To Kill a Mockingbird
A coming off age book. A definite must-read.
During the course of reading this book, I found myself falling in love with little Jean Louise Finch, the outspoken Scout, the narrator of the story. The book traces the lives of two kids (Jem and Scout) and their father (Atticus Finch) in the sleepy not so sleepy county of Maycomb, Alabama.
The story is set in an era when the Black people were subjected to maximum prejudice in America. The incidents, being narrated from the point of view of a 6 year old kid, a white girl at that, is one of the many things that makes the book unputdownable.
Atticus Finch is a single father of two kids, Jem, (a boy in his pre-teens) and Scout aka Jean Louise, (a girl who is more a tomboy). He is a well respected person and a lawyer in the Maycomb County. Scout finds it difficult to live up to the expectation of the ladies of Maycomb (their expectation being she wears ‘dresses’ and doesn’t play with boys), while Jem comes out as a rebellious boy at the beginning of the book, who later matures into a brooding teen who sometimes thinks a little too much.
These two, along with their buddy Dill, get up to all sorts of mischief during their summer vacations. For kids that young, they are real brave, I tell you. Their mischief making days come to an end when their father is asked to defend a Black guy accused of raping a White girl.
There are many things to learn from the book. How kids are perhaps the most honest judges of human character is one. There is a discussion between Jem and Scout when Jem (almost 13) says he has thought about it and decided that there are four kinds of folks, to which Scout (only 8) replies- “Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks” And Jem’s retort- “That’s what I thought, too, when I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?” Deep!!
The book came out in 1960, and it has been among the top rated ones all these years. And not without reason. If you have not read it yet, I would really ask you to do so. I am sure you will enjoy growing up with Scout and Jem.
And there is another reason you must read the book as well. Harper Lee, the author has published only one book so far – TKM (To Kill a Mockingbird). But it seems she had a manuscript for a book about Scout’s later ages penned down even before she published TKM. The title of the book is Go set a Watchman. And it is scheduled to be released in a few days (to be precise, on July 14th 2015). There is much controversy surrounding the genuineness of the book. But nevertheless, to be able to read what Scout is up to now, you will have to read what she was up to before all this!
Bottomline: Read To kill a Mockingbird!
Oh.. and by the way, the book has been made into a movie as well. It goes by the same name- To Kill a Mockingbird. Catch that out too!
Favourites from the book:
Line– “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks”
Character– Atticus Finch!
But yes, I do love Scout and Jem.. Atticus is almost perfect, while Scout and Jem are.. well, like you and me!
Takeaways– Stay true to your conscience and you are bound to do the right thing.