It’s 1935, Alabama. It’s a time where women and African Americans have little to no rights and are essentially second-class citizens. People are still struggling after the Great Depression. Atticus Finch is nominated to represent Tom Robinson, an African American accused of raping a young woman. The case is a controversial one that has a significant impact on the town of Maycomb. For the Finch children, Jem and Scout, it will teach them lessons not easily forgotten.
This book is an absolute classic. Told from the perspective of Scout, it shows that racism and discrimination are attitudes that are taught. Humans are not born hating. Scout, is your quintessential tomboy. She wants to do everything that Jem does. Even though she is a girl, she wants to be herself, not what is expected of a girl.
Atticus is the ultimate father. If everyone was taught the same lessons that he taught his children, the world would be a better place. Lessons in humility, when shooting old Tim Johnson. Lessons in honesty, when he tells his brother that when a child asks a question you must be honest. Lessons in love thy neighbor, when he teaches that everyone has their worth, no matter how poor they are. Lessons in compassion, when he gives his services in exchange for what people have, not necessarily money.
There is not a bad thing to say about this book. Some may not appreciate this, but I love the fact that the language is unaltered. It is told just as if you were sitting in front of the real Miss Jean Louise Finch. I feel this adds an element of authenticity to it. I am transported to the hot summer in Alabama and joining in on the antics to get Boo Radley to come out.
Most people would say that their most memorable scene is when Atticus tells Scout that she can shoot all the blue jays but it is a sin to shoot a mockingbird. While this is a great metaphor for the book, the most memorable moment for me, was Scout not understanding how grown ups can be so hypocritical. She doesn’t understand why the residents of Maycomb are quick to take issue with Hitler and his persecution of the Jews, but they are quick to condemn a man who is without a doubt innocent based on his skin colour.
There is so much I could say about this book and for once, I wish there were people sitting in my lounge room, drinking wine and tea, discussing this book. I first read this book before I was in high school and I swear it gets better every time and my understanding increases.
Now I am off to read Go Set a Watchman!
TITLE: To Kill a Mockingbird
AUTHOR: Harper Lee
SERIES: TKAMB #1
GENRE: Classics, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction