Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Who is the greatest American hero? Brad Pitt? Arnold? John Wayne, James Dean, Clint Eastwood…?

Answer: the hero of Harper Lee’s immortal novel To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus Finch.

Forget about Captain Ahab, Rambo, Rocky, Mike Hammer, Rooster Cogburn…or if you are a political junkie: George Washington and Abe Lincoln. Pound for pound Americans prefer Atticus over anybody who can be somebody.

In our country when we don’t assist in a crime we may be prosecuted under the “depraved indifference” statutes. Ordinary citizens tend not to get involved, and that is understandable even though morally indefensible. Yes, ordinary citizens. But Atticus Finch was no ordinary citizen but an extraordinary man─a hero─or as we say in New York City─a mensch!

When a man sees injustice when others don’t, that makes him a prototype.

And that is what Harper Lee created, a prototype of a man who will be revered for the ages to come by both adults and children. Whether we read the book or see the film, we know we are in the presence of justice, love, and fairness.

What makes the story even more attractive is that it is told by a child─the endearing Scout. In this respect, Harper Lee joins the company of other literary geniuses (Mark Twain, Dickens, and Charlotte Bronte) who made us see the world as children do: unfiltered by age and experience.

In a way I am happy that Harper Lee didn’t write another masterpiece. One is enough.
Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
GarciaMarquez,OneHundredYrs
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kafka,Metamorphosis
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse


The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia

Lindsey Vonn


Back to main page

No comments:

Post a Comment