When you grew up trying very hard to NOT behave like a typical girl, you are more likely to love ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’. The protagonist, an eight year old Jean Louise (Scout) tells a tale that is so random and does not qualify to be out of the ordinary. Yet her innocent observations about the double-standards of American Society back then and her apt remarks on people’s two-faced attitudes stand out. People have a habit of doing everyday things even under the oddest conditions, she says on one occasion.
She finds it so hard to believe how her teacher calls Hitler an evil man yet doesn’t feel a thing for the family of a black man who was accused falsely against the whites.
Her father Atticus is an ordinary man. But when he fights a losing battle against his own men and in favour of a black man, he leaves you panting with fatigue generated from your own hypocrisy.
That’s the beauty of Harper Lee’s style. She starts with seemingly ordinary incidents of every day life and converts them into potential thought-jerking occasions. Like when the whole adventure of the kids – Scout, Jem and Dill – against Boo Radley begins, you wonder why all this detailing about this mysterious character. It’s only towards the end that you realise what a lasting impression this ever-so-invisible character leaves on you.
‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ is straight-into-your heart kind of a book. And like every great book, when it ends, you feel sad.