To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an irrefutable classic. It deserves every single bit of praise it has ever been given. To say the book is good is stating the obvious, but there’s not really any other way to explain it.
It tackles such a tough topic, and although leaps and bounds have been made since the book was written, it is still relevant today. It reminds you that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter what your background is, everyone should be equal. Instead of being divided when something bad happens the community should come together. And it’s sad indeed that we need reminding of such a thing.
I finished the book the day after same-sex marriage was made legal in all states across America, a man was beheaded in France by an Islamist militant, 38 people were killed in Tunisia by IS and a further 27 people were killed in Kuwait also by IS. In the first instance a community came together and celebrated another step towards equality, in the other three the worst of humanity came out and committed hateful crimes. They’ve done their utmost to divide everyone. They claim they are heroes but they’re far from it.
Harper Lee’s novel is always going to be relevant because there will always be people who think they are better than others, people who think it’s acceptable to inflict their self-proclaimed superiority on anyone who is not them. The novel is powerful, it is strong and the message is poignant and it will be with us forever. If everyone was as strong and gentle as Atticus Finch then we wouldn’t have half the problems we have today. If everyone was as insightful as Scout then we would never see reason to divide people. If anyone had a hint of Boo Radley about themselves then they would understand what kindness is.
But it’s the Bob Ewells of the world who are making themselves known at the moment. If you’ve read the book you know what I mean.
Yet, from the tales of horror unfolding on the news there are some true heroics coming out. The man below was shot three times in Tunisia, when the attack began he jumped in front of his fiancé and took a bullet for her and he told her to run.
A brave man, more courageous than the monster with a gun.
As Scout rightly points out, ‘there are only one type of folks. Folks.’ If only it was something we all realised.
There’s no higher praise I can give this novel other than it still gives me faith in humanity, even after everything that’s happened.