Literature can remarkably transport readers to different places and time zones, highlighting complex social issues that continue to shape today’s world. Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are two examples of such novels that captivate readers with their profound examination of prejudice and isolation.
Moreover, amusingly, the novels Where the Crawdads Sing 1st Edition and To Kill a Mockingbird are more closely interconnected than one can think. Delia Owens’ haunting character “Kya” was actually influenced by Harper Lee’s Scout, as Owens in one of the “By the Book” interviews by The New York Times Review herself said that “Scout gave (her) the license to write Kya, and are like lost sisters to each other”. This uncanny resemblance in the protagonists from two different novels intrigued people to explore the deep-rooted connections between Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Shared Independence and Moral Sense:
Kya Clark, the “Marsh Girl”, who grows up in the wilds near a small North Carolina Town and is shunned by the upright citizens, shares the moral sense and independence of Lee’s Scout. However, Kya unlike Scout, who is intensely aware of being part of a small community and its prejudices that she courageously rejects, is a despised outsider. Although Kya is treated as an alien by her society, she is still independent enough to survive alone and stand against the groundless prejudices of the outer world.
Moreover, the use of a third-person omniscient narrator rather than using first-person narrative as Lee did with Scout, allows Owens to present the perspectives of the fictional Barkley Cove’s citizens, whose actions Kya cannot observe because of her limited view of the community and her unawareness of significant events taking place in the town.
Refusal to Follow Society’s Expectation of Women:
With her refusal to follow the expectations of society from women, Kya resembles many strong and ground-breaking female characters like Hester Prynne, Mattie Ross, Scout, and Jo March. She, just like Scout and Huckleberry Finn, is guided by a fierce natural conscience and reveres the wilderness. She like Scout rebels against the hypocrisy and conformity of “civilization” and breaks the stereotypes associated with girls behaving in a “ladylike manner”, as both these girls used to play outdoors.
Both Lee and Owens create memorable characters by providing them with compelling backstories and distinct voices. Kya’s resourcefulness and resilience in Where the Crawdads Sing make her a captivating protagonist despite her challenging circumstances. While Scout’s curiosity and innocence in To Kill a Mockingbird enable her to offer insightful observations about the world around her.
At the core, both these novels emphasize the significance of compassion, empathy, and challenging societal norms. They teach us about the power of nature to heal and the resilience of human nature, as well as the need for empathy and the fight against discrimination. If you are also interested in exploring the uncanny resemblance in the protagonists, and the deep-rooted connections between Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing and other novels, then you can get this book for free from SolutionInn.