Opening to the first page of a book is like opening a door to entirely new and exciting world. Not only this, but reading allows for both the young and old to experience moral reasoning taking place and understand how one is expected to act if they wish to become a successful member of society. Indeed, David G. Allan, of BBC wrote an excellent article titled “What ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Can Teach Parents” (Allan, BBC). The most impressive part of the article was not included directly in the article, but instead permeated through every sentence that Allan wrote. Indeed, the main idea seemed to be that even 21st century readers can understand the morals and lessons written by someone who died over half a century ago. This, in and of itself, is a powerful idea and one that Allan examines thoroughly throughout the length of his article. Indeed, Allan states that “To Kill a Mockingbird is a parenting manual punctuated by moments of courtroom drama” (Allan, BBC).
While the article itself is focusing upon the character of Atticus Finch, “fiction’s greatest father” (Allan, BBC), Allan quietly reminds the audience that the reason for the greatness of Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” is not in the character of Atticus itself. It is instead based upon the fact that a novel can still have such an impact on people who were born long after the book itself was published. By making such a bold statement in his article, Allan is not arguing so much that Atticus Finch is “fiction’s greatest father” (Allan, BBC) but he [Allan] is suggesting that there is more to old books than dust a cobwebs and if we truly want children to be successful, we need to honor the works written before us. The brilliance of Allan’s article lies not in the surface content, but in the subliminal message that he sends to his target audience: parents.
The message is simple: “parenting guides are based on the writer’s personal experiences or the latest research, but none look to literature as a source of parental wisdom” (Allan, BBC). Perhaps, as Allan implies, we must then break out the classics to understand our future.
David G. Allan, “What ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Can Teach Parents”. BBC. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140613-what-would-atticus-finch-do