Jeremy “Jem” Atticus Finch and Jean Louise “Scout” Finch are two young children who live with their father, lawyer Atticus Finch, and Calpurnia, their household help in small town Maycomb, in Southern Alabama during the Great Depression. Their lives are as normal as can be during those hard times: they play outside all the time in the summer, go to school during the school year, befriend their friendly neighbors, and dislike the mean ones.
Small-town Maycomb is about to turn upside down when Atticus is appointed to defend in court a black man accused of raping a young, white woman. Soon the town is divided by the few who think the accused should go free on account of the lack of solid evidence, and by the majority who think and act as if being black was enough proof of his culpability. Whatever the outcome of the trial, life for the Finch family, especially, will never be the same.
I had started To Kill A Mockingbird several times over the past year, but then something would happen, I would leave it aside for a few days and when I picked up the book again its magnetism had been lost, so I put it aside to read other things. This time I put my foot down and said “I’ll finish it this time”, and I did.
Wow! That’s what I said when I finished it. I went through so many emotions while reading this book: I laughed a great deal in the beginning; I cried with the death of Mrs. Dubose and Jem’s reaction to it, I was on the edge-of-my-seat during the trial, and when the book ended I felt a hole in my heart, but also the knowledge of having been through a unique experience.
To Kill A Mockingbird is funny, sad, wise, and life-altering. It describes to perfection the life in a small town, but also the quirkiness of its inhabitants: the gossip, the drunk, the trash, the do-gooders, the haters…
A country cannot be called civilized if some of its citizens live marginalized, deprived of basic human rights, and oppressed by another race. I just think is mind-boggling that a nation of opportunities such as U.S. only realized that in the midst of the twentieth century, and by force nonetheless.
To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that should be required reading in school, and I don’t know if it is, but its message of equality among men, of defending what it’s right in spite of the consequences, those messages cannot and should not be ignored.
“‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘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 corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’” Page 119
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” Page 140
“Dill was off again. Beautiful things floated around in his dreamy head. He could read two books to my one, but he preferred the magic of his own inventions. He could add and subtract faster than lightning, but he preferred his own twilight world, a world where babies slept, waiting to be gathered like morning lilies. He was slowly talking himself to sleep and taking me with him, but in the quietness of his foggy island there rose the faded image of a gray house with sad brown doors.” Page 192
“‘Be quiet, they’ll hear you,’ said Miss Maudie. ‘Have you ever thought of it this way, Alexandra? Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we’re paying the highest tribute we can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.’” Page 316