Being part of the prescribed texts of the Junior Cert, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was probably one of the first classic novels that you have read inside of a classroom.
Set in Alabama in the 1930s, Mockingbird is, first of all, a coming-of-age story. In this tale children are confronted to the dark reality of the world, and must learn to move away from their childish innocence. As a college student, this story may in part resonate with you. Mockingbird is still today one of the best coming-of-age novels.
At a higher level, Mockingbird deals with issues such as racism, class discrimination and gender roles. In the current political context, Mockingbird remains incredibly relevant. While we live in a more open society than the one in the novel, these topics remain major problems. Understanding the shortcomings of the previous generations allows us to see how we can handle similar issues differently. And if this seems a bit too heavy for you, remember that the story of Mockingbird is told through the eyes of a child.
Mockingbird is not only relevant in 2017 and historically necessary, but it is also, quite simply, very entertaining to read. And like many readers before you, you might apply its most famous passage to your life or transform it into an inspirational poster: ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.’