I am no parent to a child right now. But when I will be I will make sure I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee again and again and again. I will read it till I can completely sink in the character of Atticus within myself. Deep and forever etched in me. I can confidently say that this is the most important book for young parents. It is truly inspiring how beautifully Atticus, a single father of two young children makes and shapes the virtues of his kids by being a great listener and then having intelligent, deep and yet easy to understand discussions with them. The dialogues have a maturity and innocence of a level which is deeper than the Mariana Trench.
The story is based on the era when racial apartheid was conspicuous in America. Color was paramount. If you were White you already hold a supremacy over countless Black men and women. But as Ruskin Bond said “when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful”. Howsoever discriminatory were the thoughts of general public, children were the breath of fresh air the society had and will always have. Jean aka Scout is six years old and her brother Jeremy aka Jem is nine. These are the children of widowed man Atticus, a lawyer and an epitome of morality. The book deals with harsh cruelties regarding rape, false allegations, revenge and racial discrimination. Amidst such crimes and negativity is the softness of childhood and it’s innocence, and the tall and strong character of Atticus.
I cannot stress enough on how important the book is, but all I can say is that in 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one “every adult should read before they die”. That simply speaks volumes and infact what this book truly deserves to be said.
Please read it. The book will make your thoughts clear as the mountain air and maybe give this world a few new Atticus too.