“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
A laywer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this enchanting classic – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl.
Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties.
The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice.
But the weight of history will only tolerate so much…
Ramblings and reviews:
Like most of the people my age, I came across To Kill A Mockingbird (TKAMB) during my GCSEs when I had to read it as part of my English Literature course. The copy in the picture is not the same as the one I had during this time as that copy is covered in Tipex doodles and annotations, and it really says something about a book if you have to buy another copy of it.
Personally, I found it difficult to get into to begin with but I usually find that with introductions that aren’t really related to the rest of the text. Obviously it gave some nice background info, but it didn’t really interest me all that much.
However, once the book got going I was hooked. And I’m so glad I was forced to read it because I might not have come across it otherwise, and honestly it has changed my outlook on other people and opened my eyes to prejudice, of all kinds. The main plot of the book is of a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been wrongly accused of raping a white girl, but because of his race is in a sticky situation in the courtroom. Tom is a likable character and so, as an audience, it is very hard not to feel anger at the case. In real life right now, we are still dealing with problems of racial prejudice and discrimination, for example in America, black people are being shot by police for no reason other than being black. It’s hard to believe that it is still happening, especially with the impact this book had on me and so many others.
The book is not only about Tom Robinson’s case though, and there are some other characters in the book who experience prejudice in one way or another. For example, the protagonist, Scout Finch, is teased/picked on by classmates and family members for not acting feminine enough or for having a father who is not racially prejudice.
Also, Dolphus Raymond falls victim to prejudice in the book, as he married a black woman, and has mixed race children with her. As this is so unheard of, and in the time of the book, so wrong, Dolphus gets a lot of stick for his love. Because of this he turns to “drink” (although it is later revealed he’s only drinking soda) and makes the people of Maycombe believe he is insane.
There is also the case of Boo Radley who hasn’t been able to leave his house nearly his whole life because of rumours going around the town.
There are so many cases of prejudice within the book all of which are similar to real life cases still happening today, and it really shows the impact people’s prejudice can have on others. The book is such an eye opener and everyone should read it if they have the chance.