKAM, citing the above mentioned Wall Street Journal article (what a fine rag that is under Uncle Rupert).

As for moral ambiguity, how about Boo Radley's story?
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dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 06:00 pm
@farmerman,
I think I was younger...maybe 9 or 10?

I loved it from beginning to end.
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Arella Mae
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 06:30 pm
I haven't read the book farmerman, but I've seen the movie countless times. A wonderful old classic.

I have read the book In Cold Blood and seen the movie many times. I was pretty impressed at how closely the movie followed the book. That's a rarity I think.
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 08:04 pm
I'm a tiche older than you are and I did read the book around the time the movie was made, but I am not certain of the sequence. I thought I was 16 when I saw the movie at the old Dearborn Theater on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, MI. I saw it with my friends from grade school.

I loved the movie. My kids and I later watched it together on video and we all loved it.

I reread the novel more than once and used Mayella's testimony for an audition to join my college's drama society.

I hate the whispers against Harper Lee. Why can't people value the achievements of an individual?
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engineer
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 08:34 pm
@Shapeless,
It's funny how the critic claims certain criteria for "great books". To me, Atticus and Tom are archetypes, the righteous man and the innocent victim. What we are really suppose to see are the rich characters around them and see our reflections in them. I guess the NY Times critic has been reading too many summer beach novels to appreciate that.
dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 09:40 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

It's funny how the critic claims certain criteria for "great books". To me, Atticus and Tom are archetypes, the righteous man and the innocent victim. What we are really suppose to see are the rich characters around them and see our reflections in them. I guess the NY Times critic has been reading too many summer beach novels to appreciate that.


And ignores just how many people, both at the time that the book is SET, and when it was WRITTEN who knew none of these things.

It also ignores the Boo Radley sub-plot and the nasty old lady who was over-coming her addiction sub-plot.
Joe Nation
 
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Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 10:00 pm
To Kill a Mockingbird has been on my Top Ten Movies list since at least 1967, I know I didn't read the book until June 4th of 1968.
~~~
I know that because I know I finished it on a plane on my way to Washington, DC to compete in a talent competition for the USAF. The winners would go to entertain the troops in Viet Nam.

That night, as we were getting ready to go party after the our show, we were told the news about Bobby Kennedy. One of the performers said "They intend to kill every good and decent man." Standing there, with Mockingbird still echoing in my head and with the events of the previous April still as fresh as a new cut, I knew he was so wrong and so right.)
~~
I know I saw the movie at the State Theatre in Manchester, CT. I was just done with my freshman year of high school so that has to be 1962. If they had wanted to shoot the movie in a small industrial town with a Main Street right off the covers of the Saturday Evening Post, they could have come to Manchester.
http://tinyurl.com/4u9mp6

It was a summer night. I'm sure of that. Admission was .25 . I know that because I had $2.00 with me that night. I paid for myself and Betty Beaulieu. I bought us two cokes and a large popcorn which was .25 more.

We watched the movie.
When it was over we walked up Main Street and across a corner of the park to Center Street. I asked Betty if she wanted an ice cream cone from Farr's Soda Shop. She said "No, thank you" and there was a long pause.
"People are so mean to each other" she said.
"I think things will get better" I said.
But that was 1962 and I had no idea what I was talking about.

Joe(The night Nixon was elected, I cried for my country,I cried myself to sleep.)Nation
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Jul, 2010 11:24 pm
I read it in 2001 with a tenth grade English class - I wasn't the teacher - I was there to help the kids who needed remedial help getting through it. It was an affecting experience - reading this book in the south with both black and white kids who'd been raised in the south.

I love the setting and characters - but I'm always drawn to that setting and those sorts of characters.
'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter' is a favorite along the same lines-for some reason that's the book we were assigned to read when I was in highschool- and not 'To Kill A Mockingbird, so I'd never read 'To Kill A Mockingbird' in school. And I've never watched the movie.
I think it's on the assigned reading list for highschools even over here now (in the UK) along with 'Of Mice and Men'.
That's saying quite a lot - that they're representative of the American experience during that time and stand above others of that genre.
I'm sure Harper Lee would be proud to know her work stands alongside John Steinbeck's as a perceived 'classic'.
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Shapeless
 
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Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:27 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
And ignores just how many people, both at the time that the book is SET, and when it was WRITTEN who knew none of these things.


That was my reaction. The review complains that the book tells us what we already know, but if we all knew racism was bad... well, then the book wouldn't have had to have been written.
Arella Mae
 
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Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 07:48 am
@Shapeless,
Shapeless wrote:

Quote:
And ignores just how many people, both at the time that the book is SET, and when it was WRITTEN who knew none of these things.


That was my reaction. The review complains that the book tells us what we already know, but if we all knew racism was bad... well, then the book wouldn't have had to have been written.


I have to agree with you. In the John Grisham movie," A Time to Kill" there was a scene that really brought home how horrible racism was. The lawyer described what had happened to the little girl and the last thing he said was, "imagine she was white." I think sometimes for some people things have to be put a bit more dramatically or graphically for them to get the picture.
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