Writer- Harper Lee
Genre – Fiction (Bildungsroman* novel)
It’s been a long time since I have reviewed a book on my blog, but as soon as I finished this I made up my mind to share it with you all. I am not going to include any spoilers as I want you to go through the full reading experience of it. Written in 1960 winner of the prestigious Pulitzer prize and adapted in to a classic Hollywood movie (I would recommend reading the book first) it is regarded as one of the best American novels of the twentieth century, it’s also taught in high schools in America and many academic circles around the world. The most interesting thing is the way it is written, for me at first it was a bit confusing and annoying as I was accustomed to other literary works with all the dramatic flair and turbulence, but reading this one was like watching a calm river flowing day and night with all its depths. The writing narrative of Harper Lee is almost poetic and I had thoroughly enjoyed reading the way she binds the words together. This book, you will either love it or hate it.
Like all great literary works it also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles but the main theme of the book is the innocence and loss of innocence. Children it depicts are most affected by the events going around them at an early age and are shaped and nurtured by the circumstances and lessons the society gives them. They look towards their elders and learn much about kindness, prejudice and dignity from them. As I was reading it this quote by Nelson Mendela kept coming in my head…
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
The issues addressed and answered in this novel (which shows life in the 1930’s) are still around and present in this modern world in one form or another. Looking from the point of view of my country a child growing in Pakistan listens sees and observes almost all the things presented in this book and has questions in his or her heart, but one of the reasons we are still considered a third world country is the way they are given the answers. Majority of them are normally told to accept the way things are, to leave it to fate, to shut up or to let it go as it’s none of their business. But there is that flicker of hope which is present in every generation and the present one is starting to show the change and answers they want to seek and bring (just read the current news events about Pakistan and you will know what I mean). It pains and saddens me when I wonder how many Mockingbirds die every day in my land. In the end I have joined the millions who have read this brilliant book and I would like to recommend it to all of you. I give it
The writer of this Blog shares his Birthday with the writer of this book 🙂 😀
Bildungsroman = A genre of the novel which focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood