Rereading a Classic: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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To Kill a Mockingbird / Harper Lee 


Anytime I reread a classic literature, I always feel this brand new appreciation for what it stands for. This book, in particular showed me how great it is to live in a world where a person of different colour can be a leader of a powerful nation. Or that we are  not  automatically guilty of a crime because of the colour of our skin. Unfortunately, the world is not entirely free of racial prejudice. Sad to say that the theme of this book is still relevant in this present time. We made some great strides, but unfortunately, we’ve bought ourselves different sets of racial prejudices.

It’s been years since I read this book, and believe it or not, I have not seen the movie. Harper Lee wrote this back in 1960, loosely based on a particular event that happened in her hometown when she was but a child.  Growing up in the deep South also gave her a front-row perspective to the themes of this book. One that showed differing opinions about the race issue at the time. I can’t put into words the severity of that division, though.

It was a story about a black man accused of rape; and because of the colour of his skin, had no chance of getting acquitted. Regardless of whether or not he was up against the degenerate of the society, Tom Robinson did not have a prayer to save himself. Atticus Finch will try, anyway.

It’s not light reading by any stretch of imagination but Ms. Lee cleverly infused it with warmth and humour. It’s a Southern Gothic at its core, ensconced in the lazy beauty of small town living. Scout and her brother Jem were both inquisitive and accepting for kids their age – both traits attributed to their upbringing.

No matter how Ms. Lee painted Atticus in Go Set a Watchman, he’ll forever remain one of the great father figures in Literature.