09 March 2010

To Kill a Mocking bird....the most simple & touching story I have ever come across!!

I'm sure most of us have read the book or else seen the movie but for those who have'nt....you don't know what you have missed.....

'To kill a Mocking bird' is a semi-autobiographical novel written by the author Harper Lee & published in the year 1960. It is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel which has become a part of American literature.

In brief, it is a story that tells of racial inequality & rape albiet with warmth & a bit of wry humor. The story is narrated from the viewpoint of the 6 yr old Scout Finch who lives with her older brother & widowed father, Atticus Finch. Scout gives an account of her neighbourhood & its daily goings-on & as children, her incredible curiosity & fascination with the hidden & reclusive neighbour. She is most often accompanied by her brother & friend in this. In the meanwhile, Atticus being a lawyer is entrusted with the task of defending a black man accused of raping a young white girl. The trial does'nt go the right way & although the black man is innocent, he is wrongly convicted by the predominantly white jury. This fact is realised by the children who though knowing the right from the wrong, watch helplessly as the wrong triumphs!!!

For details, you will have to read the book but what actually struck me about this story, is the title which is aptly described when Atticus gives air rifles to his children & tells them that although they can "shoot all the bluejays they want", they must remember that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" because, all that the bird does is give pleasure by its song & never harms other birds, thus killing it would only be killing its innocence.

The book was made into an award winning movie in 1962 by the same name starring actor Gregory Peck which was a huge hit & is true to the book. Basically the story is about innocence & rightness, courage & compassion. The narration is brilliant &  though I have read it innumerable times, I keep going back to it again & again because its message although redundant, remains relevant even today!!!!

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