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To Kill a Mockingbird – Reflection

When reflecting on To Kill a Mockingbird, I have mixed feelings. I previously read the novel in eighth grade; however, after reading it again, I realize that I did not remember most of the storyline. When returning to this text, I feel slightly lost because I do not remember talking about any of the important themes or even the actual storyline in class when I read it the first time around. We did not discuss the significance of the trial, race relations, or falsely reported sexual assault. After reading it again, I feel like reading it at thirteen in a classroom setting is difficult because of the different places people are in their maturity, knowledge, and experiences. To Kill a Mockingbird was taught in a way where the difficult parts were glossed over and we spend a majority of our time talking about Boo Radley and his mysteriousness. We also spent a lot of time talking about the hidden gifts inside of the tree. I remember being told that this book was a classic and that it was very important, but we were never told what about it made it important. I do not have many fond memories regarding To Kill a Mockingbird solely because when someone had a question about a more mature part of the novel, the student was shut down and was told to ask a parent or the subject was changed. I do not understand why we would read a novel in school where teachers did not feel comfortable teaching the true occurrences and meanings of a novel and students could not ask questions when needed. What is different now when reading To Kill a Mockingbird is that I actually understand what is happening. I see the importance of the novel when it comes to the theme of race and the importance of a fair trial. Reading this novel in the context of a Literature and Law course, where we will actually discuss the major themes, makes far more sense than reading it in an eighth grade English class.    

One thought on “To Kill a Mockingbird – Reflection”

  1. I love these reflections on how differently you’re experiencing this text now, and there’s so much wonderful irony in your memory of having certain kinds of conversations *about* the novel shut down the first time you read it – that’s of course Scout’s experience with Miss Caroline and Aunt Alexandra to the T! Excited to hear more from you about what you’re able to make of the novel this time around that you weren’t when you were in the eighth grade, especially around the topics of race and gender.


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