Title: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
The story takes place in the 1930′ in South America when racism and oppression of black people were still highly prevalent in society. The story is told through the eyes of the youngest member of Finch family, Scout. She lives with her father Atticus, older brother Jem and their nanny Calpurnia. During the school holidays, their friend Dill joins them. All together, they’re discovering the hidden corners of the Maycomb and its residents.
Scout’s childhood seems really idyllic. But things change when her father who is a lawyer gets a new case. He’s defending Tom Robinson, a black man, who is convicted of raping a white girl. Atticus knows that Tom is innocent but he’s also aware that he can never win in court.
I had this book on my tbr for so long and I really don’t know why I haven’t read it before. This book is just amazing and I know certainly, that I will read it again.
I would say, that To Kill a Mockingbird is a children’s book, but it’s so versatile and beautifully written that it’s obvious why so many adults love it. The story is told from a perspective of a six-years-old Scout, which is a perfect choice. Scout is curious, eager for knowledge and adventurous but at the same time, she’s unconcerned about the rules which are set in a world of adults. And this perspective makes this book so special – when you read about racism, oppression and injustice through the eyes of a child, who doesn’t understand anything about those things and can only wonder how the world can be so depraved, you realize how twisted adults can be and how absurd rules we are following sometimes. And this creates something extra in a book: it shows a word through eyes of children and the world through the eyes of adults.
The counterweight to young characters (Scout, Jem, and Dill) is Atticus Finch. A single parent, lawyer and besides Scout, my favorite character in this book. His calmness, fairness, and commitment to justice were impressive. I really liked his approach to upbringing and how calm he was in any situation. Other adult characters were a reflection of that time and image of situations and contrasts between people. All the characters were interesting, even the ones I didn’t like for obvious reasons. I would have to say, that characters were presented one-sided and a reader can sense from the beginning, who are the good and who are the bad guys. But again, if I assume correctly, that this is a book, written for children, it becomes understandable.
If at first, I had a great time while reading about children descriptions of town residents, later I was losing my mind while reading about Atticus case with a clear disantanglement before it even comes to a court. Tom Robinson, who is convicted of raping and beating a white girl, was guilty in the eyes of almost everyone. A handful of people who thought opposite were too passive to stand for him. Atticus, however, took the case and accepted a challenge, although he knew how it will end. Probably I knew it too, but I still hoped (like Scout and Jem), that maybe I was wrong and people would see what a farce this trial was. I was so angry while reading about it, about blindness and denial of people and their passivity. I felt furious and helpless and if a book makes me feel this way, I know, it’s a great book.
This book and its message are timeless. To Kill a Mockingbird presents issues that we should already leave behind but unfortunately is not like that. Book is beautifully written, understandable and simple, but nevertheless with a strong message. Of course for those, who want to see it.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Is To Kill a Mockingbird mandatory reading in your school system? If so, did you read it just because you had to, or it was your decision? What are your thoughts about this book?