To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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            To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most popular and well-read books of all time which has become a part of the regular reading syllabus in many countries around the world. Regardless of their nationality or background, countless people have memories of reading this book in school. The book is about a young boy named Atticus Finch who is seen as the main protagonist and hero through the lens of his morality. The book is largely focused on the arguments between right and wrong and how these concepts are distinguished from the law. The quote from which the book gets its name “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin To Kill a Mockingbird” encapsulates this concept perfectly as it sends a message of how doing what is considered “right” can have very different connotations depending on the time and place.

            The book is set during the 1930s when America was in the middle of the Great Depression. The setting which depicts the fading of the American Dream adds to the main idea of the book where we see Atticus struggling with his own hope for an equal and morally just future. The theme of the book and the moral message that it attempts to convey to us is but one part of its success and warm reception among global audiences. The ingenuity of the author when depicting these difficult-to-understand and complex topics through the eyes of a child is timeless and a large part of why the book has remained relevant to this day. A truly classic piece of literature is one that does not rely on its meaning but rather can fit into different contexts and be perceived in different ways by different people. The lens of morality which, in the case of To Kill a Mockingbird, is focused on racism and slavery in the United States can be applied to any number of injustices and conflicts around the world, both before and after the book was written. The timeless appeal of this novel is not in how well written it is or how immaculately the author frames the moral of the story, but rather in its ability to feel relatable to children around the world who are struggling to understand the injustices and immoral actions which have become regular parts of society.

Rating: 4/5

Read Time: 3-5 days

Author: Harper Lee

Similar Recommendations: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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