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To Kill a Mockingbird: Old and New Perceptions

When I was. junior in high school, I read To Kill a Mockingbird. Although, I did not read this novel as an assignment in school, I read it on my own in my free time because my father continuously suggested that I read it. My first reading of this novel was definitely a lot different than the second time around, that second time being for this class. The main difference is that I can much better understand now, whether it be because I am older or just noticing more the second time, a lot more of the symbolism that occurs in this novel. One main thing I came to realize during my second reading is that the “Mockingbird” in the title most plausibly referring to innocence; that being said “To Kill a Mockingbird” means “The loss of innocence”. When discussing this book when I was in high school, my father would always say this was one of the most important ideas of the story but I never truly understood until now. The majority of the characters in this story lose their innocent nature in some way. The characters change of view which intrigued me most was when Jem realizes after Tom’s trial that the world is an unfair place. Because of the racism in this trial he comes to understand that not everyone acts from the goodness of their hearts, and that is when the world becomes real to him.

One thought on “To Kill a Mockingbird: Old and New Perceptions”

  1. I’m so glad you’re returning to this book to have a different experience with it! I wonder whether there’s also a sense in which one might be surprised by the extent to which innocence is *preserved* at the end of this novel, particularly for Scout.


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