To Kill a Mockingbird, why it doesn’t make sense outside the US?

Would you read a book about a case where a black American is unfairly accused and judged in an Alabama court in the 1930s?

Weird feelings arise when you are supposed to love a novel and after reading it you don’t find it awesome.

This is the novel American—and many Canadian and English—kids read at Middle High School, it’s the novel that teachers want children to write reports, the novel educated Americans praise because they find in it the “Heart of America” in the 1930s—when the story takes place—or maybe in the 1950s—when the novel was written.

Nevertheless, outside the English speaking countries the novel is not so read, not so studied, not so quoted, and not so praised. The story portrays how black Americans lived, how they got their own churches, how they work for white guys, and how their rights were disrespected by the common white folk, though, not by the protagonists of the novel Scout, Jem, and the lawyer Atticus Finch.

The scenes presented in the novel hurt Americans and are still a heavy load they have to deal with as society. Nevertheless, in the case of Latin America, China, Middle East, Africa, and India this portrait of a broken society is still visible through class distinction and a differentiated access to justice. As a result, in this part of the world the novel has no historic sense and has no sense of change.
In the case of European countries—out of England, of course—the novel is a piece of narrative that keeps on with Mark Twain’s tradition of listening a teenager telling a story she doesn’t quite understand, just as Sawyer or Finn told us about slavery Scout tells us about Negroes in the South. Hence, it becomes a grievous story told by an innocent and sweet voice, but has no more depth.

Why? Because the racial issue is the only social issue Americans speak about in their fictional and real narratives since the 1950s. When American movies, series, novels, documentaries try to discern about serious social inequalities they always talk about racism and the way African-Americans were mistreated and denigrated, which is really mean but is not something rooted on the European and rest of theworld conscious or subconscious minds, and thus, To Kill a Mockingbird cannot be cared as a breakthrough work or considered a superb literary work proposing an innovative perspective due to its literary technique or the ways it deals with uneasy themes.

I go back to my initial question because there may be people looking for a good read: would you read a book about a case where a black American is unfairly accused and judged in an Alabama court in the 1930s?


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