Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

"Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird."

A quote that titled the book that we know today, and a quote that best describes this book. Throughout the novel we see many misjudgements of character based purely on misunderstandings, or people refusing to see beyond their racial and judgemental opinions. Mockingbird has a metaphorical meaning too, anyone who is weak or defenseless. To kill a mockingbird in that sense, is to take advantage of someone who is weaker then you. Tom Robinson, and Boo Radley, are both mockingbirds.

"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."

Wise words spoken by Atticus, to his children.

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions ... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

"Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."

The main focus of the book is about a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Atticus Finch, a lawyer, has been appointed to defend Tom in court. Atticus Finch is ostracized by the town for defending a black man. He worries more for his two children, Jem and Scout, then he does for himself, but in his heart he knows that it is the right thing to do, and takes the honorable role regardless of the consequences. He knows that a black man has no chance in a white court room, but he takes it upon himself to fight for Tom on his behalf, when Tom is unable to.

It must of been terrifying to be black, when black people were seen as lower class citizens and basically had no right or say. A white persons word was always taken over yours.

The court case shows you the ugly side, and the beautiful side, of people. 

The story is narrated through Scout Finch, Atticus Finch's daughter. She is six years old in the beginning of the book, and is nine years old at the end. It was interesting to see the story unfold through the innocent eyes of a child.

While not personally a fan of the thick southern dialect, and also finding the writing to not hold up to some of the other classics, the story itself was superb.

My Rating : ****

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