Book Reviews

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I guess I’m stuck on my law aspiration days! Here I give you a review on one other personal favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I actually read this as an assignment in my English class in High School. The other day I was organizing my book shelf and there it was, forcing me to look back on a million memories. You know when you hear a song that reminds you of a certain period of your life? Well books do the same to me!

I remember admiring the hell out of Atticus Finch. He was -and still is- one of my favorite book heroes ever. Looking at the way he stood up to everyone in his town in order to defend a wrongfully accused black man in the middle of the Great Depression, took a lot of bravery.

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” — Scout Finch

The story is actually told from the point of view of his six year old daughter, Jean Louis Finch also known as Scout. Obviously, her account is from the point of view of a young child confused by the actions of people around her. Actions that contrasted heavily on the values her father taught her and her brother at home.

One of the main themes in this story is racial injustice and southern American customs. We have a black man accused of raping a young white girl. Atticus, one of the town lawyers takes upon him to defend this man despite the social risks this might represent.

Evidence soon shows that the girl was actually abused by a family member. However, Atticus’s client is still given the death penalty. This shows the power of prejudice and racism across people. Despite having the evidence in the palm of their hands, people tend to believe what they want to. In this period of time it was easier to blame a man of color of abuse, than an accepted white man.

In my opinion, Harper Lee was still ahead of her time. This story was published in 1960, a time where there still was racism injustice and people of color were acutely demanding their rights. As I said before, Atticus is portrayed by numerous readers as a hero for acting against the status quo and putting his conscience as a priority other than social acceptance.

The message in To Kill a Mockingbird is clear : Don’t accept injustice no matter what. Even if you loose, it’s better to die trying than not try at all. Fighting for your beliefs should always be your main priority.

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