Tuesday, January 13, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

This book is a literary classic. It has been used in so many schools, colleges and universities. Written with such passion, humor and tenderness, this book takes you on a journey of endearing adventures of two children, seen mostly through the eyes of a 6 year old, Jean Louise Finch, better known as Scout.

The tale is about Scout and her brother Jem’s (Jeremy Finch) little adventures throughout their childhood. The children meet another character, an out-of-towner called Dill, who quite often tells tall tales that are sometimes bought and sometimes not bought by Jem and Scout. Later in the story, Dill who acts completely differently towards Scout when her brother is around and the complete opposite when they are alone promises to marry Scout someday, leaving the girl even more confused. The three however go on wild adventures together, meet interesting and mysterious characters, and encounter more than one miss adventure having them end up in either trouble, or simply hilarious results.

The story is told during the era before the Civil Rights, where the discussion of racial prejudice takes control in almost every situation. Through the inquisitive mind of Scout Finch we follow a story full of racism, rights and wrongs, heart ache and growing up to fit in a world with very little justice. We soon come to the heart of the story, where a black man called Tom Robinson is convicted of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, daughter of Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson’s case is then defended by Atticus Finch.

Atticus Finch is the unsung hero of the entire novel and the father of Jem and Scout, who struggles to bring his two children up, trying to protect them from what the world really is, answering their questions carefully, not to lie and mislead their little minds. He is admired by some, and sneered by others, but remains a hero in the eyes of both his son and daughter.

The story is often funny, sweet and heart wrenching. I laughed, and cried all at the same time. It is a must read and a must told story for generations and generations to come.

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