We’ve come a long way in the A to Z Challenge! With the exception of J. D. Salinger and Graham Greene, every author I’ve featured lived in an era completely different from ours. But today’s book is written by someone who died just last year. Somehow that makes her feel more relevant, and when you read the book, you’ll understand why.
To Kill a Mockingbird is regarded as one of the best American classics ever, and with good reason! While the main theme of the story is about treating people without discrimination, it’s also about displaying courage, standing up for what’s right, as well as growing up. The story is told through the eyes of little Scout, and what her innocent mind infers from the happenings around her. Her brother Jem is her partner in her adventures, and they live with their lawyer father, Atticus Finch.
Although Scout is the protagonist of the story, it is Atticus who is the ‘hero’. He is considered the perfect gentleman, the ideal that every person must strive to be. The pearls of wisdom he gives Scout from time to time make up the best parts of the book. They’re just simple sentences with common sense, but which have profound meaning in today’s world.
Why ‘Mockingbird’? According to the book, killing a mockingbird is the ultimate sin, since it is an innocent creature that never harms anyone and only creates music. The mockingbird is used as an analogy for the trial of the black man whom Atticus is defending. This single incident brings forth the true colors of all the people living there, regardless of whether they’re directly involved in the case or not.
You wish the case had a better ending, but that’s what the author is trying to tell you; people’s bad thoughts can result in bad things happening to good people. Considering the kind of divisiveness we’re living among now, this book has never been more relevant. As Scout says, “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”