Tuesday, December 31, 2013

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What made me to choose this novel is that it is listed on the "must read" books of all time. And frankly, it didn't disappoint me. The story takes place in Maycomb county of Alabama. The beauty of the book is, it is narrated by an eight year old tomboy, Jean Lousie "Scout" Finch, as she sees the world around her through her eyes. Each chapter is an episode which tells a moral story with utmost innocence; each episode tells an important lesson of life in a her voice. Its worth noticing the transition from one chapter to the next - absolutely seamless! As its main story line, the novel discusses about one the most sensitive issues of American society: racism. The subject is described so delicately that, rather than being sad, you feel pity about it. The central character is Atticus Finch. Atticus Finch, the girl's father, is one of the most ideal personalities that I have ever seen in literature. He is perfectly calm, rational and an extremely warm-hearted person. He is a father who teaches his children as they face life ahead of them.

There is a mysterious villain haunting the county: Boo Radley of The Radley Place, who makes a brief appearance at the end the story. What's contrasting about him is that he is tainted by rumors all along. In reality, he has a different side of himself. Apart from him, there is a bunch of other characters, namely: Summer Dill - the kid from Meridian, Mississippi, who visits Maycomb during Summer holidays, Calpurnia - the housemaid, Miss Stephanie Crawford - the gossip woman, Mrs. Maudie Atkinson, Aunt Alexandra, the Cunninghams, the Ewells and few others who gracefully constitute Maycomb neighborhood. All of them have their own peculiarities. For instance, Aunt Alexandra is always concerned about her niece and nephew. She worries about how Scout is brought up and when she starts being like a lady. Once you get acquainted to all these people, you will be part of Maycomb.

Now about the title of the book, if you read the book carefully, you will come to know who the mockingbird is. You will understand it is a great sin to kill a mockingbird. Overall, it's a fun read. It made me chuckle from time to time. The entire novel upholds innocence and humility. I have heard that the movie adaptation (1962) is also good and lives up to the expectation. I will certainly watch it.

A still from the movie

Further Reading:
To Kill A Mockingbird - Wikiquote