Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
The novel is about two children, Jem and Scout Finch, living in a southern U.S town, Maycomb. The story is told by a six-year-old Scout who frankly tells us about her father’s determination, as a lawyer and honest man, to defend an innocent black man – Tom Robinson who is being falsely accused of raping a white girl. But since the town they live in is filled with all types of prejudice, the family suddenly has to face a lot of hostility from their neighbours and friends.
My favorite part of the book was the narration.The fact that the narrator is a little girl helps showing the gap between the child’s understanding of what happens and what actually happens. Throughout the story Scout is constantly trying to understand the events, the experiences and the prejudices around their situation.
But her questions do more than just portray her curiosity, it makes us question our own set of beliefs and prejudices and then rethink and reflect on them. As we get used to the world as grown ups we often lose the ability to empathize with other’s problems. This is quite evident when Jem Finch, still a child, cries at the injustice being done to Tom Robinson.
As their father, Atticus, remarks: “they (the jury) have done it again, and they did it tonight, and they’ll do it again and when they do it – seems that only children weep”.