Thursday, October 04, 2007
To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. (18)
It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. (112)
"How could they do it, how could they?"
"I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it--seems that only children weep. Good night." (213)
To Kill A Mockingbird is the story of innocence confronting the harsh realities of injustice during the Depression in the American South. Set in Alabama, the novel follows the lives of the Finch family--Atticus, Jem, and Scout (Jean Louise). At first the book seems the simple story of kids learning about life and having adventures all their own in the heat of the summer. Jem and Scout are an unforgettable brother and sister duo. Dill is their visiting friend during the summers. There is much to love about their lazy days and crazy games. The three seemed fascinated with their eccentric neighbors....especially the recluse Boo Radley who never leaves the house. But things rarely stay the same for very long, and all three begin growing and changing and learning. Scout starts school and realizes what a mess the world of civilized folks can be. The heart of the novel, however, is when Atticus Finch, a lawyer, takes the Tom Robinson case. He defends him against some serious charges--rape. The novel is about big issues: justice and injustice, innocence and guilt, love and hate, shame and pride, fear and courage. It's a beautifully told novel about the harsher side of life--the ugly, the raw, the messy. The things that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge.
My favorite thing about To Kill a Mockingbird is our heroine, our narrator, Scout. I absolutely love Scout. I think she's an unforgettable character and her perspective of the world is just priceless.
I read this one for the Book Awards Challenge and in honor of Banned Books week. It also fits in quite well with the Book-to-Movie challenge.