This morning, I read on Facebook that Harper Lee passed away. At first I couldn’t believe it, and then I let the news sink in. I keep a blank page in my bullet journal to jot down anything that happens. I could think of no other quotation to write down than this one from To Kill a Mockingbird:
I also wanted to write about some memories I had of this iconic piece of literature. So here goes:
When I was in seventh grade in 2002, To Kill a Mockingbird was put on as a play at the Carlisle Theatre. I was not in it, but I did go to see it with my grandparents. I watched in awe as the story was brought to life by the actors and actresses onstage. But I finally read the book in eighth grade for my English class. It was unlike anything I had ever read before. Harper Lee brought the story to life through her wonderful writing. I wanted to know what happened next to the characters. I also learned a lot about not judging other people. One of my favorite quotations in the book is where Atticus tells Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…climb into his skin and walk around in it.” I try to live by this statement like Scout did. In addition to reading the novel that spring, we reenacted the trial during class. I knew that I didn’t want to play Scout, so I volunteered to play Mayella Ewell. I rehearsed my lines in the chapters and made sure I was ready. It was fun to play out the trial scenes because it brought them to life and helped us understand it better. My teacher told me later that she would never forget my performance of Mayella. After we finished reading the book, I felt like it had a big impact on me. It teaches you valuable lessons and introduces you to memorable characters. I read it again in a college English class, and it taught me even more lessons than it did in middle school.
Thank you, Harper Lee, for your wonderful writing. I have already started reading Go Set a Watchman too. Rest in peace to a literary legend.