another book I wanted to read for so long but haven’t since I was a bit afraid of the hard language with wasn’t present at all. Let’s fetz 🙂
Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Classics, Historical, Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Published In: May 23rd, 2006 (first published in July 11th 1960)
Louise “Scout” Jean and Jeremy “Jem” Finch live with their father Atticus in Maycomb, Alabama. Their lives take a turn when attorney Atticus has to defend African-American citizen Tom Robinson, who got accused of raping 19 year old Mayella Ewell. Raised by their tolerant father and their nurse Calpurnia, Scout and Jem are suddenly caught and found between injudice and prejudice, not understanding how cruel and life can be and how hard it is to get out of stereotypes once they are set.
To be honest, I was a bit afraid to start this book since I thought it would be too hard and too complicated to read (another prejudice). Little did I know that it was from the perspective of a child and therefore the language was easier, more fitting to a child’s mind – yet not just as easy. The story is told in the timeset of Alabama in the 1930s, in which racial segregation was very active. The Finches have an African-American household keeper, African-Americans go to their own separate church and work as pickers and helpers on a cotton field. Not to forget that if they are involved in a crime, they are guilty no matter how many facts are presented that the opposite is the truth, that they are innocent. Which leads to the main theme of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Through the innocent eyes of a child racial discrimination has the effect to look even worse than it already is and that the color of one’s skin isn’t a factor to get judged. Scout and Jem question constantly the actions and stereotypes the grown-ups presented to them. Mentioned grown-ups try to put down the kid’s questions with answers like “this is how it is” and “that some ways aren’t able to change”. Which shows that not changing grievances is easier and has less resistance than changing current situations which requires more willpower and energy.
The hope of this book is presented by Scout, Jem and Atticus who do not really want to keep grievances and want to change the ways of the people of Maycomb as it is, although Maycomb seems to push against them with everything single man and woman.
Scout, a really wild, eager and intelligent 9 year old kid does not understand why already being able to read, knowing about current American situations and not behaving like a southern lady are such bad things. Mostly because Atticus brought her up to be her own person, full of knowledge and opinions, not caring about social standards as long as his kids are polite to people. She was basically one of my favorite characters because she did not bend to opinions of others, stood her ground and questioned everything she got presented.
Jem, the older brother, seems to grab reality faster since there are parts in the books in which he appears gloomy and grumpy about the Tom Robinson situation. He, most of the times, appear wiser and tries to protect his little sister as much as he can. For me, he acted more like a typical boy, yet Atticus’ education was still showing.
Atticus, first getting pushed into his new case, picks up soon a responsibility to make things right. He is there for his kids and tries to tell them the truth as much as he can, much to the dismiss of his sister. He acted like the most tolerant person and most humble father in the whole town, never seemed to be phony or fake, which made him more likeable.
To draw a little image of these main characters is to show how pure and tolerant they are, yet not immune to the toxic community of Maycomb. Not only that, but it shows that even if there is a lot of darkness involved in whatever place, a tiny spark of hope is anywhere to find.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee gets 5 out of 5 stars from me because it tells an important story about rights and wrongs, fair and unfairness and how to fight for your believes. I think this book should not be only a constant school book to be read in the US since a lot can be taken out from it and be put to other continent and culture stories.
| The cover is from Goodreads|