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2015年2月3日のアーカイブ

【オーディオブック】To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Written by: Harper Lee

Narrated by: Sissy Spacek

時間:12時間17分

発音:アメリカ英語。南部訛り。

速度:140-150語/分前後。

評価:5 out of 5

 

 

【あらすじ】

1930年台のアラバマ。黒人青年トム・ロビンソンが白人女性を犯した疑いで起訴される。明らかに冤罪なのだが、人種差別が根強く残る南部では、黒人を弁護しただけで非難や差別の対象となってしまう。弁護士のアティカス・フィンチは、町中の人々から中傷されながらも信念を曲げず、トムの無罪を勝ち取るために戦う。

 
【感想】

To Kill a Mockingbird/アラバマ物語。絶対読めないと思っていたのに、不思議なくらい楽しんで読めた!カポーティのIn Cold Bloodを読み、映画Capoteを見て、作者のハーパー・リーとカポーティの関係を知ってから読んだのが良かったのかもしれない。

 

今回聞いたのは、Sissy Spacek朗読のオーディオブック版。南部訛りと気の強い女の子らしい語り口で、まるで物語に生命が吹き込まれたようだった。アティカスの小学生の娘スカウトと4歳上の兄ジェム、近所の少年ディルの3人と、1930年台のアラバマの夏を一緒に過ごした気分を味わうことが出来た。きっとつまらないだろうと思っていたのだが、スカウトに感情移入してしまったのは、Sissy Spacekの朗読のおかげだと思う。

 

主人公スカウトの父、アティカス・フィンチは「アメリカの良心」として非常に人気が高いらしい。現代の常識から見れば、この物語でトムの身に起きた事は信じられないほど酷いのだが、当時の閉鎖的な南部州では、偏見を持った「大多数」の意見が正義を打ち負かしてしまうほどの力を持っていた事が衝撃的だった。

 

アティカスの娘の視点でこの物語を読むことで、謂れのない差別や中傷を受ける悔しさ、正義を貫き通すことの大切さを一層強く感じた。

 

2015年7月、55年ぶりにこの作品の続編が出版されるとのこと。1950年代、To Kill a Mockingbirdの前に書かれていたものの、お蔵入りしていたらしい。To Kill a Mockingbirdの20年後を描いた作品とのことで、続編が非常に楽しみ。

 

To Kill a Mockingbird

 

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee has a notorious reputation among Japanese who learns English. Many Japanese people have tried to read it in English as it was known as one of the greatest books in the 20th century, but most of them were too discouraged to continue on after the first few pages. Despite the fact that the book portrayed children and was thus recommended for young adults, it seemed too difficult for adults who were studying English.

 

I heard that one of my friends gave up the book because it was too boring. I also read Amazon reviews which said it took more than 6 months to read it. I was afraid that the book might make me hate reading itself.

 

Then, I read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, and watched the film “Capote”, which featured how the book was made. In that movie, Harper Lee was portrayed as a calm, down to earth woman who supported Capote in making the novel. Capote seemed to be an ostentatious guy who sought only his fame. I wondered why this nice, intelligent lady contributed so much effort to his work. Capote announced proudly that they were childhood friends, and in her book “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a neighborhood boy Dill was modeled after him.

 

I was interested in their peculiar friendship and decided to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” at last. Conveniently, a new series of audiobooks read by famous actors and actresses were started, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”, read by Sissy Spacek, was one of them. It had a lot of positive reviews on Audible, so I chose an audio version of the book.

 

It was brilliant. Sissy Spacek succeeded in bringing the book to life. I could easily imagine a tomboyish, 6-year-old-girl Scout by her pleasant, lively, southern accent.

 

I was fascinated by the way people lived in the suburb of Alabama in the 1930s. Everyone knew everyone in the town. The doors were always open so that everyone could visit their neighbor without notice. The community was so close that it seemed rather suffocating. Scout thought that their father, Atticus, didn’t do anything because he was a lawyer, and didn’t do fieldwork as the other fathers did. Being different didn’t sound welcoming at all.

 

The case which Atticus defended was incredibly awful by today’s point of view. The black guy who allegedly raped the white girl seemed completely innocent. But he was a poor black guy, and the indicter was a white guy, even though he came from a lowly family.

 

Defending a black guy was a great offense against the community. People couldn’t criticize Atticus to his face, but Scout along with her elder brother Jem received many insults from the community.

 

I learned from Atticus through Scout that it is important to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and no matter what other people say, it is important to do what you think is right with your head held high.

 

What happened to the convicted black guy was shocking, and the way life went on afterward as if nothing happened was more than beyond belief. But after all, it was in the 1930s, and society was not ready to protect human rights for all people. Society has changed, and we know that all people should be treated equally, but there are still prejudices against all kinds of minority people. We could be like Maycomb community people who believed that they were right because everyone thought so. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a reminder for us to choose the right course of action.

 

I’ve heard that Atticus was chosen as an American hero several years ago. He was more popular than Superman and other heroes with costumes. He was described as “America’s conscience”. I am glad that this book could influence my life and remind me of the importance of persevering in doing the right thing.

 

As for the relationship between Scout and Dill, who were modeled after Harper Lee and Truman Capote, it was interesting that their relationship remained intact after many years. Dill only visited their town during summer vacation, but the time they spent together had a great influence on her. He said he loved her, and proposed to her. Scout regarded him as her fiancée, even though she was only 7, and he was 8. In hindsight, I know that Capote was gay and had a boyfriend when he covered the case of “In Cold Blood”, but their childhood feelings for each other seemed real in “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

 

It was good for me to read “In Cold Blood” and watch “Capote” before reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Knowing them as adults helped me to understand how she cherished their childhood memories, and it led her to help Capote to write the great non-fiction novel of the century.

 

YL:8 (SSS調べ)

語数:98,429 語(スカラスティック社)

To Kill a Mockingbird


アラバマ物語

【今日の一枚】

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夕暮れ時。

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