To kill a mockingbird.

It’s a strange thing….influences. Actually…collective influences. I watched the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” way, way back in time. When I was a lot younger. One of many films that never quite drove home. Who’s to question……Why? I watched many other films that have long term influence. For example…I watched “Lord of the Flies” and was mesmerised. Why? I read the book for English studies at Grammar School and, due to my need to be accepted amongst the class/cohort collective, (I passed the 11 plus and got there through ‘ticky box exam per chance’……apparently) I adopted this film as an essential. Essential? A need to survive. To get through 5 years of a situation I didn’t belong to. Working class in a middle class snobbery. Didn’t fit, but got by on my inherent niceness. But still recognised as a misfit who tried hard. Sticks with you for life actually. If I were to fit in with Grammar school philosophy and hierarchy I recognised that I had to hang my hat on an appropriate peg. I got Grade I Art Exam a year early. The Arts teacher recognised something in me and put me forward a year early. That man, Mr. Woods was an angel. A person who must have recognised the hardships involved in my situation and sent me to paradise. I never realised at the time but have always kept that beautiful act as something to carry and pass on.

What I’m trying to say is, maybe it is a collective of experiences that cements the creme de la creme of your idolised favourites into your all time favourites. It needs connections to capture your heart. Bladerunner? I loved the film. Got sucked into the various releases that geeked/tweaked interest; Why? Because a mate was so enamoured with the film, he begged me to see it with him. Lord of the Rings and it’s heart splitting beauty that held as much to Wales holidays influences than I want to admit to; Conan Doyle and the fact I smoked Baccy in a pipe, read the Times and wore a full on itchy Dressing Gown bought from Oxfam whilst sitting in my flat above a wholefood shop that deeply cemented the relationship with Holmes and Watson. Every Sherlock series since, and Poirot for that matter, has mesmerised my senses. So many examples. They don’t sit there in individual instances. They adopt Social and Psychological influences, that as synergy, whack my senses.

My daughter’s fiancé had the book and said it was on his elite list. I became interested, because he is a deep thinker and recognises beauty in serenity and meaning. Childhood innocence within the conundrum of an adult mayhem. I revisited the film, read the book and, because of his love for the film and book ………recreated the cigar box at the beginning of the film to give him for his birthday. See what I mean? A piece of art creates added enquiries. It took me months to seek out the additions to put in the box. And it gave me insights into Boo Radley and the whole meaning of the of how the story developed and got into mass psyche. Even found and bought a very rare badge in America, that influenced the book. Go find what I’m talking about. It will start your own enquiries. Thank you for reading. Feel humble. Again…..Go seek your own enquiries.

Not only in the mockingbird sense….but an arts influence that needs further investigation.

2 Comments

  1. So many things in your post which ‘ring a bell’ with me. Probably the thing which hit me hardest was the “working class in a (pseudo) middle class …” My grammar school seemed to think it was a ‘public school’ and for five years I felt entirely out of place. I was eternally in trouble for not having the right kit and for ignoring (or doing badly in) subjects which didn’t interest me despite excelling in those I liked.
    ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ (the book – I saw the film much later) had a tremendous influence on me, but not as much as ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ which made much of what I am. I re-read it occasionally and every time finish it furious and close to tears.

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    1. Good morning Sir. You hit the nail on the head with the comment re: school days. A physics experiment in the school quadrant saw me flying along on a trolley pulled by a rope dropping pennies behind me at timed intervals. I ended up at the bottom of concrete stairs at the end of the said quadrant with a hole in my trouser knee. We wore a grey suit which cost my parents a fortune. They went into debt to kit me out. The next day I had to wear alternative non school trousers. Got 100 lines from a prefect after he belittled the fact I hadn’t a second suit. I answered him back, hence the lines. The lines? ‘At ******* it is necessary to maintain certain standards of discipline that are not prevalent at other schools in Coventry’. The ******* means I haven’t got to name the place and shudder. It also weakens the psychological impact of memory. Blanked it out…….Mindfully. I empathise with you once again. You read great book titles by the way. Will have to seek and read the Grapes of Wrath. Never did, but always wanted to. Currently re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Very slowly this time.

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