Why is To Kill a Mockingbird sometimes considered by students to be a "boring" book? 

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For many students the depth and breadth of the topics discussed in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird can be rigorous. Many students are so accustomed to quick and intense deliveries of stories through movies and social media that they find it difficult to take the time to read for understanding, not just entertainment. To Kill a Mockingbird, as with many great works in literature, uses the art of language to increase the quality of storytelling. If a reader is patient, and knows how to look for interesting literary devices, a story can turn out better than one might have thought. For example, a good skill to acquire while reading is to find significance in the use of language, imagery, and symbolism behind what is being said rather than merely waiting for the next car chase or explosion to happen.

In order to enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird, focus on the interesting ways different conflicts rise up against the protagonists. Seek to find out how they tackle difficult issues such as racism, growing up under persecution, hypocrisy, and conquering two hundred-plus years of prejudice in under three-hundred pages.

Another challenge, that if met will enhance the quality of the reading, is to connect with the characters by placing yourself in their shoes. How would you react to the difficult challenges that they face? How would you react if you were attacked by a psychotic man on Halloween night and saved by the town's boogieman? What would you do if your teacher stood up in class and said Hitler's treatment of Jews is bad, but it's still alright to discriminate against African Americans? These are all very profound questions, that if honestly explored, can create a very interesting read.

Some of the best advice, actually, comes from Atticus himself:

"First of all. . . if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (30).

Maybe a reader can apply this advice to a book as well. Climb into the skin of a book and walk around in it for a while to determine what its purpose is. Determining how a book can be applied to one's own life and society today helps to increase its value and importance while also making it more interesting. 

caroline-engle | Student

To Kill a Mockingbird is sometimes seen as boring because the language used is not what students are familiar with hearing now. Scout also is not a protagonist all students identify with easily, and relating to the main character of a story usually makes people more interested in the story because they see themselves in that character.

Also, I know I enjoy books less when I have to read them for class rather than when I read them on my own, even if I was assigned a book I already wanted to read. When assigned to read a book, the freedom to choose whether you read the book is taken away from you, which can make reading any literary work less exciting.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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