To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

SYNOPSIS

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Scout and Jem Finch are growing up in the town of Maycomb, Alabama with their father, Atticus who is a local lawyer. Times are hard and due to the Depression, no money is to be found anywhere in town. As a single parent, Atticus tries hard to raise his kids with honor and self-respect.

Scout and Jem team up with their best friend Dill during their summer holidays and try their best to get Boo Radley, their reclusive neighbor, to come out of his house. The kids get obsessed with Boo and they even create a play on Boo’s life. Atticus is not amused though and he asks them to leave Mr. Radley alone.

One-day Tom  Robinson, a black man, is accused of beating and raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Atticus feels Tom is being targeted for his race and so he decides to take up this case from him. Most people in the country are convicted that Tom is guilty and they begin picturing Atticus in a very negative light for defending him.

To be continued …

REVIEW

How does it feel to be a black man with false allegations hanging like an albatross around your neck especially, in the world dominated by whites?! This is exactly what Scout learns as she grows up. As she comes into the contact of harsh reality, her father Atticus, an epitome of southern gentlemen who also happens to own be a rifle, struggling hopelessly to prove the innocence of a black man, the shooting man who stands as a wise and center of the unfolding court drama.

Scout and her brother Jem live in a laid back town called Maycomb which was hit by depression. One summer she along with her brother befriends Dill, a relative of their neighbors. The three of them embark on typical childhood adventures most of which happens to revolve around a mansion across the street which is reckoned to be haunted. Spurred by the feelings of curiosity and fear about the mansion and Boo Radley, the malevolent phantom who lives there, the trio tries to lure him into coming out. As a result, Scout experiences a new life and relationship to Radley, a man she never met and neither did Dill or Finch ever experience what she did.

In the meantime, Tom Robinson, a poor black man is accused of raping a white women Mayella Ewell. Atticus, being the man, takes up the case for Tom and ends up proving him innocent. Scout learns about the racial dilemma in the world and the ethos her father follow to save the man which also takes a toll on her at school but she courageously fights it. The book keeps you intrigued to the end and makes you feel like applauding really loud when you come in terms with the reality.

The book is divided into 31 parts from Background on Maycomb to the last discussion of the mockingbird symbols.

QUOTES

  • “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. …
  • “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” …
  • “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. …
  • “People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.”

RATING

☆☆☆☆☆

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“Nelle” Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. She grew up in Monroeville, a small town in southwest Alabama. Her father was a lawyer who also served in the state legislature from 1926–1938. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader. After she attended public school in Monroeville she attended Huntingdon College, a private school for women in Montgomery for a year and then transferred to the University of Alabama. After graduation, Lee studied at Oxford University. She returned to the University of Alabama to study law but withdrew six months before graduation.

She moved to New York in 1949. While in New York, she wrote several essays and short stories, but none were published. Her agent encouraged her to develop one short story into a novel. In order to complete it, Lee quit working and was supported by friends who believed in her work.

In 1960, with the help of Lippincott editor Tay Hohoff, To Kill a Mockingbird was published.

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Aayush

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