Literary Cravings – II

Book Review of ‘To Kill a mockingbird’

Rating : 5/5

Genre : Drama

Age recommended : Blissfully suited for any age group.

Readers intended : Interested in Drama and age old Classics.

Why ‘To kill a mockingbird’? : To debut and tick a classic off my reads wish list, I opted for this novel after days of reviewing and browsing through endless lists of exemplary prints. The most important factor which made me choose this book was the role of an 8 year old girl as the protagonist of the story. When the narration of a story is aided by the views of a young girl, it adds an element of interest, provided by a select few.

What is it all about? : The story is set in early 1930s. 8 year old Scout narrates in the first person, telling what she saw and heard at the time, augmenting this narration with thoughts and assessments of her experiences in retrospect.The early parts of the novel will take you down the memory lane when you had the luxury of enjoying those hot months of summer vacation, spending days plucking fruits from trees, playing outdoor games and  indulging in bouts of innocent mischief. Scout and Jem Finch are children of Atticus Finch, a lawyer known more for his just and helpful kind in the town of Maycomb county. Scout and Jem come to know that Atticus is fighting a case for a black man, Tom Robinson who has been charged with the rape of a white girl.The story reveals the conventional thoughts of the residents of Maycomb county, a place of white people where blacks were not thought to be at par with them. Amidst oppositions and racially negative  opinions of Maycomb residents, Atticus fights for justice for Tom, who pleas innocence in the courtroom but is shot by allegations of Bob Ewell, father of Mayella Ewell, the supposed victim. The course of events take an ugly turn and consequences which followed were sad. Atticus faces a lot of threats from Ewells but his strong belief in himself, justice and his rules always amaze Scout as she discovers a different side of her father in course of time. A parallel story describes the biggest fears of the children’s lives, Boo Radley, a man who was never seen outside by the residents of Maycomb County but rumored to have been shut inside his resident, the Radley place for years. Radley place, situated just in front of Scout’s house, always intrigued the children to know if Radley really existed in there. One noteworthy quote out of many such in this book forms the crust of this classic. When Atticus teaches his children to shoot, he says ” Shoot all the bluejays you want but remember, its a sin to kill a mockingbird”. Though there are several interpretations by many learned scholars for this quote, my personal thought on this resonates with his values as he tries to defend the real mockingbird of this story, an innocent black man charged with rape. Another such great learning from this book illuminates us with the fact that a person can never be understood fully until you stand in his shoes. Beautifully, the story guides you through many such phases when Scout discovers that her fears were baseless as she confronts her fears formed earlier due to pointless hearsay. Will Scout understand the meaning of fight for justice? Will the children ever know more about Boo Radley? How will Scout deal with her fears of her father getting hurt by Ewells? Most importantly, Will Tom get the justice he deserves?

Mood to read ? : If you are in a mood of a classic shot, grab this one, switch off your cell phones, find a corner and settle down with a mug of coffee.                                                       P.S. – Keep a dictionary handy. Harper Lee is a connoisseur of great words.

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