To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

to kill a mockingbirdThis book is divided equally into two parts. Each part containing different adventures, with the same children, in different time spans. Scout and Jem, two siblings, are the protagonist of the story. The story opens when they meet somebody called Dill, and they become best friends. All three are curious, lead by Dill, on their next door neighbor, where there are a lot of rumours which claims a lot of bad things, but none of them could be proven.

Scout and Jem’s father is a lawyer, named Atticus Finch. He is a very wise man, a rare person you would see during that time, and is very committed to justice and equality. The children do not call him “father” or “daddy”, but his name, showing that Atticus’ parenting style is different with the rest of the people. By calling his name, he silently tell to Schout and Jem that he is the same human being with his children, that they can interact on terms as equal as possible. More than that, Atticus also defends black people. To everyone else, he is a ‘nigger lover’, but I think, he is not simply like that. He does that because he deeply cares and put the justice as the highest value in his life. It is revealed that Jem wants to be a lawyer too, like Atticus, but as he watches one of the Atticus’s trails, in which Atticus has lost, he is suddenly reconsidering if he really wants to be a lawyer.

“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor.  He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.” This quote comes from Scout, in the first part of the book. It is what she thought, as she and her brother finds the stuffs that Boo, their neighbor, hides for them on a tree.

This book explores the questions of innocence and harsh experience, good and evil, from several different angles. Have you ever met one of those harmless, innocent gentleman or gentlewoman that would never do any real damage to society? In the book, there were a few of these exciting characters, which one of those is Boo. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”  This quote is said by Atticus, to his two children, as they try to find out more about Boo Radley, their mysterious neighbor.

The problem has started when the black man, Tom Robinson, who is convicted of rape and is locked up in a prison, even though he does nothing wrong. Atticus does a fantastic job in the defense of Tom Robinson. He is the lawful lawyer. Along the story, I hold my breath and wait. I thought, Atticus won’t win. He can’t win, but he’s the only man who fights until the end. And I thought to myself, well, the justice is making a step. It’s just a baby step, but it’s a step.

Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American author known for her 1961 Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that the author observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Despite being Lee’s only published book, it leads to her being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees but has always declined to make a speech.

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