Howdy y’all !
I just finished the Harper Lee’s book « To kill a mockingbird ». It was written in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. It was precisely the time of the first protests of Black students against segregation.
This novel takes place where it was written, in Alabama. Scout, an 8 year old girl, explains that summer with her brother Jem and her friend Dill. She describes with her little girl’s eyes the trial of a black man accused of the rape of a white 19 year old white girl. Her father is the court-appointed lawyer of the black guy. This is the story of a girl discovering the human feelings like love and hate, but also the weird polite behavior of the white middle class towards the black population of the town, as well as the hostility of the poor whites towards the same black population. I was completely taken in by the warm ambiance of Alabama, the children playing, the adults working and sweating.
« I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. » That sentence from chapter 10 gives the title to the novel. It summarizes all the book in one sentence. The father tells his children how they can use their new air-rifle. Bluejays and mockingbirds are birds (I’ve picked some YouTube videos for the non-American or non-naturalist who don’t know those birds), but they are also people or feelings …
It’s a profound book that I recommend to everyone.
The reading frog.