Friday, October 20, 2006
To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
This book was read, reviewed & awarded the Pulitzer even before I was born. It doesn’t require a review by me to be read, but nevertheless 'Yours truly' feels indebted to review it here and let all know what a great book it is. It explores with rich humor and great honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the 1930's. Yes, its about racial discriminations but so well written from a six year old's point of view that you cannot help smile many times at the many many incidents. It provides a very refreshing read with humor & quotes that make you want to go back to many pages & quotes and read it again & again.
Since I had already crossed our budget on books, that month, I insisted Risha to buy this one & lend it to me to read, which she kindly obliged. Now, after reading it, I want to own one copy, stack it up on my shelf, very proudly lend it to someone and then never remember who (thatz the life cycle of most of my books).
Prologue of the book mentioned a courtroom drama over the rape of a white lady by a black guy, calling for justice over racial prejudices. I started reading the book for the intense sad story & mainly the courtroom dramas. I love movies, books that depict court room dramas and have dreamed about being a lawyer for a short time in my childhood, mostly I wanted to be a detective like Nancy drew and famous five. All my skills i.e the skill of arguing & detectivegiri were honed at home with dad & mom. But there is this thing about parents, how much ever you are convinced that you won your argument, they win the case and you aren’t finally allowed to go for parties/movies or whatever it is. Thinking about it, this is after I wanted to be a detective, inspired by Famous five, Nancy drew & Hardy boys. Coming back to the book, the narrator of "To Kill a Mockingbird" as I mentioned, is the 6-year old Jean Louise, 'Scout' who lives with her brother Jem and widower father who is a lawyer in a small town in the US called Maycomb. The court room drama is all from her perspective and there are even gaps during the main proceedings when she goes out of the court to help a friend who is feeling giddy and so we loose track as to what happened in court then.
There are times when Scout makes you smile & laugh with her thoughts about her brother who she thinks tries to put-up a brave act in front of her but otherwise is equally shit-scared like her of the dark. Also her thoughts about their friend Dill, their neighbour Boo, the various old ladies in the neighborhood, the poor boy in school, their teacher, their schooling etc etc.. is all that literally goes on inside a 6-year old's head.
The book is really amazing. And the Title holds the moral of the story, which as Scout's father says “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”. The comparision here is of Mockingbirds as good, innocent people who are destroyed by evil and hence The moral being To protect the vulnerable. The story stands so relevant even today.