To kill a mockingbird
By Harper Lee
There are very few novels that at least I know or most of us know for that matter which are powerfully evoking, thought provoking and at the same time funny and light in their overtone and this masterpiece by Harper Lee is one of those very few ones that we have. It raises fiery issues such as racism and rape but in a manner that doesn’t spoil the fact that it is a book narrated by a kid with light connotation. It is serious yet humorous, deep yet fathomable.
Jean Louise Finch(Scout)-who also happens to be the narrator in the book-and his older brother Jem live with their father Atticus Finch who is a lawyer, in the town of Maycomb.Their fascination and feeding of each others fancy make them do bizarre acts to make Arthur “Boo” Radley come out of his house who never comes out of his house and people of town have rarely seen him in years. They imagine his eccentric and odd appearance or what he does or what he probably could.
The narration takes a sudden turn when Atticus gets appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who’s accused of raping a white woman Mayella. It becomes clear that he’s innocent and it was Mayella who made sexual advances towards him. It’s also unambiguous that her father-Bob Ewell, a drunkard- had caught her and beat her. After much struggle, Atticus loses the case and Tom gets killed by police while trying to escape the prison.
At last, furious Bob Ewell attacks Scout and Jem when a stranger comes to their rescue and after a struggle, take them to their home. Scout realises that the man who saved them was none other than “Boo” Radley.
Sheriff Tate later tells that Bob was killed in the struggle and while Atticus is disturbed that it was Jem who was responsible for the death, sheriff Tate(who believes that Arthur Radley is responsible) tells him that he fell on his own knife and died. Atticus at last accepts that version. Finally, Scout walks Boo home and after she says goodbye to him, he goes inside and disappears again. Standing there on Radley porch, she realises how different the same world looked from Boo’ s perspective!
This book- To kill a mockingbird basically tells and demarcates right from wrong in an extremely fine way. Atticus Finch, who has been a paragon of morality known for standing with right and fighting for rights is a hero! Yes, that’s what I call him. He struggles with the town for fighting a case of a black man, he struggles in the court but doesn’t take a step back. He sets an example for his kids.
This book basically has a theme of morality. It constantly deals with it. The struggle of Atticus for an innocent and more than that, against racism among his other acts of morality such as supporting Mrs Dubose who’s a morphine addict and who lived alone as she wanted to die beholden to nothing and nobody shows how different nobility can look from others point of view. He never allows and gets stringent when sees that Jem and Scout are disturbing the seclusion of Arthur “Boo” Radley. Also, with Mrs Dubose part, its clear that what is right is right no matter how bad it looks to others or to religion.
It’s a novel which can’t get old with time. If it dealt with racism, orthodoxy and religious bigotry back then, then it can be more than relevant today when racial inequality or caste discrimination or religious hostility or women/LGBT/animal rights activity is rampant in the society.
To kill a mockingbird basically is a rare book which teaches something to everyone- children to adults, people of every generation and country. One can read it at any age and would definitely get to realize something. In fact, everytime one reads it, one gets something to take or imbibe from it.
I would recommend it to everyone, simply everyone. Read it with most serious or most frivolous frame of mind, but you won’t ever regret reading it because this is one of those rare books that can’t be forgotten once read!