Saturday, May 28, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

'As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.'
- Atticus Finch

It's statements like these that have made Atticus Finch one of the most beloved figures in the history of literature. A self-made (self-taught too) man of honest means, Atticus is the no nonsense patriarchal figure of the Finch household. 

Your blood will boil as Atticus is bombarded by brutes of ignorant dispositions. You'll be baffled by the racism of many characters in the book, as was the author in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

It's rare to find yourself rooting for the lawyer in any story, but Harper Lee has you doing that and more in this unforgettable tale. What's perhaps even rarer, is this book is deserved of the reputation and royalty status it has received. Translated into ten languages, and with over eighteen million copies in print, it truly is a masterpiece of American literature.

Enjoy the Southern dialect of Alabama - 'you'd be frog stickin' without a flashlight not to,' being of particular highlight. Undoubtedly literature of the South, Lee has gone against all stereotypes and preconceived notions of what makes up a Southerner.

Framed perfectly within a story of childhood and innocence, this novel is as relevant today as it was yesterday. The moral of the story is timeless, 51 years after first publication. Not only has Atticus Finch become a hero for many book lovers, he has also become somewhat of a yardstick when measuring the integrity of lawyers.

If this book doesn't change the way you think, you must already be on the right track. This book is a genuine classic, as 'the naivety of youth meeting the inescapable evils of adult life' is something we can all relate to.

It may be over fifty years ago that this book was first published, but sadly, we as citizens of the world are still unable to live in harmony. It's little wonder that generations later, school children are still required to read it today.