Is To Kill a MockingBird Overhyped?

Before you get outraged by the notion, please read on. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee can never be overhyped. There are not enough words to praise the literary genius. Narration of a story that reveals so much about human nature from the mouth of a mere eight-year-old Jean Louise, aka Scout, speaks volumes about Harper Lee’s brilliance. Even though the whole book is a treasure of wisdom, innocence, and a voice against prevailed prejudices in the society, there are eight major highlights that stole the show.

“Turtle” Conversation between dill & Jem – reveals sympathy for animals and not-believing-everything-you- hear sentiment

‘Lemme think a minute … it’s sort of like making a turtle come out …’

‘How’s that?’ asked Dill.

‘Strike a match under him.’

I told Jem if he set fire to the Radley house I was going to tell Atticus on him.

Dill said striking a match under a turtle was hateful.

‘Ain’t hurtful, just persuades him — ‘s not like you’d chunk him in the fire,’ Jem growled.

‘How do you know a match don’t hurt him?’

‘Turtles can’t feel, stupid,’ said Jem.

‘Were you ever a turtle, huh?’

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The innocent thoughts/wonderings of Scout (Jean louise) – Her remarks, sometimes childish and other times fascinating, provided enough cuteness to last a lifetime

‘You’re starting off on the wrong foot in every way, my dear. Hold out your hand.’

I thought she was going to spit in it, which was the only reason anybody in Maycomb held out his hand: it was a time-honoured method of sealing oral contracts. Wondering what bargain we had made, I turned to the class for an answer, but the class looked back at me in puzzlement. Miss Caroline picked up her ruler, gave me half a dozen quick little pats, then told me to stand in the corner. A storm of laughter broke loose when it finally occurred to the class that Miss Caroline had whipped me.

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Dressing-down of the kids from Calpurnia – calpurnia may have been just a help of the house, but her dialogues were just as profound as of the main characters of To Kill a mockingbird

‘… That boy’s yo’ comp’ny and if he wants to eat up the table-cloth you let him, you hear?’

‘He ain’t company, Cal, he’s just a Cunningham –‘

‘Hush your mouth. Don’t matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny, and don’t you let me catch you remarkin’ on their ways like you was so high and mighty! Yo’ folks might be better’n the Cunninghams but it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’ ’em…’

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
a clever comeback for sexist remarks – harper Lee equipped her characters, regardless of their age & gender, with a keen sense of confronting sexism among other prejudices. The best part is such confrontations never changed the tone of the narration. the characters put forth their opinion without even ACKNOWLEDGING a presence of such biaseness. – first quote is from scout’s monologue and the second one is a conversation between Scout and francis

Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stove, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was.

– – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

‘Grandma’s a wonderful cook,’ said Francis. ‘She’s gonna teach me how.’

‘Boys don’t cook.’ I giggled at the thought of Jem in an apron.

‘Grandma says all men should learn to cook, that men oughta be careful with their wives and wait on ’em when they don’t feel good,’ said my cousin.

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
the famous ‘to kill a mockingbird’ reference – harper Lee handed atticus the best dialogue of them all. The cautionary tale of killing a mockingbird is the perfect metaphor to warn against the evil of destroying innocence

‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’

That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss maudie about it.

‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbird don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
a subtle voice against hunting for sport and killing helpless creatures – atticus has been infused with qualities so noble that he has become the example of how a man (human-being) should behave

I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that God has given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn’t shoot till he had to, and he had to today.’

‘Looks like he’d be proud of it,’ I said.

‘People in their right minds never take pride in their talents,’ said Miss Maudie.

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Perfectly-timed light comic moments – harper lee has spread several giggle-worthy moments/dialogues exactly where a reader might need those

Just-in-your-own-words was, Mr. Gilmer’s trade-mark. We often wondered who else’s words Mr. Gilmer was afraid his witness might employ.

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A polite, yet emotional, plea to break the chain of abuse against black people – To kill a mockingbird by harper lee simply establishes the much-needed ‘black lives matter’ message through a beautiful story

‘Cry about the simple hell people give other people — without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give coloured folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people, too.’

‘Atticus says cheatin’ a coloured man is ten times worse than cheatin’ a white man,’ I muttered. ‘Says it’s the worst thing you can do.’

– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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