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My book: To Kill a Mockingbird

How many times have I picked up this Harper Lee classic? I have lost count. The first time I chanced upon it was in 6th standard, when I ventured into the 'Seniors' part of the school library by mistake and picked this gem up as it was lying on the table. Thus, Scout, Jem and Atticus entered my life.

Since then, I have read this book many a time - my own copy was so battered that I bought myself a new one once I landed in London. At many different times of my life, the book has meant different things to me. That first time, it was completely Scout and her viewpoint that occupied me. I laughed at her attempts to bring out Boo Radley, cheered her on when she fought with Jem, wondered about that first kiss when she kissed Dill, thought of my own first (disastrous!) school stage show as I read about her no show as a ham.... well, I could go on!

Couple of years later, it was the adolescent Jem Finch who spoke to me. His tolerance of his pesky kid sister, his turmoils as he was caught between his childhood and the world of the adults, his quiet understanding of the changes that were happening in his once safe world... it was like I knew Jem intimately.

Once I hit college, the book sort of took on a new facet - that of the ultimate parent guide. (Now don't read too much into it!) Atticus Finch, I still reckon, is the best dad ever. His way of dealing with his children, though unorthodox, is fair and just and I tell myself 'if only I could be so with my own child'. The conversation with his brother when he chides Jack for sidestepping the issue when Scout asks a question, is brilliant.

One of my favourite 'scenes' from the book is when Atticus gives them the gun for Christmas and tells them he'd rather they shoot at tin cans than birds.

"... shoot all the blue jays you want; but remember it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. "

This book has it all - humour, sarcasm, thrill, social issues, community, class system - there are so many different angles to this book, I feel I still haven't figured it all out. Each time I read it, I discover something new about it. As a wannabe writer, I am in awe of the author's ability to bring across the difficult concept of race, through the innocent eyes of a child's.

An extremely touchy and heavy subject, portrayed in such a beautiful way that it remains in your heart long after you finished reading it.

Posted by DesiGirl 11:06 pm  


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