To Kill a Mockingbird – a synopsis
“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
A lawyer’s advice to his Children as he defends the real mockinbird of Harper Lee’s classic novel – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of History will only tolerate so much.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that I wouldn’t have considered picking up at the bookstore to read for leisure, in fact I would have picked up something more of a fantasy book like Harry Potter series or the Legend trilogy or The Hunger Games. But, I remembered my English Literature teacher recommending us to read the book when I was in year 11 (which was like 2 years ago), I didn’t take notice of it, and just kept on reading books that were aimed at teenagers.
But, once I entered sixth-form, I’ve started to get more interested in other genres of books, and I’m glad that that was the case because it led me to To Kill a Mockingbird. The reason why I finally decided to pick up this book from the bookstore was simply because of the fact that I was curious, curious as to why my English teachers were recommending us to read it, curious as to what the book is really about. It was also the fact that we were studying Black Civil Rights in America for my History lesson, and we watched a few scenes from the film, and right then I decided that I will read the book.
The story of the book by Harper Lee transcends all time, it is about prejudice, violence, hypocrisy and the issues related to race – because all these things we can still relate to in our modern society. “Do not judge a book by its cover” we hail and yet we still judge each person that passes us by, we are prejudiced. we are violent, everywhere we look – be it on the telly (TV), outside out window, books everywhere there is violence. We are hypocrites, and race issues and equality are still a problem even if we shout “EQUALITY!!!” at the top of our lungs, we never really treat everyone equally.
This book is one of the greatest books I have ever read, however, that is in my own opinion. It is a good book for cultural and social awareness. Scout lets us in into her world, how throughout the book she learns about different aspects of society, how their small town of Maycomb, Alabama is racially prejudiced. Jem’s faith in the justice system and in turn of humanity after the Tom Robinson’s trial was damaged and led to his stated of disillusionment.
We learn so much from reading the book, from the words of Atticus Finch to his children. We learn about important themes throughout the book: good and evil, moral education (which we encounter through Atticus Finch’s advice and teachings he delivers to his children, Jem, and Scout) and of social inequality (the poor and well off, and of racial discrimination).
I do recommend this book to teens and adults alike.
– _ _ _ _nielle