Sunday, 18 May 2008

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

Although the novel is a classic and won the Pulitzer Prize, I must admit I found it very hard going. The story itself is interesting in that it deals with the American South in times, where black and white people do not mix although they live with each other. Also, the perceptions of Scout and Jem and their friend Dill are very endearing. However, the story was rather slow and when important events happen they are told in such a curt manner, that I found it hard to pick up what happened. This book taught me to agree with Mark Twain who said "A classic is a book, which people praise and don't read"!

'Shoot all the Bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the thirties. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much...

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