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“'The world’s ending’, Atticus! Please do something - !’ I dragged him to the window and pointed. ‘No, it’s not,’ he said. ‘It’s snowing.’” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird.
There are several lines from this book that I was debating between but in the end I decided to go with the above one because it represents the Jean Louis Finch, better known throughout the book as Scout Finch, with utmost accuracy. Scout Finch is the 9 year old narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird.
To Kill a Mockingbird is set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s. It is the story of Atticus Finch, Scout's father who is a lawyer and one of the cases he was assigned. The case is a rape case where the accused is a negroe named Tom Robinson and the victim a white girl Maywell Ewell.
The best part by a large margin of this book is that it tackles issues of race or more aptly racism and rape with the innocent eyes of a 9 year old. Scout Finch is innocent, head strong and still learning. She is rude, blunt and unapologetic. I haven't enjoyed a character so thoroughly in a long time. Her world begins and ends with her father and is biased in her narration.
Harper Lee has tapped into all the advantages of using first person narration. The intensity of her themes are balanced by subtle comedy, the sarcasm of a 9 year old and heartwarming narration.
This book is character oriented more than plot and each character is fleshed out realistically while being perceived from the eyes of a biased narrator. Jem Finch, Scout's older brother, Atticus Finch aka the kindest human being I've come across, Dill, Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra and Boo Radley being the major ones.
The book is a bit slow in getting to the main plot and doesn't spend enough time on it. Everything else isn't uninteresting per se but is like a highly interesting spin off of a major story. The ending of this book is a bit abrupt but it ties in nicely with the beginning coming a full circle. It is a satisfactory ending which is very important criteria in my book.
I try, in my reviews to be critical but I can't find a point of complaint with this book. Perhaps the degree of enjoyment will change from person to person but I sincerely believe everyone will enjoy this book.