Details of the Book
ISBN : 9780061120084
Language : English
From the book blurb
Atticus Finch lives in the fictional town of Maycomb in Alabama and as it is with the Deep South, the southern traditions of relations in race and gender are at the center of this masterpiece. His daughter, Scout is the narrator of the story and she lives with her widowed father and brother. To Kill A Mockingbird first explores the customs of the South, laying down all the quirks and foibles of the neighbors and people that Scout interacts with through her childhood days.
The story of how her brother Jem injured his arm at the elbow is what starts off Scott’s reminiscing journey. This leads them to point out that it was the Ewells who set off the entire string of events that brought about the unsavory incident. And this is what is at the heart of the novel. The narrative that is so delicately handled by Lee is insightful and intuitive.
Atticus is appointed by the court to defend a black man, Tom Robinson who has been accused of raping a white girl, Mayella. However the town doesn’t need a trial since they are steeped in prejudice against the colored people and to them, Robinson is guilty of the crime.
However, Atticus defends Tom to the best of his ability that turns the residents of this otherwise sleepy town against him and his family members. For the most part, the townspeople engage in hurling insults at the middle-aged man, which is unacceptable to the sprightly Scout. She along with her brother and their friend, Dill manage to disperse the mob of people but the situation grows worse.
Will Tom Robinson serve time for a crime he did not commit and will Scout lose her love for the South as she had before? A poignantly simple tale of losing innocence and more to the law of society, To Kill a Mockingbird does more than just enlighten people.
Published in 1960, it won the Pulitzer Prize and became an indispensable part of American literature. It is the most widely read book dealing with the theme of race relations and has been adjudged as the “Best Novel of the 20th Century” by the Library Journal. The book was adapted into a film which won an Oscar award in 1962.
Nelle Harper Lee is an American author best known for her 1961 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Apart from this, she assisted Truman Capote in writing his nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood. She has also written articles like Love - In Other Words, When Children Discover America, and Christmas to Me.
Lee was born in Alabama where she grew up amidst the Southern sensibilities which she so adeptly voices in To Kill a Mockingbird. She attended the University of Alabama. She worked in New York City as a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines before quitting her job to finally pursue her dream of writing. She went on to win the Presidential Medal of Freedom for this contribution to literature.
Jean Louis Finch aka Scout is a six years old girl from whose perspective the story is told. She is tomboyish. She is innocent too which makes her do only the right things, though they could look wrong in others’ eyes.
Atticus Finch a lawyer by profession, a widower and a father of two children. He believes in being the same in both private and public. He gives more importance to ones conscience than anything else.
Jem Finch comes across as any naughty boy in the beginning. Soon, he grows into someone who understands others – which also requires him to fight his own inner battles.
Apart from these central characters, we have Arthur Radley, Maudie, Dhill, Aunt Alexandre, Bob Ewell, Tom Robinson, Mayella Ewell and several others.
What I think
A book first published in 1960 and which continues to be read by millions of people around the world means that the book is more than a book; it is an experience per se. It is a grand 55 years since it was released, and yet people connect to it even today. That shows how significant are the matters handled in the book.
When I started reading it, I fell in love with the narrative style - a story said through the eyes of a six year old girl. It is full of innocence, idea of righteousness in the mind of little ones, their family, friends, neighbors and thoughts.
The book blurb gives a rather vivid description about the book. So I don’t want to be redundant. But, I have to tell you that Atticus would steal your heart. He is a great father, an awesome lawyer and a wonderful human – a role model! His perspectives about everything would give a new perspective to you. It would certainly make you look at things a little differently.
The author has hinted how a family should be and how a society must be. She has described that man cannot live in isolation and if he does, it just means that he wants to be so – nothing wrong in that. She has questioned inequality and prejudice. In a way, she rightly states that today’s children are the only tool to bring change tomorrow.
I was totally hooked to the book.
It is a classic. A book that has surpassed that sands of time.
If you have not read it yet, take it up.
You will never forget it. I promise J
Some words that stole my heart
· "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
· "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
· "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.
· "Atticus, he was real nice."
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."
· "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents."
· "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."