To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

to-kill-a-mockingbird2READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Jo

The classic which saw the creation of lawyer Atticus Finch, his precocious daughter Scout, protective son Jem, and neighbourhood “monster” Boo Radley. This 1960 novel details Atticus’ defence of a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. The children observe the case and the day-to-day societal prejudices of the time, and Scout narrates to us life as she sees it.

A tomboy clad in overalls, Scout maintains an innocence and an innate sense of right and wrong that makes her a perfect observer of events, particularly because she doesn’t always understand them and therefore ruminates on ideas or events, encouraging the reader to do the same.

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.

I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.

The book raised many important topics at the time, which still remain important today. Prejudice vs tolerance, and guilt vs innocence are clear themes but deeper still is the discussion about lawfulness vs justice, ie does a decision of the law mean justice has been served? And whose responsibility it is to determine the difference between the two or to encourage change in mindsets?

It was a re-read for all the freerangers and it was apparent that the themes and morals of the book not only remain valid all this time later but seem to evolve in relation to what is happening in real life. Whatever decade you read it in, there is a new set of circumstances, prejudices and human rights have both progressed in some areas and fallen back in others, and the way in which you consider the book’s morals alongside the current issues makes it like reading a new version of the book each time.

Clearly it has earned its title as one of, if not the most important book ever written. Interesting that Harper Lee never wrote another book.

Published 1960
Grand Central Publishing
384 pages

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: