Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To kill a mockingbird

the cover page:) at least of the edition I read
Jem and Scout in the movie

I just happen to be plain lucky these summers to chance upon one good book after another:). Just finished To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee. Its a beautiful book:) and quite hard hitting as it shows the hypocrisy and prejudice of society through the eyes of an innocent 8 year old.The plot revolves around 2 siblings-jem and scout-elder bro and younger sis(maybe thats why i loved it even more:) ). The story is narrated by 8 year old Scout of her childhood, based in a sleepy town Maycomb, when the society was fraught with feelings of racism towards the blacks. It also covers the rough times faced by these kids when their father, a lawyer, is handed a case to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. Inspite of everyone knowing the fact that the black man was innocent, the jury pronounced him guilty, despite all the efforts put in by their father to save him. At one point in the book, Scout is baffled by one of her teachers who criticizes Hitler’s prejudice against Jews while indulging in her own prejudice against blacks. So, the book shows in a satirical way, how irrational adults can be, due to prejudice. It also makes you reflect upon the fact that children are the purest human beings, as they haven't been exposed to the evil in the world yet and thus have clear-cut concepts of what is fair and what is not. Putting some lines I liked below:

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of geting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. Its when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."--said by Atticus(father of jem and scout)

"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember its a sin to kill a mockingbird."--Atticus

"I came to the conclusion that people were just peculiar. I withdrew from them, and never thought about them until i was forced to."-- Scout

"..chewing gum cleaved to her palate and rendered her speechless."--reason a lady gave to Jem for not eating shewing gum :D

There is a movie on it also. I haven't watched it yet but I can bet it can never catch the essence of the book. And its a short book of 300 pages so an easy read also. Do try it:)

PS: The book won the pulitzer prize in 1961, an year after it was published.

9 comments:

nimit said...

good so now you are becoming a book reviewer ... acha hai !!! btw talking about prejudice ... we indians are the most prejudiced of the lot . I mean not directly humilating somebody by branding ppl between classes , sub classes , sub sub classes and so on .... whenever we enter a room we scan ppl and label them as punjabi , madrasi , bengali and with it comes the pre concieved notions and prejudices .....
nice post :)

gurveen said...

abe regionalism BITS me hai itna zaada..apan ke yaha atleast college me to kabhi nahi sochte kaun kahan se hai..

Ravali said...

@gurveen
i dnt agree with ur saying we dnt have it in our coll
till i guess we (read sahithya aarathi navya and me) came most ppl always didnt talk to gults or didnt mingle with them (they still do tht in guys hostel)
awasthi and anshul themselves told me...we changed their whole notion abt gults
and it doesnt happen in our hostel coz no one is a majority here like outside hostel...and also we hardly care abt it :)

and abt the movie....i was half way thru it but left it thr coz i have a prejudice abt black&wihte movies...i dnt fancy watching them...i prefer the new color movies ...cant help it..even now i cant sit thru a whole black and white movie :(

gurveen said...

@rava:mayb yaar..maybe coz I never thought it tat way I dint feel tat we have regionalism..nd i dunno if i agree wid u..u really thnk we go into a room nd da first thing we do is categorise into whr ppl belong??..
waise movie insti me hai kya?

nimit said...

abe i was not talking about regionalism in BITS ..... here it is not abt rivalry nd all comes in case of power play and politics ... that regionalised ...i was talking abt ne gen place ...say a train compartment .... ohh those madrasi's , that bengali ..this in india in usa it takes form .. that black ..that jew ( with pre concieved notions )

Daman said...

Hey i read this book in summer vacations too...

Really a fantastic book..and a very nice review too..

But you are mistaken..Movie did full justice to the book..After reading the book i downloaded and watched the movie...It is fantastic..If you liked the book then you can understand that movie did the full justice to the book...

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch has truly delivered an Oscar winning performance....

gurveen said...

@nimit:yaar mayb we do categorise..but we dnt hold prejudices against dem..
or on second thoughts maybe we do..iv heard ppl say often.."tats a bania..very careful wid money"...and etc..true i guess..we do have preconcieved notions..
@daman:cool..il pakka see da movie den..its very rare tat a movie catches da essence of a buk..

wdp said...

movie is really nice.
and notions about regionalism in college are very clear...ask a south indian (gult) or a bihari in iit. they know it very well.

Tanaya Srivastava said...

hi...i chanced upon ur blog here... ur blog is wonderful!! u write with amazing candour... keep it up!
btw, i am sure u must have seen the movie "to kill a mockingbird by now"... the movie does full justice to the book... the dialogues are exactly as they are in the book... the characters and screenplay is awesome... especially that of atticus (played by gregory peck) and scout.