When I recently heard that Harper Lee had passed away, it made me very sad for what the world had lost. What I should have thought about is what the world has gained by her words. To say that "To Kill A Mockingbird" has influenced generations of women and men would be an understatement. It continues to have an influence on the way we look at race relations in the world today, but more importantly it continues to have an influence on all those who read it.
So don't be sad that Harper Lee died, but be happy and thankful that she lived and wrote a timeless story of a Southern family and one little girl that continues to live in all of us today. She pushed me to be my own person and helped me realize that I am a lover of words. Someone who reads them ferociously on some days and who writes with words on other days. Words that flow out in tidal waves or drips, but continue to come no matter
The following is my original blog post from August 27th, 2015:
Harper Lee's classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, has always been one of my favorite books, as I am sure it is for many others. I can not count the times I have read and re-read it over the years, which is a rare thing for me to do. I had forgotten how much I liked it, until I read it again recently. It is a timely reminder that race relations have been effecting our lives in this country for many years unfortunately.
Scout is one of the best female characters, which has been written into life by an author, in any decade. She is fearless, smart and vulnerable at the same time. Throw in Jem, Atticus, Dill and Calpurnia and the cast is one you will not be able to forget.
Scout's father, Atticus, usually gets all the attention, but I feel that Scout steals the show.
While Atticus, the small town lawyer and state congressman, is busy trying to raise his motherless children in small town Alabama, he is assigned the task of representing an innocent black man in a no-win trial. Parts of this book could have taken place in any small town in the South during this time period of our history. While many people concentrate on the lesson of fairness this part of the book relates, the empowerment of women and the discovery of one's true self should be the themes we discuss as much. Unfortunately this book too accurately portrays the truths of the South and other parts of our country during this time in our history concerning the color of one's skin.
But more importantly it shows us the special time of innocence many of us were lucky enough to experience in our youth. How many of you slept with your doors unlocked? Were you ever inside during your summer in daylight hours except to eat? School pageants that the whole town would attend were once standard fair in small town life.
I choose to concentrate on the well-written story of one family living through a special time in their lives, when the kids were innocent and walking to school was the norm. While the famous movie concentrates on the trial and the rescue of the kids by Boo Radley, I think the best part was Scout and her brave outlook on life. The thought of not studying to be a lawyer just because of the norms of the day, did not stand in Scout's way.
Next blog post on 9/10/15 will be on the recently released prequel by Harper Lee,
"Go Set a Watchman".