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Word Count: 436
Superlatives no longer mean much to this venerable classic and it was one of the best novels I think was ever written So Im more interested in describing what makes the book work Humour is one crucial factor By never succumbing to the pretentious grandiosity that has plagued many a novelist since the forms rise to prominence in the Victoria era To Kill a Mockingbird achieves an endearing relationship with its reader Every character is vivid with strengths and faults and Lee achieves that difficult amalgam in first-person narratives presented as recollections A mixture of an adults rhetorical power and a childs keen curious eye The language is fresh and unburdened by the moralizing which frequently cripples prose narrative especially books which deal with sensitive issues as this one does Lee made a perfect choice in personalizing a socio-political issue To Kill a Mockingbird is predominantly the coming-of-age story of Jem and Scout Finch and the themes of racism injustice conservatism and the Depression are all the better served this way Issues do not come alive except through the living breathing experience of their participants and Scout Finchs particular take on the events of this book only makes those events gain in moral strength not diminish Boo Radley Atticus Finch Scout and Jem Miss Maudiethe characters of this book have achieved an iconic status rare in modern literature And it has achieved this not by making them Nietzschean uebermenschen but by entering into their lives with fair enthusiastic frankness And to end off this is one of only a handful of truly successful negotiations between the dramatic eg theatre screenwriting and the narrative eg prose narrative filmmaking folk storysongs I can think of Lees dialogue is sharp enough and immediate enough that even if we pared this book down to just its dialogue and situations wed end up with a remarkably powerful play As it stands now its a truly successful crossover
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