Eliana Black Thoughts on “To Kill a Mockingbird”

When I originally first read this novel, I was an angsty 14 year old in a freshman english class with not much care for any type of assigned reading. I loved to read, but anything that was assigned to me I instantly distained. Additionally, the theme main focus when we were reading the book freshman year was about social and systematic racism in society and so the Radley family as a whole was much more of a background influence than anything. Fast forward 5 years later reading it for a college class I actually sought out to put on my schedule, not only is it refreshing to reread it from a different lens, but also I much more enjoy the book now. With Arthur Radley becoming my main character to focus on in regards to content for this class, it has changed everything I previously remembered the book as. For this semester I’m actually using the same copy I annotated in high school, so it’s been amusing to say at the least in seeing my old responses to the plot and characters. Even before I read the book I, like Scout and Jem, already had a judgement of the character “Boo” before actually being introduced to him. Even outside of the fictional world of Maycomb, Arthur is a heavily misunderstood character, and reading it from the viewpoint of potential disability has provided much more insight and explanation. Instead of assuming based off rumors and other people’s opinions on Arthur like the rest of the town, I’m able to see him in a new light as an almost reintroduced character.

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