To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee What would Atticus Finch do?
"Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those books that everyone knows they should read – like Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby – but that one often needs prompting to actually pick up and tuck into.
To Kill a Mockingbird is not one of the heavy classics that too often are more endured than enjoyed; it is a remarkable insight into an era that we can never experience, hidden in one of the most charming, heart breaking, and life affirming novels that I have read.
What makes it so exquisite is Scout’s narration: a harrowing story made warm and accessible as it is revealed to us through the eyes of this incredibly perceptive seven year old girl, interpreting complex adult problems that she had not previously been exposed to and couldn't possibly understand.
Scout’s intrinsic sense of morality pervades throughout the steadily darkening story – a beautiful blend of naivety and humanity characteristic only of children, not yet tarnished by the prejudices that trap so many adults – prejudice that only becomes visible when viewed from the outside. This is what Scout’s perspective offers the reader – not only a commentary on the epoch in which the story exists, but also a commentary on human nature, and the innate fallibility of social and moral constructs.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that changes people, and has done since its publication in 1960. A true gem that has retained every grain of its considerable relevance to this day; a story about the dangers of prejudice and the importance of standing for what you believe in that no child should go without reading, enjoying, and carrying with them on their transition into adulthood.
Article by Dani da Costa - Year 13
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