Thursday, December 23, 2010

To Kill a Mocking Bird

I am not sure why but the title "To Kill a Mocking Bird" always seemed  to suggest to me a chilling murder mystery. 
Ignorance of the highest order, I say to myself now; To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee is one of the most heart-warming books I have ever read, even though it deals with a very sensitive subject of racial inequality in the old American society. 
Set in a small town of the racial America of 1930s, it is the story of how a principled and morally upright white lawyer Atticus Finch fights the case of a black man charged with rape of a white girl. And while in the process, he also fights the prejudices of almost the whole town with the strength of his convictions of equality, which are way ahead of his times. It is a sensitive subject matter, considering that the book was written in 1960, when the American society was still forming its opinion on racism.      
Apart from the subject matter which is instinctively close to any right thinking human being, what makes the book amusing and full of warmth is the delightful narrative written from the innocent outlook of Scout Finch, 6 year old daughter of Atticus. The perspective and moral stand one wishes to take is not forced upon the reader, the choice is for him to make.
One more important feature of the book is the character of Atticus Finch. He is obviously a morally upright lawyer, an ideal for many. More than that however, he is a great father and morally ideal human being, who has got his values intact and leads by example. A real hero for all the right reasons.
I strongly recommend an immediate reading of this classic. 

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