Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To Kill a Mocking Bird

I went to see a theatre production of 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' yesterday afternoon. It's ages since I've been to the theatre - even longer since I've been to see a serious play rather than a musical. The auditorium was full of school children who are presumably studying the book for their exams. We asked them if they liked the book. No, was the resounding answer. They did like the film but the play didn't please one of the boys behind who said a loud - Thank God - when the curtain came down. It was a brave attempt at a complicated story and the play lost some of those special moments in the book, but not the one where Scout is told to stand up because her father is walking by. That moment of respect for a man who did his best in the courtroom brought a lump to my throat. And it's a lesson for all us - to do our best, to stand up for what we think is right. Though according to my family - I'm usually wrong!


Fred said...

I'd like to go off on some diatribe about how the kids today aren't getting the same education we got, and that in the day of video games and transformers, the books like this don't stand a chance. But I have to confess that, I read the book as a boy and I didn't enjoy it either, particulraly due to the dialect which was brutal on a boy fresh off the boat from Eastern Europe. It wasn't until I picked it up and rediscovered it when I was older, and then I saw the genius in it, and loved it. So I wouldn't read too much into the children's indifference. Agree 100% about standing up for what's right.

Barbara Elsborg said...

Despite the message in it, I think it's heavy going for kids in their mid teens. I can see why the book doesn't appeal.But then I just read Tale of Two Cities for the first time in years and although it's a great book - if I had to do a review of it judging by today's standards, I'm not sure it would come out too well. Same for Mocking Bird. It's of its age and though it is a classic, it's not a book I'd expect youngsters to voluntarily select.

Arlene said...

Maybe it'd be like watching black and white, compared to color in high depth, for teenagers in this era. The classics tend to be somewhat repeditive, an aquired taste for the time challegned generation.