While cleaning off my book shelf, I came across this old book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a success worldwide. Published in 1960 this book is recommended consistently to high school students across the American nation and unfailingly makes it to Top 100 novels of all time list. I am in no way writing the review of this American classic, only praising it!
It is a tale of two children Scout(6 year old), Jem(10 year old) & their widowed father Atticus residing in Maycomb County, Alabama in 1930s. Atticus tries to raise idealistic children by himself being a righteous person, even when doing the right thing bears consequences. The relationship between Scout and her father is so lovely that it is to date freshly ingrained in my brain. To Kill a Mockingbird deals with grave issues like racism & injustice.
The book begins with Scout & Jem’s childish adventures, summers of vacation, cherished and despised neighbors, and Scout’s tomboyish confrontations. Dill, their summer friend & the two are fascinated by their neighborhood recluse Bob whom they try to lure out of confinement with no success until he himself chooses to.
The child-like plot gradually gets colored into complexities when Atticus, the upstanding lawyer is assigned to defend black Tom Robinson who is accused of raping a white girl. The whole town goes against Atticus(so it seems) & calls him a nagger -lover. Scout and Jem deal with the taunts on behalf of their father while watching their townspeople detain an clearly innocent man because of his race.
Lawyer Atticus cleverly & determinedly proves the charges against Tom wrong & this is the most gripping & delicate part of the story. Yet Mr. Robinson is held guilty because of being black as the book prominently highlights & finally gets shot as he tries to break out of prison.
The mockingbird here is tom Robinson who always was a good man, as harmless as the mockingbird & always did what he was supposed to do. But he ends up getting killed unfairly.
Don’t picture this book as depressing because though it remarkably bares the sensitive areas, it doesn’t leave you with any creepy feeling. This is not an angry book rather an innocent one, through the eyes of children who begin to understand the mechanism of a prejudiced society at a very tender age. This book is about being decent & dignified in the path of truth. Despite the prevalence of pessimism, it’s a book that provides you hope.