Sometimes re-reading a book that you knew when you were fourteen is equivalent to stepping into an entirely new book. When you’re young and sheltered, you can’t possibly understand the plight of others; you’re much more concerned with other pressing matters, such as confidently chatting with your crush in the hallways, or completing your study guide for Global History. Though some books we were subjected to actually are dry and inconsequential, others provide an eye-opening experience if revisited with our adult insight. Undoubtedly, we all know more about the human experience–our strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies–than we did in the ninth grade. Forty pages into Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, I noticed powerful words, phrases, and sections that my young mind deemed boring and irrelevant. I can’t wait to dissect more of the work I previously thought was “okay” and “too long.” Exposure to Southern mentality has peaked my interest in this novel, but the views on other topics also transcend to our contemporary lives and interests.
On southern towns: “People moved slowly then. They ambled across the square, shuffled in and out of stores around it, took their time about everything. A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.”
On reading: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
On summer: “Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”
On girls: “I was not so sure, but Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagine things, that’s why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with.”